This case study demonstrates the expertise of our Clinical Negligence team. The team recently recovered £60,000 for a mother who developed Sheehan's syndrome following severe injuries caused by a hospital's mismanagement of birth.
In the case of CK and PK v East of England Strategic Health Authority  both mother and daughter were very seriously injured as a result of a hospital's mismanagement of birth.
Mrs K's labour was mismanaged as she was given an excessive dose of buccal pitocin (a uterine stimulant no longer used). Fetal monitoring was also inadequate and the hospital failed to deliver by emergency caesarean section. At the end of the labour the obstetrician negligently used Wrigley's forceps which were inappropriate for a delivery requiring traction. As a result of negligence at delivery Mrs K suffered a massive uterine tear and haemorrhage which was inappropriately treated.
Her injuries were so severe that she required an emergency subtotal hysterectomy and left salpingo oophorectomy (removal of fallopian tube and ovary) and shortly thereafter developed Sheehan's syndrome as a result of her extreme blood loss and hypotension (low blood pressure).
Sheehan's syndrome is a rare endocrine disorder which led to chronic fatigue and a wide range of unpleasant further problems arising from hormone deficiency. Her return to work was delayed by five years. The fatigue also reduced her ability to work and therefore reduced her earnings for the rest of her career.
Mrs K originally instructed a firm of non specialist solicitors in Essex principally on behalf of her child who was also damaged as a result of the hospital's negligence. Following the issuing of court proceedings those solicitors conceded that they were out of depth and the barrister assisting the case recommended Thomson Snell & Passmore to take over the litigation.
We were able to turn the case around by obtaining new expert evidence including evidence in relation to Mrs K's endocrine injuries
Despite the fact that court proceedings had been issued over twenty years after the birth (which would usually have meant that the case would not have been allowed to proceed) we were able to settle Mrs K's case for £60,000. The twenty seven year delay in issuing proceedings meant that this was one of the oldest medical negligence cases settled for a patient who had full mental capacity and an immediate realisation that a medical error may have been made.
Mrs K's child suffered severe birth injuries and we settled her case for over £2 million.
Graham Bell specialises in obstetric and birth injury cases. If you would like to ask Graham a question about a potential case involving obstetrics or birth injury or you have a general query about medical negligence contact Graham Bell on 01892 701358 in confidence.
We have one of the largest and most experienced specialist medical negligence teams in Southern England including London. Our team of highly experienced lawyers has the depth and range of expertise essential in this sensitive and often complex area of law. Our clinical negligence team is very proud to be ranked Number 1 in both the Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners UK.