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Mother-of-three dies after giving birth due to negligent care

Medical staff failed to recognise the serious deterioration in a mother’s condition after a caesarean section and did not act accordingly to save her life. Anna, aged 35, mother of one, became pregnant with non-identical twins.

During the latter stages of the pregnancy, Anna developed high blood pressure and then pre-eclampsia.

Anna delivered both babies by an elective caesarean section but post-delivery developed hyperkalaemia due to high potassium levels.

Medical staff did not diagnose the hyperkalaemia nor realise the severity of Anna’s condition.

They also failed to implement procedures which would have reversed the high potassium levels and prevented Anna going into cardiac arrest.

Sadly, ten hours after delivering her babies, Anna passed away after 15 attempts of CPR failed to resuscitate her.

At an Inquest, the Coroner found that the clinical staff failed to recognise the serious nature of Anna’s deteriorating condition after giving birth and so did not take the necessary steps to treat her, including failing to follow their own guidelines.

Anna’s husband contacted Lesley Herbertson at Hugh James on behalf of his deceased wife and their three children and we were successful in recovering a six figure sum in compensation for their loss.

The compensation included an amount for the psychiatric injury suffered by Anna’s husband as he had witnessed his wife’s rapid deterioration and the numerous attempts made to save her in the lead up to her death.

Lesley Herbertson, Partner in clinical negligence at Hugh James, said:

There can be few more moving circumstances than the death of a mother shortly after giving birth to a baby (or babies) that she will never see and who will never know their mother. This is one such case.

Whilst Anna can never be replaced for her husband and children, we did all that we could to quickly resolve the claim for the family and to provide compensation which is designed to go in some small way to substitute the care and support that Anna would have provided to her loved ones if she had survived.

The names and identifying details of the client have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals involved.

Author bio

Lesley Herbertson


Lesley Herbertson is a Partner at Hugh James and a leading medical negligence solicitor with over 30 years’ experience in dealing with catastrophic and serious injury medical negligence cases.

Disclaimer: The information on the Hugh James website is for general information only and reflects the position at the date of publication. It does not constitute legal advice and should not be treated as such. If you would like to ensure the commentary reflects current legislation, case law or best practice, please contact the blog author.


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