Ms M and Mr T were expecting their first child, the pregnancy was considered low risk and although Ms M suffered from morning sickness throughout it was a normal and uneventful pregnancy.
Ms M’s waters broke early on Saturday morning and she went straight to the hospital. Following an examination and another gush of waters she was told that the labour pains were false contractions and she should go home.
In the early hours of Sunday morning Ms M’s contractions became worse and she was crippled with pain. She contacted the Midwifery Department and she was told to hold on a bit longer. At around 10am she could bear the pain no longer and she attended the hospital. Ms M was examined and given pain relief. She continued to be monitored throughout the day and that evening an examination confirmed that she was fully dilated and ready to give birth. There was no one available to assist the midwife with the birth and Mr T had to provide support.
As soon as Baby T was delivered the midwife went to the delivery suit door and shouted “crash”, suddenly the room filled with medical staff. Baby T was delivered with the cord around his neck and he was attended to by a Doctor. Ms M felt immediate relief when she heard Baby T cry.
Baby T was born 24 hours after Ms M’s waters had broken and he weighed 5lbs 7ozs. Shortly after his birth a cannula was placed into the back of his hand to administer antibiotics as a precaution against infection due to the length of time between Ms M’s waters breaking and delivery.
Over the course of the next two days Baby T appeared to be breast feeding on and off however Ms M didn’t receive any assistance from the midwives and they were not there to observe when she did try to feed him. He did not pass urine or meconium for 48 hours. Initially he was very quiet and still and they noticed that he appeared to be “hiccupping” (little jerky movements) without any sound. He became unsettled and had disturbed sleep with crying and sweating throughout the night.
Ms M was subsequently advised that no infection had been detected. Baby T’s cannula was removed and observations were discontinued and he was discharged home two days after his birth.
The morning after their first night at home Ms M was surprised that Baby T had not woken her up during the night. When she picked him up she was immediately concerned that something was wrong. He was a little floppy, lethargic, pale in colour and quite cool in temperature. Ms M took him to an emergency GP appointment and he was taken to hospital via ambulance.
Following investigation Baby T was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) as he was suffering from neonatal hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar). His low blood sugar was causing him to have multiple seizures and he was treated in the ICU until they could stabilise him. Once his blood sugars were stable he was transferred to the High Dependency Unit (HDU) where he remained for 3 weeks.
The Defendant had breached their duty of care on several levels as Baby T’s low birthweight and head circumference were suggestive of intrauterine growth restriction. They failed to heed that he had not passed urine or meconium following his birth. They failed to ensure that he was feeding adequately, failed to heed his irritability and low temperature and failed to carry out any measurements of his blood glucose levels before discharge. But for their negligence, Baby T’s hypoglycaemia would have been identified before discharge and he would have been treated with supplementary feeds or, if necessary, intravenous Dextrose and his collapse and subsequent brain damage would have been avoided.
Consequent to the substandard care, Baby T suffered neonatal hypoglycaemia, leading to: catastrophic brain injury, microcephaly, severe cortical visual impairment; and Lennox Gastaut Syndrome, (epileptic encephalopathy). He has severe Cerebral Palsy.
He is now 12 years old and he has profound intellectual disability and daily seizures. He is doubly incontinent. He has no speech, but vocalises and no independent mobility. He will always be dependent on others for 24 hour care and will not have any capacity for work or managing his own affairs.
Ms M has devoted her time to caring for Master T and enriching his life in any way possible.
James Thompson, has supported Ms M throughout the ongoing clinical negligence claim and he has worked hard to ensure that all the facts of the case were adequately represented. In doing so he has been able to secure an admission of liability from the Defendant and secure an interim payment which will assist Ms M with the fantastic work she does to ensure that Master T has the best quality of life possible.
James will continue to support Ms M and her family to ensure that they can bring the claim to a satisfactory conclusion so that he has all that he needs to live a full life and allow his family to have peace of mind that he has a comprehensive life-long care package which will meet all of his needs.