Mrs X was admitted to hospital just after midnight in labour with her first baby. She was 10 days past her expected delivery date. A belt was placed on her abdomen so the baby’s heart rate could be monitored. The results showed the baby’s heart rate to be persistently fast in which circumstances the monitoring should have been continued. It was however discontinued. Further monitoring took place between 04.12 and 05.12 and the results were, again, concerning. At this point a foetal blood sample should have been taken. This would have showed whether the baby was receiving sufficient oxygen. No such sample was taken. Later, the mother’s waters were broken and meconium (faeces of the baby) was seen. This can be evidence of a distressed baby. By 06.25 the baby’s heart rate was so concerning action should have been taken. As it was a decision to deliver by caesarean section was taken too late and when born it was found the baby had suffered a prolonged period without sufficient oxygen. This caused brain damage with the outcome the child has physical and cognitive disabilities. The claim was settled in a seven figure sum and annual payments to ensure the child receives the care and support required for the rest of their life.
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