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Written on 14th January 2022 by Rachel Makore

Boyes Turner’s birth injury solicitors have secured a settlement for a child whose brain was injured when he suffered a feto-maternal haemorrhage (FMH) during his mother’s labour.  During FMH, the unborn baby bleeds into the mother’s blood circulation.

Our client was his mother’s third child. The births of her previous children had been traumatic owing to the disproportionate size of her babies compared with her pelvis in labour. This was one of several factors which meant that she should have been treated as high risk, with careful monitoring and consultant care in labour. Throughout her pregnancy she had expressed her concerns about being able to give birth, but her repeated requests for a caesarean section were refused. During labour, the unborn baby suffered a FMH. The loss of blood volume caused him to suffer a cardiac arrest, reducing the oxygen supply to his brain.  When the drop in his heart-rate was noticed by the maternity team, his time without oxygen was extended by delays in delivery, and unsuccessful resuscitation,  until his circulation was finally restored by a blood transfusion. 

We pursued a claim for our client on the basis that delivery by caesarean section, as his mother had requested, or more quickly when problems occurred in labour, would have avoided his brain injury. However, the medical experts on both sides in the case disagreed, and the hospital denied responsibility for the child’s brain injury and disability. There was a significant risk that our client’s claim might not succeed at trial, depending on which expert opinion the trial judge preferred. We overcame this risk, ensuring that the child’s future needs would be met by substantial compensation, by negotiating a settlement on the basis that the hospital was 60% responsible for our client’s injury. Our client’s immediate needs will now be met by a substantial interim (advance) payment whilst we prepare the claim for final settlement.

If you are caring for a child or young adult with a severe disability and would like to find out more about making a medical negligence claim, you can talk to one of our solicitors, free and confidentially, by contacting us here.