Undisclosed damages awarded by Kettering Hospital for pre-eclampsia claim

Kettering General Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has awarded undisclosed damages for medical negligence to a couple after admitting liability for their baby being stillborn.

A serious investigation report found that baby Ava’s death had been ‘avoidable’ due to failing to diagnose the symptoms of pre-eclampsia.

Ava Wilson-Yorke was stillborn after a catalogue of errors in her mum, Kimberley Wilson’s care. Medical staff at Kettering Hospital failed to notice signs of pre-eclampsia and was twice sent home and told everything was normal.

Kimberley was concerned when she started to suffer from swollen legs and ankles and visited her GP on June 14th 2016 where she was referred to the maternity unit at Kettering Hospital. She was discharged after several hours and the advice given to her was to attend community midwife appointments, twice weekly.

On June 17th, just three days later, Kimberley was showing symptoms of pre-eclampsia: high blood pressure, mild oedema and protein was also present in her urine.

In spite of these symptoms, the advice to Kimberley was to take painkillers. She was not admitted to hospital or given a referral.
On June 19th, Kimberley rang the hospital advising of abdominal pain but the advice this time was to stay put and take a bath and painkillers. As the pain got worse, Kimberley decided to try a different hospital and from there was admitted and treated for her symptoms, but unfortunately it was too little late and Eva was stillborn.

On behalf of the hospital, Leanne Hackshall, Kettering Hospital’s Director of Nursing and Quality has made assurances that lessons have been learned and changes have been made. These include:

  • Ensuring that all contact with the maternity department is logged to the electronic patient record
  • Guidelines around how women with raised blood pressure are monitored have been improved and shared with all staff
  • Learning sessions regarding communication skills for all staff across the maternity service

What is pre-eclampsia?

Pre-eclampsia is usually not a life threatening condition but there is no cure for it. It is thought that it is due to there being a problem with the placenta, although more research is need to fully understand the condition.

For a woman going through pregnancy for the first time, it can be difficult to know if you are being over cautious or if you should push for further treatment. However, if you believe you or your baby have suffered injury or distress from a medical professional, you may have reason to make a birth injury claim. Blackwater Law are happy to discuss your case and all cases are taken on a no win no fee basis so call us today.

Get expert legal advice

Call and get advice from Jason Brady, medical negligence solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation.

CALL 0800 083 5500