Couple Claim Compensation for the Failure to Identify Foetal Distress

A couple from Essex have made a claim for compensation for the failure to identify foetal distress which led to the death of their son after his delivery.

Ami Solomons Hodges (31) from Great Wakering in Essex was admitted to Southend Hospital on 28th March 2014 after Ami had suffered “a spontaneous rupture of membranes”. Her baby Frankie was delivered by Caesarean Section the following evening, but was declared dead forty-seven minutes later after medical staff had been unable to resuscitate him.

An inquest into baby Frankie´s death recorded a verdict of perinatal asphyxia due to the umbilical cord being wrapped around his neck and starving him of oxygen. The coroner at the inquest commented that “a more timely intervention would have probably resulted in a better outcome” and that Frankie´s death was contributed to by neglect.

An internal investigation conducted by Southend University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust concluded that, although Frankie´s heart rate was monitored, staff failed to identify foetal distress and bring his delivery forward accordingly. It was also noted that a shift handover could have been a contributory factor in Frankie´s death.

Ami and her partner Russell Lee have now instructed solicitors to claim compensation for the failure to identify foetal distress. Ami said: I have always believed that had medical staff listened to my concerns and monitored Frankie’s condition more closely, Frankie would have been delivered sooner than he was and he would be still with us today.”

The medical director for the NHS Trust – Neil Rothnie – issued a statement in which he extended his condolences to Ami and Russell and said that “positive changes” including enhanced heart monitoring training had been implemented since Frankie´s death. He said: “We appreciate the inquest was very difficult for Frankie’s family and we would like to assure them that lessons have been learnt from this very tragic case.”