Northern Ireland recently admitted their part in medical negligence deaths, their trust for acute and emergency services provided care that was below standard between 2008 and 2013. This came at a time when it had been reported that there had been five babies among 11 deaths in hospital.
This came six years after two parents lost their baby girl due to what they considered to be a lack of communication between healthcare authorities and the families of patients when procedures go wrong. They felt that the mother’s treatment was inhumane during a difficult labour at their hospital. It was a particularly difficult time for them when they had planned to celebrate their eighth wedding anniversary in May 2008 with a new addition to their family, a little sister to two older brothers.
The parents only recently learned that the death of their daughter was considered to be a serious adverse accident which is any circumstance or event that could have led to unexpected or serious unintended harm and were not informed of this.
When the mother was one week past her due date, she was taken to the maternity unit of the hospital and endured a slow labour overnight. The father was aghast when he saw what ensured. At 5:00 p.m. the mother was being prepared for theatre when there was a change in priority to the theatre as there had been an emergency. The emergency was taken first and within 20 seconds everything changed.
The daughter was born three hours later and taken to another hospital as the one where she was born had no neo-natal unit. The father felt lonely as he drove from one hospital to the other, concerned about the life of his wife and daughter. His wife was never told why the move was made, only that the daughter was sick.
It became clear the next day that the daughter would not survive and was then transferred back to the original hospital where she was born so that her parents could spend her last few hours with them. The daughter passed away two days later at 4:00 in the afternoon. The mother then had to have another operation and was on life support for five days as she had lost 10 pints of blood.
In July 2013, a suit for medical negligence was brought against the Trust and settled and in October, the family won substantial damages from the Trust. A spokesperson from the Trust recently admitted that the care given to the mother in this case was below its standards.
In addition, there was an internal report carried out shortly after the death of the daughter and it found that there had been no fault with her care and with that of her mother. The family is still very angry that this report has never been given to them all these years.
The father has said that what they really wanted to know was the truth about what happened with their daughter and the family has never been able to receive it until they started to pursue the matter.
Unfortunately stories like this are becoming more and more common. If this sounds like you make sure to sue for medical negligence.