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Written by Susan Brown

Boyes Turner’s brain injury solicitors have secured an NHS hospital’s admission of liability for a boy’s brain damage following uterine rupture during his mother’s labour. The ten year old boy has severe, spastic diplegia, significant learning difficulties and a divergent squint. His cerebral palsy was caused by hypoxia (lack of oxygen) which he suffered prior to birth as a result of the defendant hospital’s negligent care of his mother during her labour and delivery.

Our client’s mother was booked into the defendant hospital for delivery under consultant-led care because her previous baby had been born by emergency caesarean section. Women who have a vaginal delivery after a previous C-section are at increased risk of suffering a ruptured uterus. Where uterine rupture occurs it is life-threatening for both mother and baby.

Whilst in the latter stages of her pregnancy with the claimant, his mother went into hospital. She was experiencing continuous pain and her uterus was tender and tense – indications of a placental abruption. Placental abruption is a serious condition in which the placenta partially separates from the mother’s uterus before the baby is born. This causes severe bleeding and can result in the baby being deprived of oxygen. It is dangerous for both mother and child. As the claimant’s mother was in hospital with symptoms of placental abruption in pregnancy the fetal heart-rate should have been monitored continuously by cardiotocograph (CTG). However, she did not receive continuous monitoring and was left unattended during which time her condition deteriorated. Her partner repeatedly tried to call the midwife for help and when the midwife finally attended, the claimant’s mother was cold and clammy, suffering severe pain and nausea and the baby’s heart-rate couldn’t be heard.

An emergency caesarean section was carried out which revealed that the mother’s uterus had ruptured. The claimant was resuscitated and ventilated but was severely acidotic having been deprived of oxygen from the rupture of his mother’s uterus. His oxygen deprivation led to a permanent brain injury and he now suffers from whole body cerebral palsy. His condition was  caused by the defendant hospital’s negligent management  of his mother’s pregnancy, their failure to monitor her properly, allowing her uterus to rupture and their delay in his delivery.

Boyes Turner’s brain injury specialists have entered judgment for the claimant and obtained an interim payment of £250,000 to meet the claimant’s urgent needs whilst they work with experts to assess the full value of the claim.