Liston Flavin Solicitors were successful in achieving a substantial six-figure settlement for the parents of a baby who died as a result of medical negligence at the Rotunda Hospital.
Baby Arthur’s mother, Cintia, was a patient at The Rotunda Hospital during her pregnancy in 2018. At around 38 weeks pregnant she attended at the hospital and a CTG trace showed abnormalities in the baby’s heart rate. Approximately one hour later it was recorded in the records that the CTG showed variability, accelerations and occasional fleeting decelerations whereas in fact the CTG trace actually showed a lack of accelerations, reduced variability and a number of decelerations representing an abnormal trace in a woman who was not in established labour. When Cintia was transferred to the delivery suite the CTG trace showed continuing reduced variability, lack of accelerations and subtle decelerations. By the time Cintia was transferred to the operating theatre, the foetal heart rate was noted to be 20 BPM. An emergency caesarean section took place and sadly Baby Arthur was delivered showing no signs of life and was pronounced dead.
The post-mortem report found evidence of acute hypoxic stress and that the baby’s clinical condition at birth and acidosis on cord blood analysis were consistent with acute hypoxic ischemia.
Rachael Liston, specialist medical negligence solicitor, represented the parents of Baby Arthur at an inquest into the cause of his death and a verdict of medical misadventure was returned by the Coroner.
A civil action was commenced against the hospital and it was alleged that the hospital was negligent on a number of levels, including:
- Failure to monitor the mother’s condition in hospital and also monitor her unborn child adequately and failed to heed the meaning of the readings from the monitoring that was taking place.
- Failure to properly interpret or accurately document an appropriate interpretation of the CTG trace and failed to identify or respond to abnormalities in the foetal heart rate pattern in a prompt and timely manner and ensure that Baby Arthur was delivered earlier than that which occurred.
- Failure at an obstetric assessment to respond to a combination of the presence of persistent CTG abnormalities, a history of reduced foetal movements, meconium-stained amniotic fluid and a failure to carry out a foetal blood sample and proceed to immediate delivery by caesarean section of Baby Arthur.
- Failure to recognise and respond to ongoing and serious abnormalities in the foetal heart rate pattern which was evident in the CTG and misdescribed in the notes as “suspicious” in circumstances where they ought to have known the CTG was abnormal in a woman who was not in established labour and that immediate delivery of the baby was necessary.
- They failed to recognise, detect or act upon signs of the foetal compromise and/or foetal distress in a timely and proper manner and intervene accordingly by taking proper steps to deliver the baby by caesarean section.
The Master of The Rotunda Hospital, Professor Malone, apologised to the parents of Baby Arthur for the distress suffered as a result of his death and acknowledged the emotional and physical distress caused. He also apologised for any failings in relation to the care afforded to Baby Arthur and his parents.
The civil action settled following mediation for a substantial sum plus High Court costs.
For further information please contact Rachael Liston on 019123240 or email Rachael.firstname.lastname@example.org