Failure to treat infection following delivery results in damages award

24 October 2017

Claire McDaid recently negotiated a settlement for Mrs H who developed an infection following the birth of her first child in 2015.

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Mrs H gave birth by emergency Caesarean Section in early 2015. She remained in hospital for 6 days following delivery suffering from pain, discomfort and abdominal distension. Once home, Mrs H was attended to by a district midwife and also attended with her GP and continued to suffer the same symptoms. She was re-admitted to hospital 3 weeks after delivery with a serious infection in the abdomen. A CT showed a large collection of fluid in the abdomen and Mrs H was taken to theatre for drainage of the fluid.

Mrs H remained in hospital for 10 days and missed out on the initial weeks bonding with her infant son.  She had to rely heavily on family members during the period of rehabilitation.

Mrs H felt that the hospital had failed in their duty to act on and treat the symptoms she displayed prior to discharge.   She consulted with us in mid-2015 and we commenced investigations in relation to the care provided to Mrs H post-delivery.  We obtained reports from a Consultant Obstetrician and Consultant Micro-Biologist which confirmed that there was a failure to properly investigate and assess Mrs H’s symptoms in the days leading up to discharge. An ultrasound in the context of abdominal distension, pain and other infection markers would have likely shown a collection of fluid and led to surgery 3 weeks earlier.  Mrs H could would not therefor have lost out on so much quality time with her son.

Proceedings were issued and we obtained further evidence from a Consultant Psychiatrist who assessed the impact of the delay had on Mrs H’s ability to bond with her baby.

Following exchange of the medical evidence in June 2017, the Defendant invited us to engage in negotiations and ultimately a figure was agreed that reflected the impact the failure to treat the infection when Mrs H first displayed complications/symptoms following delivery.

Worthingtons Solicitors have a team of Solicitors with extensive experience in handling medical negligence cases involving all aspects of medical care. If you believe that a hospital or doctor may have been negligent in providing advice or medical treatment to you which has resulted in injury, we will gladly provide advice on all aspects of medical negligence claims in Northern Ireland.

Contact Claire McDaid at our Belfast office on (90434015) or Nikki McConnell at our Newtownards office on (91811538) for advice and guidance on this process.


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