Clinical negligence claim against the George Elliot Hospital NHS Trust

Tracy Edwards was instructed to investigate a claim for clinical negligence against the George Elliot Hospital NHS Trust following the birth of Mrs X’s son on the 28th September 2007. Mrs X raised concerns about the treatment she had up to and including the birth of her son. This was her first pregnancy and they had planned for her husband to be present during the birth. She was admitted on the 28th September at 5.45 with contractions and a spontaneous rupture of her membrane occurred at 16.10. She continued to suffer painful contractions and an epidural was administered at 11.30. Thereafter there were concerns about the baby’s heartbeat and due to the deceleration medical staff made a decision to perform an emergency caesarean section under general anaesthetic at 6.45 and at 7.10 Z was born.
Unfortunately Y , her husband was unable to be present during the delivery.

Thankfully Z was born with good apgar scores and in good condition and has had no subsequent problems.

Mrs X’s concern was that she felt that she was not correctly monitored and that an emergency caesarean section could have been avoided. Furthermore, she had concerns about the poor treatment that she had received subsequent to the delivery. Following the caesarean section she had significant abdominal pain. She consulted her GP and was monitored and on the 19th October started experiencing excruciating pain and had difficulty walking. She continued to have stomach pains with intermittent bleeding and then started to experience difficulties in using the toilet. It was felt that she may have a urine infection and appropriate swabs were undertaken.

On Friday, 26th October she was in the bath and began to experience a strange sensation when she noticed that she had passed a surgical swab through her vagina. The following day she took this to her GP surgery and was advised that this may be the likely cause to her ongoing pain. Because of her concerns she was referred to the hospital where an ultra sound scan was undertaken, she was still experiencing pain. She was then seen by a Consultant Obstetrician and Gynaecologist on the 2nd November and was advised that there was no further retained products but there was a 2.5cm uncertain area and she sought further consultations. She had a further scan on the 30th November when she was advised that the uncertain area had now reduced 2cms and was advised that this was healing and that she should not worry about this area. The claimant wanted us to investigate a claim in relation to her ante-natal care but also post natal care, retained products and particularly in relation to her ongoing concern about this uncertain area, she felt that this may be evidence of some further damage that had been caused).

Following investigation the only negligent treatment was the vaginal swab that was retained during surgery. Again, due to the limited nature of the claim we invited the defendants to put forward a reasonable offer to settle. Proceedings were issued on a protective basis and successfully negotiated a Part 36 offer to settle the claim prior to service. A settlement was achieved in the sum of £10,000.00.

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