The birth of a baby should be a time of joyous celebration for the parents and their families. However, when it goes horribly wrong, it turns joy into despair, particularly when it is perceived that such a tragic outcome could so easily have been prevented with proper obstetric/midwifery care, whether during the antenatal care, labour or delivery.
What can cause infant death/stillbirth?
There are a number of non-negligent causes, which may lead to infant death/still birth, including prematurity, pre-existing medical conditions, infections, etc.
However, in our experience, an increasing number of infant deaths/still births are caused by substandard obstetric/midwifery treatment being provided.
Errors most frequently occur during the course of labour/delivery and arise out of the failure of the attending midwives/obstetricians, to properly monitor the event, so that appropriate and effective intervention can be put in place. In our recent experience, a classic problem relates to the interpretation of CTGs, where there is a failure to identify suspicious or pathologic CTG tracings. As a consequence of this failure, the labour is allowed to continue, resulting in the baby suffering fatal oxygen starvation (hypoxia).
Making a claim for the consequences of neonatal death/still birth
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