Consequences of negligence
In November 2016, Jade Lynam, a Teaching Assistant from Suffolk, was pregnant with her first child. Jade attended her local hospital to be induced at 39 weeks and 3 days gestation.
The following day she was transferred to a labour suite due to the artificial rupture of membranes. Jade requested an epidural for her pain, which was subsequently approved. Around an hour after being given the epidural, Jade pressed the epidural patient-controlled anaesthesia button. A midwife attended to her and couldn’t understand why the epidural wasn’t having an effect, and therefore contacted the head midwife.
Jade pressed the button again around half an hour later as she felt the epidural was still not working. She was subsequently administered extra top-ups to maintain the pain relief. Jade continued to inform midwives that she felt the epidural wasn’t working and that she was not coping well with the pain.
Nearly three and half hours after the epidural had been administered an anaesthetist visited Jade and confirmed that the epidural port was attached to her IV cannula and not the epidural catheter. Jade’s epidural was stopped immediately.
After being transferred to a separate room for a further assessment, another epidural was administered correctly. However Jade was now unable to have an emergency caesarean section, as it was unclear how much of the drug was travelling around hers and her son’s bodies. Due to this, Jade was required to have an emergency forceps delivery.
Jade gave birth to her son and they were both discharged from hospital the following day.
Several months later, Jade attended her GP as she was suffering from nightmares, panic attacks and flashbacks of her labour and epidural. Her GP prescribed her Mirtazapine to help and a few weeks later she was referred for counselling. Jade was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
After suffering the negligence, Jade has trust issues and now doubts any medical professionals whom her or her son comes into contact with. She still suffers from panic attacks during the night and often has flashbacks.
Jade decided to contact Fletchers to inquire about making a medical negligence claim after the trauma she’d suffered during the birth of her son. We investigated Jade’s claim, assessing her medical records, and in January 2018 the hospital Trust admitted that the epidural medication was administered to Jade via IV cannula instead of the epidural catheter.
At the end of January 2018, we settled Jade’s case for £9766, with the hospital admitting a breach of duty. Hannah Ashcroft, a Solicitor at Fletchers, handled Jade’s case and said,
Giving birth to your first child is a difficult experience for any new mother but Jade regrettably suffered a particularly traumatic experience due to failings in the obstetric care provided to her. As a result, she had to endure symptoms of PTSD whilst trying to adjust to life with her newborn son. We have been able to settle Jade’s case quickly in order that she can put this traumatic experience behind her and enjoy life with her new family.
We wish Jade and her family all the best for the future and hope that no other new mothers experience the same trauma that Jade did.
Hannah Luscombe - Case Solicitor
Key case timeline
Jade requested an epidural for pain relief during her labour. The epidural was administered, a few hours later it was noted that Jade wasn't coping well and it was reported the epidural wasn't working. An anaethestist noted that her epidural port was attached to the IV cannula, not the epidural catheter. The epidural was stopped immediately and Jade was transferred to another room for further assessment and the epidural was reconnected correctly. Jade suffered from nightmares, panic attacks and flashbacks of her labour and drugs error. Her GP diagnosed her with PTSD and she was given medication and referred for counselling.
We secured a settlement within 14 months of the incident on a full liability basis of £9766.