This case was brought to the High Court and after three days of evidence was successfully settled in favour of the baby and family for the sum of €5.25 million: –
The Facts of this Case: –
- The mother was 21 years old and it was her first pregnancy. Her estimated due date was the 16th April 2003. During her ante natal care she had had a number of vaginal bleeds which were recorded. This was very relevant to her care.
- 20/03/03 – the expectant mother was admitted via ambulance with abdominal pains. Her CTG (baby heart tracings) were non-reassuring.
- 08.30/40 – it was noted that she had an artificial rupture of her membranes.
- 09.10 – the CTG was at 140, low variability decelerations.
- 09.50 – it was noted the mother had constant abdominal pain.
– the mother had a vaginal examination and the foetal scalp electrode was applied.
– the instructions were to “Monitor carefully? Abruption, may need CS”
- 10.20 – the midwife then noted the CTG had deteriorated with deeper decelerations.
– the registrar was informed and the Consultant was called in who decided to carry out a caesarean.
- 10.30 – the CTG was discontinued.
- 10.49 – a baby boy was delivered weighing 2.79Kgs (6lbs 2oz) – “Pale ++ not crying”
The Outcome of this Case
- The baby was immediately sent to paediatrics for resuscitation.
- The baby had a poor Apgar Score – 0,1 0,5 1,10 & 2,20 Cord pH 6.64.
- There was evidence of a placental abruption at caesarean section.
- The baby developed seizures @ 9 hours and required required ventilation for 10 days.
- He was eventually discharged at one month of age.
- The Medico Legal Experts were critical of care on the following grounds : –
– The consultant should have been informed at 08.30am of the situation.
– The caesarean section should have been called for at 8.40am but no later than 09.45am.
– The consultant was informed at 9.10am but didn’t review the mother until 9.45am.
– The baby should have been delivered at 9.59am at the latest.
– The patient’s history should have been taken into account.
– This was an acute hypoxic event.
– The baby was severely compromised between 10.15am and 10.45am and would have suffered no damage had the baby been delivered at 10.15am or before
Birth injury cases are unfortunately very common in this country. The key issue is immediate reaction and action once there are signs of distress for the baby.
If you or a relative have suffered something similar, you may be entitled to bring a case and recover compensation for injuries but most importantly for future care costs. The Courts are now awarding interim payments in these types of cases which is a recognition of how devastating these cases can be for parents.
We have successfully settled many cases similar to the above. We are fully familiar with the relevant case law and can arrange a referral for you to see an independent medical expert. Please call us for a confidential, no obligation assessment of your experience on 1800938893 or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We are here to help and advise.