Damages for depression after stillbirth at Kingston Hospital | Fieldfisher
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Case Study

Damages for depression after stillbirth at Kingston Hospital

We took an obstetrics negligence claim on Faye's behalf following the stillbirth of her baby in 1996. The case was settled for £40,000.

Faye had had a long history of pelvic inflammatory disease and had irreparable blockage of the oviducts (the passage way from the ovaries to the uterus). 

She was trying for a baby for many years without success so she decided to undergo IVF therapy (in vitro fertilisation). On the third IVF attempt Faye fell pregnant in February 1996. She was referred to the Kingston Hospital for her pregnancy care.

On 25 September 1996 when she was 8 months pregnant and ultrasound scan revealed that her baby's growth had slowed.

The radiologist referred Faye to the consultant who said that there was no problem with the baby and that a repeat ultrasound would not be necessary.

Faye felt that the baby's movements had decreased and attended her GP on 29 October 1996 (3 days before the due date). Her GP was unable to detect the fetal heart rate so he referred her to Kingston Hospital.

The hospital confirmed that Faye's baby had died. Labour was induced and gave birth to a stillborn baby girl later that day.

We were instructed to pursue an obstetrics negligence claim on Faye's behalf.

Expert obstetric evidence confirmed that following the ultrasound findings of 25 September 1996 various investigations should have been undertaken including a repeat ultrasound, CTG monitoring and an assessment of placental function. 

These tests would have showed that Faye's baby had stopped growing as she wasn't getting sufficient nutrients through the placenta.

Faye would have underwent an emergency Caesarean section and Faye would have given birth to a premature but otherwise healthy baby girl.

Faye suffered depression following the still birth of her baby girl. We issued proceedings in February 1999. Following negotiations a settlement of £40,000 was agreed following an offer from Kingston Hospital.

The Trust’s chief executive and the consultant both sent a letter to Faye expressing regret and sorrow for the hospital failures which had resulted in the death of her baby. Faye found these letters helpful in coming to terms with her feelings towards the hospital.

Contact us

For further information about obstetrics negligence claims and clinical negligence claims, please call Paul McNeil on 03304606804 or email paul.mcneil@fieldfisher.com.


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