Posted in Success Stories on 02 May 2011

On the 3rd May 2011, the team concluded a High Court Medical Negligence action in respect of a fatal claim arising out of the maternal death of a mother of two.  The Deceased was 35 years old when she died.  She was a Dentist by profession.

During her labour, the Deceased developed a material pyrexia and at 17.15 hours she had a vaginal bleed because of same.  The mode of delivery should have been switched to emergency Caesarean Section or a forceps delivery.  Had that occurred the Deceased would have survived.

Instead, the Deceased was allowed to labour on and whilst she delivered her son, there was a difficulty in delivering a placenta.  A decision was taken to perform manual removal of the placenta. However, there was a delay of 58 minutes between delivery and the Deceased's arrival in theatre.  Set against the background of material temperature, a vaginal bleed and a retained placenta, the delay in taking the deceased to theatre for the MROP was a significant breach of duty.

The medical staff were not successful in manually removing the placenta but discovered that the Deceased's uterus had ruptured/perforated.  It was then decided to proceed to a laparotomy.  On opening the Deceased's abdomen, there was 2-3 litres of blood noted in the abdominal cavity.  The Deceased's uterus had ruptured.

Thereafter, there was a catalogue of errors in respect of the Deceased's management and her resuscitation in particular.  There was a delay in promptly replacing the blood volume of blood products.  There was a failure to administer Fresh Frozen Plasma ("FFP") and Cryoprecipitate.  This negligent treatment of the post partum haemorrhage caused the deceased to develop fulmination pulmonary oedema and the deceased effectively drowned and bled to death as a result of the Defendants negligence.

The trial was due to commence on the 3rd May 2011.  An admission of liability was made on the 14th April 2011, some six and a half years after the deceased died.  The matter then proceeded in the High Court to an assessment of damages hearing and was eventually compromised by way of a negotiated settlement in the sum of 2.35m which was approved by the High Court on the 3rd May 2011.


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