18 August 2023

Mother reaches £60,000 settlement following caesarean and hysterectomy

Operations with gloved hands holding scissors

Trigger warning (TW/CW):

Miscarriage, hysterectomy, caesarean section, labour induction, uterine rupture.

A Wilkin Chapman client has settled her case against an NHS Trust for £60,000 after what is alleged to have been a premature decision to induce labour.

The client was 33 weeks pregnant when she was admitted to hospital with chest symptoms. Despite her symptoms appearing to improve, the decision was made to augment labour at 34 weeks’ gestation.

The labour failed to progress and the trust proceeded to perform a caesarean section. The client suggested that she was not given any advice following this.

An increased risk of severe complications

After this caesarean section, the client became pregnant again but suffered severe abdominal pain weeks into the pregnancy and was taken by ambulance to hospital. There, it was found that she had a uterine rupture which required a hysterectomy.

Our investigations suggested that the initial decision to induce labour was inappropriate, and instead, she should have been offered expectant management. The decision to induce labour predisposed her to a more friable lower segment and this increased the risk of a uterine angle extension tear. 

With reasonable treatment, it was alleged that either she would have begun labour spontaneously or would have been successfully induced to avoid the caesarean section. This would have reduced the likelihood of the dramatic rupture occurring and have prevented the need for a hysterectomy.

Agreeing a settlement

Liability was always disputed by the NHS trust, however they did agree to a settlement in the sum of £60,000.

We all put our faith in medical professionals to make the best decisions on behalf of their patients but on rare occasions, things can and do go wrong.

Our medical negligence team specialise in helping patients and their families to move forward after incidents such as this, achieving the justice and financial support they need. Contact Jonathan Baker on 01522 515 966 to find out more.

Jonathan Baker, Wilkin Chapman LLP
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