Gadsby Wicks Secures Fair Settlement in Case of Delayed Delivery Causing Cerebral Palsy

Last Updated on: 22nd November 2023, 07:49 pm

Gadsby Wicks, a specialist medical negligence firm, has successfully helped their client achieve a fair settlement after a case involving delayed delivery resulted in a newborn being diagnosed with dystonic athetoid cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

Alan Mendham, a Partner at Gadsby Wicks and an experienced Medical Negligence Solicitor, led the case, providing nearly two decades of expertise.

The Case

The details of the newborn and their family have been anonymized for privacy protection. The delivery of the baby followed a prolonged second stage of labour.

During this time, the attending midwives failed to identify the delayed second stage and allowed it to continue for three hours without involving an obstetrician or taking steps to augment labour.

It was also revealed that the midwives attempted manual rotation twice without involving an obstetrician or initiating a CTG trace.

During the delivery, the baby showed signs of distress, and the umbilical cord was loosely wrapped around the neck. The newborn did not make any respiratory effort.

Immediate medical assessments were conducted using an Apgar test. One minute after birth, the baby scored 1, which increased to 4 after 5 minutes and 5 after 10 minutes. Cord gas results indicated pH 6.961 BE 15.4 and pH 6.947 BE 15.4.

Paediatricians were called, and the infant required resuscitation. They needed ventilation and experienced seizures shortly after birth.

The newborn has since been diagnosed with dystonic athetoid cerebral palsy and epilepsy, resulting in an inability to walk unaided and communicate verbally. They rely on eye pointing for communication and are fed through a PEG.

The Claim

The claim was based on the midwives’ failure to adequately monitor the foetal heart rate during the first and second stages of labour.

It was also found that the midwives failed to diagnose or document the commencement of the second stage of labour, and they did not recognize the prolonged duration of the second stage, which warranted an obstetric review.

Furthermore, no obstetric review was conducted when the frequency of contractions decreased in the presence of maternal pyrexia, and the healthcare team did not initiate a CTG trace when necessary.

Additionally, the midwives performed manual rotations incompetently and inaccurately recorded the foetal heart rate.

Had the mother received proper midwifery care, the infant would have been delivered earlier, thereby avoiding injury. Unfortunately, the newborn now suffers from quadriplegic dystonic cerebral palsy, intellectual impairment, and epilepsy.

The Outcome

Legal proceedings were initiated after the defendants initially denied breach of duty and causation. However, prior to exchanging expert evidence, it was agreed that judgment should be entered in favour of the claimant for 85% of the full value. The claim was settled shortly before trial after further investigation into quantum.

“While no amount of compensation can ever fully compensate for the distress and harm caused, we are pleased to have provided the family with the answers, justice, and financial support they deserved,” stated Alan Mendham, the solicitor who led the case.

“Through the team’s dedicated efforts, the claimant’s family now has the financial security to navigate the challenges their child will face in the future.”

Gadsby Wicks remains committed to ensuring exceptional legal representation for individuals affected by medical negligence, as the firm has experienced a significant increase in medical negligence inquiries over the past year.

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