Family compensated after childbirth death

Posted: 5th May 2017

PregnantThe NHS owes a duty to every patient who comes under its care and, when negligent mistakes are made, compensation is payable. The widower and five-year-old son of a Jehovah’s Witness who bled to death soon after giving birth won £870,000 in compensation.

Due to her religious beliefs, the woman, aged 33, was unwilling to consent to blood transfusions following her son’s emergency caesarean delivery. The family argued that alternative treatments were not delivered quickly enough. She lost so much blood that she went into shock and her organs failed.

Lawyers for the family negotiated a settlement with the NHS trust than ran the hospital where the woman died. The widower received £650,000 in damages and his son £220,000. NHS lawyers said that important lessons had been learned from the case and, in approving the settlement, the High Court noted that the widower deserved considerable credit for the way he had cared for his son following his wife’s tragic death.