October 21, 2020

Claim settled for significant maternal injuries against Bristol hospital Trust

A claim was settled out of court against Southmead Hospital (North Bristol NHS Trust) for injuries caused to a mother during an instrumental delivery of her baby.

A mother from Bristol sued the maternity unit where she gave birth after she suffered significant perineal injuries when doctors repeatedly used forceps to deliver the baby, rather than proceeding to an emergency caesarean section.

Two attempts to deliver the baby’s head failed, after which delivery using a ventouse cup was attempted, which also failed. Following this the obstetricians re-applied forceps and in doing so pulled twice to effect delivery, but caused significant high anterior and lateral vaginal tears. The mother suffered a 3rd degree perineal injury and required a blood transfusion.

The RCOG guidelines on operative vaginal delivery in 2014 clearly stated that “operative vaginal delivery should be abandoned where there is no evidence of progressive descent or moderate traction during each contraction or where delivery is not imminent following three contractions of a correctly applied instrument by an experienced operator.”

The mother sued the Trust for compensation for both her physical and her psychological injuries, and the claim was settled for £20,000.

Share on: