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Compensation for young mother whose baby died at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Midwifery Birthing Unit Sidcup

Midwives failed to call for help during labour

Photo: istock

6 September 2010

Suzanne White, a solicitor and partner in Leigh Day's leading clinical negligence department, has obtained a five-figure sum for a woman whose first baby died after midwives failed to call for appropriate medical intervention during her labour. Our client, a healthy woman in her mid-20’s had an uneventful pregnancy.  Her baby died because of an acute event which occurred in the last few moments before his birth as a result of the prolonged second stage of labour. Following investigation into the cause of death, a Serious Untoward Incident report stated that after our client’s admittance to Queen Mary’s Hospital, Sidcup on 30th November 2008 showed:

‘The care given during labour was not in line with recommended national guidelines specified by the National Institute for Clinical Excellence 2007’.

Indeed national guidelines assert that around two hours after the onset of the second stage of labour if neither imminent spontaneous delivery nor good descent of the baby is occurring medical advice should be sought. These instructions were not followed because  the midwives overseeing our client’s care acted in accordance with a set of draft guidelines composed by the Head Midwife in the Midwifery Led Unit of the South London Hospital. At the inquest into the baby’s death it became clear from the consultant obstetrician giving evidence that these draft guidelines, and the definition of the second stage of labour had neither been seen nor approved by a consultant obstetrician. It was also found that our client and her child were not adequately monitored during the labour.

After the Inquest the Head of Midwifery stepped down from her position and the midwife monitoring the labour has had to undergo re-training.

The South London Health Care NHS Trust admitted liability following which our client was awarded compensation for the pain and suffering that she has endured, past and present loss of earnings and the therapies that she requires since she has experienced emotional problems, depression and anxiety since losing her baby. 

Suzanne said :

This dreadful tragedy could have been avoided if my client had been adequately monitored. What is of great concern is that the midwives were following incorrect guidelines; these were being followed but had not been approved by an obstetrician.. The Unit has now reverted back to national  guidelines but this is too late for my client and her little baby boy.
For more information please contact Suzanne White on 020 7650 1200.

Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.


Information was correct at time of publishing. See terms and conditions for further details.

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