Medical errors cause trauma and depression for new mother
Giving birth should be a time to celebrate, but for Karen, medical mistakes meant that her labour was traumatic and her pain after an emergency caesarean was not properly treated.
She struggled to cope with the difficulties surrounding the birth of her daughter and, after having counselling and antidepressants to deal with postnatal depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), she sought help to find answers from Sophie Keatley at Medical Accident Group.
Karen went into Stockton Hospital to be induced and was put on a drip which was supposed to be increased by 1ml every half an hour to a maximum of 20mls. Instead, an hour after the drip was put in, a midwife changed the dose straight to 20mls, causing Karen to bleed heavily.
Because of the overdose and the haemorrhage, Karen was told she needed an emergency caesarean, and the baby’s oxygen levels began to drop. Her daughter was delivered seven minutes after arriving in theatre, and although the baby needed oxygen immediately after birth, she was healthy.
In recovery after the operation, Karen was in a lot of pain and told the midwife, who said that she was on a morphine drip which should ease the problem. This didn’t happen – Karen again complained of pain and it was then discovered that her drip had not been connected so she had not been receiving the painkiller.
Karen was diagnosed as suffering from anaemia after the birth, needing two blood transfusions, anti-thrombosis injections and iron tablets. Because she struggled to deal with the trauma surrounding the birth, she sought counselling and visited her GP – eventually a psychiatrist diagnosed her with PTSD and recommended both counselling and antidepressants.
Sophie said: “It was a terrible experience for her – what should have been a happy time was ruined by errors both before and after the birth. Those mistakes had a serious effect at the time and left her with a legacy of trauma and unhappiness for months afterwards.”