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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

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

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

The case was led by Alan Mendham, a Partner at Gadsby Wicks and an experienced Medical Negligence Solicitor with nearly two decades of expertise.

Case Details:

In this anonymised case to protect the identity of the child and their family, the newborn was delivered following a prolonged second stage of labour. The attending midwives failed to diagnose the delayed second stage and allowed it to continue for three hours without involving an obstetrician or taking appropriate actions to augment labour.

Furthermore, it was revealed that the midwives attempted two manual rotations without seeking assistance from an obstetrician or initiating a CTG trace.

During delivery, the baby displayed flat vital signs and had the umbilical cord loosely wrapped around their neck. The child did not exhibit respiratory effort. Immediate Apgar testing showed a score of 1 at 1 minute after birth, 4 at 5 minutes, and 5 at 10 minutes. Cord gas results indicated pH levels of 6.961 BE 15.4 and pH 6.947 BE 15.4.

Paediatricians were called to assist, and the newborn required resuscitation, ventilation, and experienced seizures within hours of birth. Subsequently, the child was diagnosed with dystonic athetoid cerebral palsy and epilepsy, resulting in an inability to walk unaided, communicate verbally, and requiring assistance for feeding through a PEG.

The Claim:

The claim was based on the midwives’ failure to adequately monitor the foetal heart rate during both stages of labour. They also failed to diagnose or document the commencement of the second stage of labour and did not recognize the prolonged duration of this phase, which warranted an obstetric review.

Additionally, no obstetric review took place despite a reduction in the frequency of contractions in the presence of maternal pyrexia, and the healthcare teams did not initiate a CTG trace when necessary. Incompetent manual rotations were performed by the midwives, who also inaccurately recorded the foetal heart rate.

The outcome:

Legal proceedings were initiated after the Defendants initially denied any breach of duty and causation. However, prior to the exchange of expert evidence, it was agreed that judgement should be entered for the Claimant, entitling them to 85% of the full value of the claim. The case settled shortly before trial after further assessment of quantum.

“While no amount of compensation can fully compensate for the distress and damage caused, we are pleased to have provided the family with the answers, justice, and financial support they rightfully deserved,” said Alan Mendham, the solicitor leading the claim.

“Through the dedicated efforts of our team, 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 providing exceptional legal representation to those affected by medical negligence, as the firm has witnessed a significant increase in the number of medical negligence inquiries received in the past year.


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