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Posted on 2nd May 2017

Recent ruling could mean more claims for PTSD for family members of victims of Clinical Negligence

A High Court ruling following an instance of medical negligence at Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust will allow family members who witness traumatic scenes in hospital and go on to suffer PTSD to claim medical negligence compensation.

Midwives at the Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust were found to have deliberately stopped a specialist obstetrician from entering a delivery room at a crucial stage of an ensuing emergency and the hospital was found to have destroyed medical records following the start of legal action.

The courts were told that a mum had spoken to midwives about the size of her baby girl and the ability to deliver naturally. Described as “offhand”, midwives had told the mum that “big babies just slip out”. The High Court found that midwives had not correctly assessed the risks of delivering a 10lb baby.

Unfortunately the baby girl’s shoulder became lodged behind the mum’s pelvic bone causing an 11 minute delay in delivery. Once the girl was born she was found to have suffered an acute profound hypoxic ischaemic insult.

The baby girl was born “flat and purple with a swollen head” and didn’t breathe for 12 minutes. The baby’s mum and grandmother, who was in the delivery room, both thought the baby was dead.

It is thought that because of this ruling hospitals may limit the number of family members in the birthing room in a bid to limit the potential pay-outs.

Negligence Claimline Says:

Birth injuries account for around 25% of clinical negligence enquiries we receive.

As with all areas of medicine, when a procedure is performed, strict guidelines must be followed. If procedures are not followed correctly and an injury occurs as a result, you may have the ability to make a medical negligence claim.

In this instance it appears that not only were procedures not followed, the hospital tampered with medical records to hide the full story.

One of the more common questions posed to Negligence Claimline is “the NHS is so big and they all stick together so how do we prove something went wrong?” – the answer to that question can be found by following the link below but briefly, medical records refer to past instances therefore if there are missing notes it is easily spotted because the references made in other notes do not have a corresponding entry.

If you think you have suffered an injury because procedures were not followed, contact us on 03303559210 or claims@negligenceclaimline.co.uk for a free claim assessment.