Ana Belmont was overdue in her pregnancy and had raised repeated concerns that her baby wasn’t moving enough. These weren’t acted upon early enough by midwives and the baby died in the womb. She had to go through a prolonged labour and her son was stillborn by forceps delivery. She also suffered a posterior prolapse (retocele).
If Ana’s concerns had been taken seriously, she would have been given a CTG trace at an earlier stage which would have led to her son being delivered by Caesarean Section, in which case, he would not have died and Ana would not have suffered the retocele.
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The Claim: Alan Mendham, specialist medical negligence solicitor, pursued a successful claim that, if midwives had reacted to her concerns about the baby’s movements and performed a CTG trace earlier, then the outcome would have been different. The trace would have shown that the baby was suffering from ongoing lack of oxygen and this would have led to him being delivered by Caesarean Section. If this had happened, he would not have died and Ana would not have suffered the rectocele.
Result: Proceedings were issued and, although the Trust denied both liability and causation, the claim was settled for £30,000.
Compensation awarded: £30,000 (General Damages £20,000 + Special Damages £10,000)
Ana Belmont, 34, was four days overdue in her second pregnancy when she noticed that her baby’s movements had slowed down. She went to the hospital and was given a CTG to check the fetal heartbeat. All seemed well and she was discharged home.
A week later, Mrs Belmont started experiencing stomach pains. These grew stronger throughout the morning so, at lunchtime, she telephoned the hospital to express her concerns. She was advised to stay at home. Later that day, she rang the hospital again to let them know that her contractions were more frequent and that the fetal movements had reduced further throughout the afternoon. Ana told the midwife that the last time the baby had been really active was around 5.00 am that morning. Again she was advised to remain at home.
After a few hours, Ana phoned the hospital a third time as her contractions had intensified. This time, she was told to go to the hospital and arrived there about 25 minutes later. She was examined and told she was not in established labour. Despite telling the midwife about her concerns that the baby wasn’t moving enough, a CTG trace wasn’t carried out and Ana was discharged home at 9pm that evening.
At home, the contractions continued to grow in intensity and she returned to hospital a little after midnight. At that stage the midwives were unable to locate a fetal heartbeat. An ultrasound scan was carried out and Ana was told that her baby had died. Membranes were therefore ruptured and Ana developed a fever and had to go through a prolonged labour.
Ana’s son was stillborn by forceps delivery the following afternoon, after which she suffered a rectocele. Also called a posterior prolapse, this is where the front wall of the rectum bulges into the back wall of the vagina, often due to a weakened pelvic floor or birth trauma. A post mortem found that Ana’s son had died of lack of oxygen (hypoxia). He also had a Group B streptococcal infection and there were signs that this had been escalating.
Ana and her husband came to see Gadsby Wicks six months after their son died to see if we could get answers to what had happened and to help them make a claim for compensation.
Posted in Birth Injury to babies,Neo-natal death and stillbirth