Woman left with lifelong urinary problems after negligent maternity care

25 April 2023

A hospital has admitted liability after Shoosmiths’ medical negligence team represented a woman who has suffered lifelong urinary issues as a result of negligent care by midwives following the birth of her baby.
Woman left with lifelong urinary problems after negligent maternity care

In 2016, when aged 17, Ms Young, attended hospital during her first pregnancy for induction of labour. After the labour did not progress and three unsuccessful attempts at delivery by ventouse had been made, she underwent delivery by caesarean section. Both Ms Young and her baby were well and were transferred to the ward in the early afternoon.

As instructed by the midwifes, Ms Young drank plenty of fluids and good volumes of urine were emptied from her urinary catheter bag. The following day, approximately 24 hours after she had been transferred back to the ward, the urinary catheter was removed. Ms Young continued to drink but was only able to pass small volumes of urine. By mid-evening she was in significant discomfort and reported to the midwifes that she was in pain and felt she needed to pass urine but was unable to do so. At 9pm a bladder scan was performed and then at 9.45pm she was re-catheterised and 1,750mls of urine immediately drained.

The catheter was later removed and Ms Young was informed that before she could go home she needed to pass 2 x 250mls of urine. Unfortunately, Ms Young was not able to pass urine normally so she was re-catheterised and discharged home with a catheter in situ. She then failed two further trials without the catheter so was taught how to perform intermittent self catheterisation and referred to the urogynaecology nurse for further management.

In early 2019 Ms Young still had significant urinary problems including urinary urgency, an inability to pass urine, an inability to completely empty her bladder and repeat urinary infections. She also needed to continue with self-catheterisation. She was then referred to a specialist department at a hospital in London and underwent further tests. She remains under the care of urogynaecology specialist and continues to take medication to reduce the risk of further infections.

After obtaining reports form experts in midwifery and gynaecology / urogynaecology a formal letter of claim was sent to the hospital where Ms Young had her baby. NHS Resolution instructed solicitors to investigate the claim and in their formal response they admitted multiple breaches of duty including failing to monitor and record Ms Young’s fluid intake and urine output, failing to act on Ms Young’s complaints of discomfort and the need to pass urine, failing to arrange and perform a bladder scan within a reasonable period, failing to ensure that Ms Young was assessed by a doctor within a reasonable period and failing to re-catheterise her within a reasonable period. It was also admitted that the various failings had resulted in Ms Young developing a bladder overdistension injury causing persisting problems with her ability to pass urine normally.

Ms Young also suffered with anxiety and panic attacks as a result of her altered bladder function so a report from a psychiatrist was obtained which recommended a course of cognitive behavioural therapy. An interim payment was then obtained from the defendant to cover the cost of such treatment on a private basis.

A final settlement has not yet been agreed, but will include damages for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity suffered by Ms Young as well as the costs of future medical expenses.



This information is for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024

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