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£100,000 – negligence causing post partum haemorrhage and hysterectomy

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    Hannah Blackwell, Associate in the Clinical Negligence Team, acted for Mrs C following negligent treatment during and after her labour and delivery of her first child following an uncomplicated pregnancy. At two days over her due date, Mrs C started …

    By clinicalnegligence

Hannah Blackwell, Associate in the Clinical Negligence Team, acted for Mrs C following negligent treatment during and after her labour and delivery of her first child following an uncomplicated pregnancy. At two days over her due date, Mrs C started having contractions and on her initial visit to her local hospital she was discharged home at 4cms dilated.  She later returned to hospital and labour progressed extremely slowly. During the final stages of labour, forceps were used to attempt to deliver her baby. Following the use of forceps it was noted that the baby’s heart rate had slowed. The decision was then made to undertake an emergency caesarean section. Thankfully, Mrs C’s baby was delivered safely and suffered no injury.

Following delivery, Mrs C suffered a postpartum haemorrhage. She was given a number of blood transfusions and a number of procedures were attempted to try and stop the bleeding. These attempts were unsuccessful and Mrs C underwent a full hysterectomy followed by an admission in the intensive care unit.

A claim was brought on the basis that when Mrs C initially attended the hospital and was noted to be 4cms dilated, the hospital staff failed to notice that she was in established labour and negligently discharged her home. This caused the labour to be prolonged, increasing the risk of post-partum haemorrhage.  Further, the forceps were not used properly and should have been used at an earlier point in the labour. If the forceps has been used earlier then this would have decreased the amount of blood loss. It was also argued that the haemorrhage was not treated in a timely manner and procedures to stop the bleed could have been carried out at an earlier stage, which would have avoided the ultimate need for a hysterectomy.

Mrs C suffered from avoidable abdominal scarring and developed depression and anxiety and, as a result of the hysterectomy, she is unable to have any more children. Mrs C’s case settled out of Court for compensation of £100,000.

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