We acted for a 24-year-old woman from regional NSW who sustained very severe physical and psychological injuries during the traumatic birth of her second child. In fact, our client’s injuries were so severe that the case had to be heard in the Supreme Court where damages are unlimited.
Our client was admitted to the regional hospital at 39 weeks gestation in active labour. The doctor who assessed her formed the view the baby was in the cephalic or ”head first” position. The doctor ruptured her membranes and Syntocin infusion commenced to augment labour. Our client was not reviewed for 4 hours. A student midwife observed at the end of this four-hour period that our client was moving to second stage labour. A vaginal examination revealed her to be 9 cms dilated and the baby in a frank breech position (bottom not headfirst)!
A Resident Medical Officer was notified and the Syntocin infusion stopped. A decision was made to perform an emergency caesarean section. A few minutes later, our client was re-examined and found to be fully dilated (10cms). The attending doctor – without informing our client – made the decision there was not enough time to perform a caesarean section.
Our client was rushed to theatre and forced into the extended lithotomy position (hyper flexing the legs on top of the woman’s abdomen) – resulting in immediate and substantial pain and discomfort in her right hip and leg. Local anaesthesia was administered. An episiotomy was performed causing what our client described as horrific pain. The attending doctor yelled several times at our client to ‘shut up and stop screaming.’ Our client suffered multiple and significant perineal tears.
After the birth, our client had to undergo several procedures to repair the birth injuries she had sustained during delivery of the baby including suturing of the vaginal wall, bringing the anal sphincter together with further suturing, suturing the perineal membrane and suturing the subcutaneous layer to the skin.
Our client was diagnosed with PTSD caused by the traumatic birthing experience, and later found to have suffered major injuries to her right hip: labral tear and trochanteric bursitis.
Our client received substantial compensation for her injuries.
If you or a loved one has experienced injuries during traumatic birth, our caring, expert female lawyers can help advocate for you and seek justice. Please talk to us about the options available to you.