We have recently resolved a claim for damages for a family whose son died in hospital only a few hours after his birth. The mother had an uneventful pregnancy with no complications but, within hours of admission, she was noted to be suffering from pyrexia and meconium stained liquor was evident. Oxytocin was given to progress labour and the dosage increased despite a number of indications that its use was contraindicated.
Although an emergency caesarean section was eventually performed, the baby was born in a poor condition and attempts at resuscitation shortly after birth were unsuccessful.
Our obstetric evidence confirmed that delivery by caesarean section at an earlier stage would have avoided the events that subsequently occurred. A neonatal expert confirmed that, although other complications arose, the baby would not have died as a result of these. The evidence gathered confirmed the family’s view that their son’s death was preventable.
Our clients took comfort from raising their concerns with the relevant NHS trust in the hope that the standard of care will improve for other mothers and their babies.