Moral dilemma(18 Posts)
I'm in a bit of a moral dilemma and an after some advice. I had my ds 2 years ago and it was all a bit eventful. I was induced after going 2 weeks over. All seemed to be going ok but in the end he was born by ventouse and I suffered a 4th degree tear. The issue however is that my midwife used the ventouse despite not being trained. (I know this because the consultant that was in the room at the time came and spoke to me and my husband after the birth to say she was in trouble and shouldn't have told the midwife to use the ventouse but she didn't believe the outcome would have been any different had she been the one to do it)
The reason for the tear is not clear- he was 8lb 15 but the consultant said to me afterwards that they were not expecting a tear and don't think it was his size that caused it. This tear has left me with issues (needing the toilet with not much notice, some leakage) and will only get worse with age.
Following the birth I then kept bleeding and embarrassingly I was a bit smelly! I thought this was normal as it was my first child and didn't know what to expect! I saw 2 GPs and they did no examinations but gave me antibiotics. On my third visit with a different GP she examined me and sent me for a scan. Turns out i had retained placenta and was admitted to hospital to have an op to remove it when my baby was 9 weeks old.
So my moral dilemma is do I sue the NHS? Whilst I don't know if the outcome would have been any different had the consultant completed the procedure there must be a reason that people need to be trained?
It doesn't feel right potentially taking money off the NHS but I have been left with a condition that will effect me for the rest of my life.
Your comments are welcome! X
If this had happens to me I would have complained and sued. Why should you be suffering for the rest of you life because somebody didnt do their job well. Also unless you do something they wouldn't learn and may do the same to bother woman.
I would certainly ask for a meeting with a midwife consultant and a debrief. You can go over the labour with all of your notes there and see how you feel after the meeting.
I suppose a solicitor will be able to advise whether you have a strong case or not if you decide to take legal action, but I think a debrief is the first step.
There's nothing moral about it. If you suffered loss because of poor care and you have a case, then sue.
How awful. I suffer from incontinence after 4 deliveries and that doesn't even touch on your problems, you poor thing. This affects your lifestyle, your confidence, your intimacy...
An untrained person performed a procedure they should not have undertaken. And here you are.
Not only would I sue the hospital, I'd sue your GP as well. Absolutely you deserve compensation and they deserve to be called to task for negligence.
Contact your surgery for a printout of your recent records.
Contact the hospital records department for records of the birth.
Absolutely sue and make sure they pay legal costs!
Thanks all. I did have a debrief with the consultant after the birth and again before the birth of my second child but I wasn't really given any answers.
I did however have to have a c section with my daughter as they didn't want the tear to have any pressure on it through a vaginal birth and they thought I could be made worse.
I think I'll contact a solicitor and go from there.
I don't think there is any moral issue here OP. The handling of your treatment sounds appalling. The NHS isn't "free of charge", despite what many seem to think bizarrely. It's a service that you pay for. You have a right to medical care which they don't totally and epically fuck up leaving you with life long issues.
If you do nothing, then it is likely that history will repeat itself with another poor woman - especially if after their own piss poor investigation they still "don't know" what went wrong. Hardly reassuring is it?
Also, for them not to notice retained placenta is very disturbing and hugely incompetent.
Im very sorry that this happened to you. If you are up to it, you might be able to reduce the chances of it happening again, by raising this and getting a settlement. If you feel uncomfortable about gaining money from it, you could give it to a suitable charity.
If you can, though, it would be a good thing to raise officially and get recognised.
What do you think will be achieved by suing and / or what will receiving money do to make it better? Sorry if these questions sound harsh but we've been through a similar situation and to be honest it didn't cross our minds to sue because it wouldn't achieve anything positive for us or for the school (in our case). People are always surprised when they ask but what needed to be changed was changed through dialogue with the school and the (supply) teacher responsible didn't work in the school again (and underwent further training before being placed elsewhere). Recognition, apologies and changes in practice can be achieved more constructively then through suing.
I would start by making a formal complaint and back up using a solicitor if they don't listen. I'm not sure a legal suit is necessary as you don't have a loss in earnings nor will you incur healthcare expenses in the future as it's covered by the NHS. Yes it's very wrong what happened but incompetence is best dealt with via complaints backed up by legal if they don't listen. If you sue it should only be for the legal costs incurred to ensure your complaint was heard.
If you do have private medical costs then yes you should pursue legal action to cover the out of pocket costs of future treatment. Coming from the U.S. it's the reason why payouts for medical incompetence are so large when further treatment is necessary.
I suppose there are 3 reasons for sueing- the first is to ensure it doesn't happen again to someone else, the second is to ensure that everything has been done to try and rectify my situation (eg is there any surgery I could have to improve things)
Thirdly- and this is where people may disagree is that actually if I did receive compensation then it would make me feel a little bit better. Obviously I would never choose to be in this situation and no amount of money will make the situation completely resolved but it might help?
You can only get monetary compensation in certain circumstances. The first thing to do is go to a med neg lawyer and ask if you have a case. In fact, that might be the second thing. The first is to begin a complaint through the official channels.
Why not ask one of these no win no fee people? There's one called patient claim line which advertises on TV.
I'm sorry this has happened to you.
Period of limitation to start a claim is I think 3 years (when there's injury to mother-no time limitation for injury to baby I think) so you still have a little bit of time but not too long.
Just to give you an idea and manage your expectations, if the NHS admits liability you're looking at 2 years of legal procedures. If they do not admit liability and the case reaches court, you might be looking at 5 years of procedures without a guaranteed win.
My personal view is that as you age things will probably get worse and might affect your ability to work and therefore your earnings.
I think you should think about you and your family first and foremost.
Why not contact personal injury solicitors (some are specialised in obstetric injuries) and ask for their view?
You sueing will not guarantee it doesn't happen to anyone else.
You sueing will not guarantee you get the treatment you need now.
Only reason to sue is to get compensation for past, current & future earnings & loss. You'll need to go into a lot of personal detail to show how much those amounts are likely to be.
You are more likely to successfully get compensation if you go thru all the formal complaint and treatment channels and show that these have not been enough to compensate you. You need to create a paper trail showing all the ways you have tried to complain & get treatment.
Apologies. Double checked limitation period for injury to baby: 3 years within the child's 18th birthday.
Also medical negligence is much harder to prove than personal injury. Because what you suffered are risks inherent to childbirth (severe tears, retained placenta) I'd go down the personal injury law route.
All the best
I think a formal complaint and investigation is definitely needed and I would seek legal advice.
On the surface (without knowing all details) I also think that the NMC need to be involved regarding the midwife as her behaviour was inappropriate and negligent. Some midwives (advanced practitioners/consultantmidwives ) are trained in using these instruments; but if she wasn't, then why did she? She sounds quite dangerous. I'm a healthcare professional and would never, ever use any equipment that I wasn't trained to use. If not adequately trained, then the hospital won't support her either.
I am really sorry that you had to go through this.
Just reading back as well, why would the consultant ask the midwife to use it if they were in the room? Regardless, the midwife should have refused and is ultimately responsible.
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