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Claim settled for negligence leading to Stillbirth | Our Client’s Story

Posted on 13th February 2020
Catherine Henry Lawyers
Catherine Henry Lawyers

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pre-eclampsia and HELLP

We successfully resolved a claim for negligence leading to stillbirth caused by a hospital’s failure to diagnose and treat her pre-eclampsia and HELLP (Haemolysis, Elevated Liver Enzymes and Low Platelet) which tragically resulted in the stillbirth of her daughter.

Our client endured a severely traumatic event – losing her baby and battling life-threatening illness.

Hospital failure to diagnose pre-eclampsia and HELLP

She and her husband were having their first child. The pregnancy was uneventful aside from some gallbladder pain.

Just past her due date, our client went to the regional hospital with epigastric pain and nausea. She was treated for gallbladder pain but, unlike the other times she had been treated, her pain worsened. Importantly, her blood pressure was very high.

Despite telling the doctor she did not think it was the same as the gallbladder pain because that had always resolved with the treatment, our client was discharged home.

We showed that the very high blood pressure plus the pain meant the hospital should have done blood tests to exclude pre-eclampsia (pregnancy induced hypertension, or PIH).

The following day her waters broke. Her blood pressure was still raised, and her blood tests revealed she had developed life-threatening HELLP from untreated pre-eclampsia.

Loss of her baby and weeks to recover from life threatening illness

Devastatingly, the ultrasound revealed her baby daughter had died. Our client delivered her stillborn daughter but her own condition continued to worsen, and she was airlifted to a larger hospital and admitted to intensive care for a couple of weeks. She needed kidney dialysis, treatment for toxic hepatitis and other follow up investigations as part of her recovery.

Let us fight for you or your loved one

If you or a loved one has experienced complications from poor obstetric or gynaecological care, please get in touch with one of our caring, expert, female lawyers about the options available to you.

Taking legal action can also help change health care practices and hold health care professionals to account so other people do not to have experience what you went through.

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