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A couple who had been trying for a baby for six years and lost their baby following antenatal care failings have been granted an undisclosed amount of compensation .
A 36-year-old woman and her 46-year-old husband decided to take the NHS Trust to court, holding it responsible for the stillbirth of their baby, born at 27 weeks, at a North Yorkshire hospital in April 2010.
The couple had been trying for a baby for six years following their marriage and had conceived their baby through IVF treatment. It had been their one and only chance of receiving the treatment through the NHS and they had been on the waiting list for three years prior. When they discovered they had been successful, they were overjoyed and believed their lives were about to change.
The mother said: “We have been trying for a baby ever since we got married 11 years ago. Once we got married and felt secure we knew we wanted to have babies.”
Medical staff told the mother that her baby was smaller than usual at the 20-week scan and that closer monitoring was needed. However, it wasn’t until seven weeks later that the baby’s heartbeat was measured.
The mother began having heart palpitations and she was signed off work by her GP; she rested as much as possible but at 24 weeks she noticed the baby’s movements were different. Her midwife assured her it was fine and that some babies can be quiet. She now says she wishes she had never trusted her midwife.
After concerns grew, a CTG and two ultrasounds were performed which showed the baby had restricted growth due to poor blood flow from the umbilical cord and the consultant asked if the dates were wrong. The mother was admitted to hospital where she couldn’t feel her baby moving but was sent home after the consultant said it looked as if there had been an improvement.
Unconvinced, the couple went back to the hospital after not feeling the problem had been resolved. They themselves to Leeds General Infirmary for another scan and a CTG and were not offered an ambulance. The staff there began preparing for surgery to perform a C-section and although the baby’s heartbeat was still active during labour, by the time she was delivered, her heart had stopped and she was unable to become resuscitated.
The woman said there was ‘such a catalogue of mistakes that ended up costing my daughter’s life’. The court ruled that had a CTG scan been performed following the 20-week scan, the baby would have survived on the balance of probabilities. The NHS Trust admitted liability and the hospital apologised for its failings.
The couple have since spent their compensation on more rounds of IVF which have sadly not been successful. They now want more people to speak out about mistakes that are made and to highlight the fact that the NHS is being pushed to its limits causing more errors to happen.
If you believe you have a valid clinical negligence claim, Jefferies team of no win, no fee solicitors can help you. Please contact us on our national accident helpline number or complete one of our online claim forms.
Published 11th February 2015.