Negligent Care During Childbirth Resulted in Unnecessary Total Hysterectomy: £250K Compensation

Summary

Legal action following negligent treatment during birth resulting in an unnecessary total hysterectomy.

Settlement

£250,000+ awarded.

What Happened

The Claimant in this matter was around 40 weeks pregnant on 9 July 2012 when she had a membrane sweep in hospital. She returned on 11 July 2012 when the contractions were getting stronger; at this stage she was 2cm dilated.

On 12 July 2012 she had an artificial rupture of the membranes and was transferred to the delivery suite. At 5:55pm she was found to have pyrexia of 38.9 C with associated vomiting. At 6:10pm, the Claimant was fully dilated; the baby was lying in an occipitio posterior position with the head descended. At 6:25pm, the foetal heart rate was above 200bpm. A decision was made at 6:30pm to perform a forceps delivery.

The forceps were applied and an episiotomy was performed. At 6:43pm a baby girl was delivered via the forceps in an occipitio position. Syntometrine was given and the placenta delivered at 6:50pm.

It was noted from the obstetric registrar that there was bleeding from a vaginal wall tear. At 7:28pm she was in a shocked and compromised clinical condition due to hypovalaemia, with her BP at 44/27 and a pulse rate of 155bpm. The consultant obstetrician was called and fluid resuscitation started.

Further medication was given to contract the uterus but ongoing bleeding was noted. This resulted in a decision to take the Claimant to theatre for an examination under anaesthetic.

At 8:28pm she was transferred to the operating theatre and a consultant obstetrician undertook an EUA. The uterus was well-contracted to begin with, but the vaginal tear was bleeding profusely. It was sutured and there was a sudden gush of bleeding from above. The uterus was found to be atonic, resisting efforts to make it contract pharmacologically.

At 9:10pm due to persistent bleeding, a decision was taken to perform a laparotomy and a second consultant obstetrician requested to attend for support. A subtotal hysterectomy was performed. At 9:45pm she was still bleeding and a decision was made to convert the subtotal hysterectomy to a total hysterectomy; both the uterus and cervix was removed. The bleeding stopped and the abdomen was closed after an estimated blood loss of 4000mls.

Post-operatively she was transferred to the ITY at Southport Hospital where she remained for 3 days prior to her transfer back to Ormskirk Hospital on 16 July 2012. She was discharged on 23 July 2012.

The Claimant was asked to attend a meeting at the Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust on 8 October 2016, where she was advised that she had been given an unnecessary total hysterectomy. The Claimant was not told this before as she was only told that she had a subtotal hysterectomy.

Proceedings have been issued and expert reports are required from experts in Obstetrics, Urology, Psychiatry and pain management.

As a result of the experience and of undergoing a total hysterectomy, the Claimant experiences severe psychological problems, bowel problems, urinary incontinence and vaginal scarring.  She will have issues for life.  The extent of these is still being investigated.

Get in touch

Devonshires Claims
Ground Floor
30 Finsbury Circus
Finsbury, London
EC2M 7DT