Claim settled for traumatic Caesarean Section with inadequate pain relief

Posted by Patricia Wakeford on

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In January 2013, Mrs A attended hospital for the birth of her first child. Due to the high level of pain she was experiencing during contractions, Mrs A requested an epidural.

After a period of nearly two hours of active pushing, concern was raised about the baby's heart beat and assisted delivery was attempted on two occasions, unfortunately without success. The decision was made that Mrs A needed to have a Caesarean Section. On her way to theatre, Mrs A's epidural was removed from her spine and she was not given any additional anaesthetic before being taken for surgery. When the procedure for Caesarean Section was commenced Mrs A was shocked and very frightened to feel the first incision of the knife being made in her abdomen.

This was excruciatingly painful. On realising that Mrs A could feel the incision; she was quickly given pain relief and Mrs A's daughter was safely delivered shortly thereafter. Understandably, Mrs A found the experience of her daughter's delivery to be very distressing.  On her return home from hospital, the psychological impact of what happened to Mrs A became apparent. She suffered from frequent nightmares, severe anxiety and depressive symptoms which led to a diagnosis of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Mrs A had hoped in the future to have further children however the traumatic experience of her first delivery remained prominent in her mind.

In December 2014, Mrs A instructed Patricia Wakeford of BL Claims Solicitors. Patricia is dual qualified solicitor and midwife. After investigating her claim, a Letter of Claim was sent to the Defendant Trust in July 2015, alleging multiple allegations including the Trust's failure to provide adequate pain relief, the failure to inform Mrs A of her epidural removal and poor record keeping. In their response, the Trust admitted the main allegations made against them although some more minor allegations did remain in dispute.

In January 2016, BL Claims Solicitors successfully settled the claim for £27,000, a sum of monies Mrs A was very pleased with. Fortunately, when Mrs A decided to have a second child, her delivery was a much more positive experience and it is hoped that with the help of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mrs A will overcome her ongoing anxieties and be able to enjoy life with her family. 

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About the Author

Patricia is a Senior Associate, in our Clinical Negligence team, and is also a qualified midwife with many years of experience working in the NHS.

Patricia Wakeford
Email Patricia
023 8085 7310

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