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Clinical negligence update

Dr Jock Mackenzie rounds up recent case law, including two decisions on whether ?a breach of duty took place in deliveries over 20 years ago

4 February 2016

In Jamie-Lee Anderson v North West Strategic Health Authority [2015] EWHC 3563 (QB), Mr Justice Turner had to consider a case of cerebral palsy caused by the claimant (A) having suffered a period of hypoxia leading up to his birth in 1989 and whether there had been a breach of duty. 

A’s mother had suffered a placental abruption resulting in vaginal bleeding at 32 weeks’ gestation and was admitted to hospital, whereupon it was considered that her membranes might have ruptured. Contractions began and the next day, ?at 9.30am, a consultant obstetrician stated that delivery should be expedited on the basis of the vaginal bleeding, ruptured membranes, premature labour, and variable decelerations of the fetal heartrate on the cardiotocograph (CTG) trace. 

At 11.30am, the CTG started showing cause for concern and, at 12.15pm, a deceleration was noted and syntocinon, a drug used to speed up contractions, was considered. A natural birth occurred a...

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