A health board is being sued by a mother and daughter for a minimum of £300,000 claiming the chronic brain damage medical negligence suffered by the baby and the psychological trauma suffered by the mother are a result of medical negligence on the part of hospital.
When the baby girl was delivered in 2006, the umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around her neck. A medic wrote that after the baby was born, she did not cry. Manoeuvres were done to open her airways, suction was done and a midwife performed a manual chest massage. As she was placed on her mother’s chest just after she was born, she was blue in colour and seemed to have no life in her. The baby did not breathe on her own until 35 minutes after she was born.
The girl is now seven years old and her condition is to the point where she is unable to walk or talk and will never be able to live an independent life of her own. The mother was so traumatised by which the manner of the birth was handled that she says she has had psychiatric problems and later gave her daughter up for adoption.
In a claim against the court, the allegation is that the girl was born with cerebral palsy as a result of negligence during the birth and the mother not being properly monitored during labour. The girl’s guardian is acting as an official litigation friend along with the mother and daughter. All three, from South Wales, are claiming that the nursing staff at the hospital where the daughter was born were negligent and deprived the unborn child of enough oxygen during birth. Lawyers for the family support the oxygen deprivation claim at the birthing centre.
Allegations also include that the baby’s heart rate and other vital signs were not properly monitored in addition to the raised temperature of the mother. During the late stages of labour, there was no midwife in the birthing room for up to 20 minutes at a time and expert assistance in the matter was not called in early enough.
The mother should have been immediately transferred to an obstetric unit right after giving birth, the family claims. A failure to do so left the baby with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and was not able to move her arms or legs.
Seven years later, the girl has severe epilepsy and cortical visual impairment, major learning disabilities and double incontinence. Her disabilities are so extreme with regard to cerebral palsy that she never be able to talk, walk or lead an independent life.
As a result of how the birth was handled and the subsequent health of her daughter, the mother developed severe post-traumatic stress disorder. For several months, the mother struggled to cope with having to take care of a child who was severely disabled and then made the decision to give her up for adoption. The damages of over £300,000 are being claimed in addition to legal costs and lost interest.
Medical negligence is sadly is on the rise. If you fall victim, make sure to claim compensation.