Our client was two weeks overdue with her first child and was admitted to the QEQM Hospital in Margate for induction. She failed to progress and underwent an emergency caesarean section on the 3 March 2016. In the process of stitching up her caesarean section wound, the surgeon also stitched a section of bowel to the wound opening.
Our client was kept in hospital for 6 days following her caesarean and was extremely poorly during this time. She was unable to eat, carry out any activities of daily living or care for her new born baby.
Our client remained extremely ill at home and therefore went back to the maternity unit at the QEQM Hospital. Here she was told that her symptoms were entirely normal and that she should keep eating and give it time. She was given anti-sickness drugs, as well as some laxatives.
Upon her return home, our client’s pain became excruciating. She was unable to move and her abdomen was very distended. She called 111 and her GP carried out a home visit. Her GP also said that her symptoms were normal and that she should simply rest in bed.
Her husband took her back to hospital again in the early hours of 11 March 2016, straight to the maternity unit. A CT scan was finally organised which showed a bowel problem and she was taken back to theatre for a laparotomy (open surgery). Luckily, the bowel had not perforated and they were able to unstitch it from the wound. She remained in hospital for one week following the laparotomy and was unable to bond with her baby during this time.
Our client has been left very distressed by her entire birth experience and our expert diagnosed her with PTSD. She had always intended to have two children, but at the present time does not feel she could go through pregnancy and labour again.
We obtained supportive expert evidence and submitted a Letter of Claim to the Defendant Trust (East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust). Liability was admitted at an early stage and an offer was received in the sum of £12,000. After a period of negotiation, we managed to settle our client’s claim for £40,000.
Whilst no amount of compensation can change our client’s distressing experience, she is grateful that she now has the funds in place to enable her to work towards having the second child she and her husband have always wanted. She intends to seek psychological treatment, and if and when the time is right, she will be able to afford private midwifery care to hopefully enable her to have a far more positive experience.