Claim for Nervous Shock after Death of Child due to Hospital Negligence Settled

A couple, who alleged that their consultant gynaecologist had mismanaged the birth of their child, have settled their claim for nervous shock after the death of their child due to hospital negligence.

Jane Farren and Feidhlimidh Wrafter from Rathgar in Dublin, made their claim for nervous shock after the death of their child due to hospital negligence following the death of their daughter Molly at the Rotunda Hospital in Dublin on October 16th 2008.

Jane had been admitted to the hospital the previous day following a spontaneous membrane rupture. She was administered Syntocinon to help induce labour and, at 3.45 am the following morning, was taken to theatre to attempt a vacuum delivery.

When the vacuum delivery was unsuccessful, Molly was delivered half an hour later by emergency Caesarean Section. Unfortunately, due to being deprived of oxygen in the womb, Molly could not be resuscitated.

Jane and Feidhlimidh alleged that their consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician Professor Fergal Malone had failed to properly manage the labour, delivery and birth of their child; and that staff at the Rotunda Hospital had failed to identify abnormalities in the foetal heart rate in a timely manner, which – if they had – would have led to Molly being born earlier and possibly surviving.

The couple also claimed that they were misinformed during the labour and delivery process, and were led to believe after Molly´s death that there was nothing that could have been done to prevent it. Jane and Feidhlimidh also explored the possibility that Molly´s death could have been due to a genetic problem or a pre-labour trauma, despite the couple already having two perfectly healthy children.

Professor Malone and the Rotunda Hospital denied that mistakes had been made in the management of Molly´s delivery; but, shortly before a scheduled hearing at the Dublin High Court was due to commence, it was announced that the claim for nervous shock after the death of a child due to hospital negligence had been settled for €150,000 without an admission of liability, and that the case could be struck out.