Settlement for mother of stillborn baby

A woman is looking off camera and seems upset
3 minute read

A woman is looking off camera and seems upset

This was Shabana’s first pregnancy.  Everything was straightforward until 36+4 weeks when she noticed her baby wasn’t moving as much as normal.  She went to the hospital and was checked over, where they reassured her that her daughter was fine and sent her home.

Shabana went to the hospital for a second time approximately four weeks later as she again felt her baby wasn’t moving as much as normal.   Her baby’s heart rate was monitored by a CTG for just over an hour and then stopped.  The midwife had concerns about the baby’s heart rate and the fact that she still wasn’t moving very much, so she spoke to a doctor.

A trainee doctor considered Shabana’s records and her baby’s heart rate recording, which they felt was reassuring.  They spoke to a more senior colleague and (according to the trainee) showed them the baby’s heart rate recording.  Based on the discussion, a plan was made for Shabana to come back to the Hospital daily for her baby’s heart rate to be monitored and to have an ultrasound scan in two days.  The results would then be reviewed.  Shabana was reassured by the trainee doctor that her baby did not need to be delivered that day and then sent home,

She attended the Hospital the next day as requested and her baby’s heart rate was monitored.  She was told the heart rate was normal and sent home.

Shabana went to Hospital for the ultrasound scan the next day as planned. During the scan, she was advised that sadly, her daughter had passed away.  Her daughter was stillborn two days later.

What had gone wrong?

When Shabana attended the Hospital for the second time saying her baby was not moving as much as normal, the midwife stopped monitoring her baby’s heart rate even though the recording was concerning. It should have been continued.

Further, the senior doctor advised after her baby passed away that he did not remember reviewing the heart rate recording. If he had, he would have recommended that Shabana’s labour be induced. During investigations it was found that he should have reviewed Shabana in person as she needed to be seen by someone more senior.

When Shabana went to Hospital on the second day for further monitoring, she was told her baby’s heart rate was normal. However, it was actually abnormal and should have been investigated by a doctor. Had this happened, her daughter would have been born earlier, before she passed away.

How we helped

Shabana approached us following a referral from AvMA due to our specialism in helping parents whose babies have been stillborn or pass away shortly after birth.  Due to our expertise we were able to get answers for her and an admission of liability which was particularly important.

We sent a letter seeking early admissions which meant we were able to bring the claim to an end sooner than normal. The claim settled at a settlement meeting where we were successful in negotiating a lump sum of £95,000 for Shabana.

Thanks to her compensation, Shabana will now be able to access more targeted therapy to help support her mental health in future pregnancies. It will also take away some of the financial pressure she has faced since her daughter’s death, due to the impact it has understandably had on her ability to function.

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