October 21, 2021 4.54 pm

Mum gets £10k compensation after piece of placenta left inside her

Doctors dismissed her concerns twice

A mother-of-six who lives near Gainsborough was awarded a damages settlement of £10,000 as a piece of placenta was left inside her after giving birth at Lincoln County Hospital.

The 30-year-old woman, who wished to remain anonymous, suffered an infection, blood loss and pain which made it difficult to bond with her baby girl, who was born on May 26, 2018.

A medical negligence claim was made against United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.

Despite telling midwives that she felt something was wrong at the time, the woman was discharged from Lincoln County Hospital and assured there had been no complications.

However, the woman, who had experienced a similar issue after a previous birth, said the pain caused her to struggle with her new baby at home.

The woman’s solicitor from Hudgell Solicitors said hospital notes stated that the placenta had been delivered five minutes after birth.

However, she suffered constant pains and bleeding and was reviewed at Scunthorpe General Hospital on June 12.

A scan then confirmed a 6cm piece of placenta had been left inside her. She underwent surgery to remove it the next day, but remained in pain and continued to lose blood.

A further scan on June 22 confirmed part of the placenta still remained, but she had to wait until August 20 for another operation, in which the remaining section was removed.

The mother wanted to share her story after a recent YouGov survey into maternity care and birth injury, which highlighted how some mothers feel their concerns are too easily dismissed.

The joint piece of research, commissioned by Hudgell Solicitors and the mother and baby charity Baby Lifeline, showed a quarter of mums were left feeling unsatisfied with the support they received before, during or after giving birth.

Lincoln County Hospital (left) and Scunthorpe General Hospital (right). | Photo: Steve Smailes/The Lincolnite

The Lincolnshire mum said: “It was hard because I couldn’t really do much, I felt bad because I needed family and friends to help look after my baby girl.

“I couldn’t hold her for very long because of the pain. I couldn’t bend down or pick her up to change her or anything like that. It felt like I lost a lot of bonding time with her when she was a baby.

“When I was told I had to have another operation, as they hadn’t got all the placenta out the first time, I was annoyed and it left me having to go back in and be messed about with again. It was another delay when I was still in pain.

“When the scan showed the piece of placenta inside me I felt mad because I warned them after I gave birth that I had the same feeling that I’d had with my previous birth, when it also happened then.

“But I just got ignored and they were just saying ‘it’s normal, it’s fine’. Because I went through it previously I knew that my instincts were right, but all I kept getting told was ‘we’ve checked the placenta, it’s fine, there’s nothing there’.

“When I was on the wards and said I was in pain it felt like they just ignored me. I also told the midwife when she came a couple of days after I had been sent home that I’d lost loads of blood clots, but they just shrugged it off and said it was normal.”

The woman instructed Hudgell Solicitors to look at her case and a medical negligence claim was made against United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust and Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust.

Sarah Colgrave, a solicitor in the Clinical Negligence team at Hudgell Solicitors, issued a list of allegations that she said “amounted to breaches of care on behalf of the NHS Trusts” and resulted in “unnecessary suffering” for the mother.

The solicitors said overall liability was denied and the Trusts only collectively admitted to a breach of duty of care in relation to a delay in arranging the second surgery to remove the placenta.

After indicating an intention to take the case before a judge in court, the Trusts returned with a five-figure damages offer which was accepted by the woman.

Peter Reading, Chief Executive at Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We apologise for the delay this patient experienced waiting for their second operation and are pleased that this has now been settled.”

A spokesperson for ULHT said: “The Trust is unable to comment in detail on specific cases, but given that this matter has now been settled, we would like to take this opportunity to wish the patient and her family well for the future.”

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