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Compensation awarded to parents after death of newborn daughter

Baby girl died eight hours after being born by emergency caesarean section

Posted on 24 November 2014

A couple were awarded a six-figure sum against Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust following the death of their baby girl just eight hours after being born after the Trust admitted that, had the labour been managed differently, it is probable that she would have survived. 

After an uncomplicated pregnancy the mother, known only as Ms X, gave birth to the baby at St Mary’s Hospital in London during 2008.  However, following a number of failures in their care during the delivery, the baby girl died eight hours later.
Maria Panteli, partner, at Leigh Day, who acted for Ms X and her partner, took legal action claiming that there was a delay in carrying out a caesarean section, the medical team failed to carry out continuous CTG monitoring and there was a delay in seeking a consultant review as contributing to the baby’s death.
On delivery, the baby was noted to be in a poor condition with no spontaneous respiratory effort, poor oxygen saturations and her heart rate was noted to be less than 60bpm. 
She was transferred to the neonatal intensive care unit.
It was admitted by the hospital Trust that had a consultant reviewed Ms X, the advice would have been for the baby to be delivered significantly earlier. 
It was accepted that the most likely cause of the baby’s death was meconium aspiration and that, had the labour been managed differently, the baby would have survived.
Maria Panteli from the medical negligence team at Leigh Day, said:
“Everyone must feel secure that, when they go into hospital, the care they get is the very best that they can hope for, especially when it is something as crucial and precious as a birth.
“This is a clear case of negligence and I can only hope that the lessons learned have been communicated not only within the hospital but throughout the NHS so that cases such as this do not occur and other parents do not have to suffer the devastation of losing their baby.”