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Death of baby following brain injury during complicated birth

Baby M died within hours of being born, after being delivered with severe brain damage. Baby M’s mother was induced into labour and during labour suffered a rupture to her uterus, which was ignored by the medical professionals treating her. The baby was delivered by emergency caesarean section but sadly he had suffered significant fetal distress. 

Our approach

The Mintons team argued that those treating baby M’s mother failed to correctly monitor the fetal heart rate, and that steps to deliver the baby earlier should have been taken.

The outcome

Baby M’s parents were awarded £30,000 and an apology from the hospital trust.

The case in detail

We acted for the parents of M who tragically died within hours of being born.  His parents were aware that he was born severally brain damaged. His mother went over her due date and was admitted to hospital for induction of labour. The CTG trace which monitors the fetal heart rate showed a series of declarations of the fetal heart rate.   M’s mother had previously had a caesarean section and a caesarean section scar. As it transpires the caesarean section scar began to tear, but this was not acted upon. The fetal decelerations were not acted upon. M’s mothers uterus then ruptured at the site of the previous caesarean section scar but at this stage it was an obstetric emergency and unfortunately despite M being born by emergency caesarean section he was born severely brain damaged and subsequently died.

M’s parents had not received any explanation from the hospital on what if anything had gone wrong which lead to the death of their newborn baby.  What should have been a joyous occasion was a complete nightmare for M’s parents. They both suffered psychologically following M’s death. 

Once the expert team at Mintons were involved we sought independent medical expert evidence which showed the hospital were negligent in failing to monitor the fetal heart rate and that steps should have been taken to deliver M earlier and had he been delivered earlier it would have avoided his poor condition at birth resulting in his death. It was also necessary to seek expert evidence from a psychiatrist who confirmed that M’s mother suffered from an acute depressive episode and adjustment disorder.

Although it was her intention to be sterilised after the birth of M this was put on hold and she subsequently completed her family by having one further child.

Although a settlement was reach for M’s mother this will never adequately compensate her for the loss of her newborn baby. She was also able to secure an apology from the hospital and compensation to reflect her pain and suffering.