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Birth Injury Case Studies

Bladder Cut During Caesarean Section Leads

While performing an emergency caesarean section, an obstetrician accidentally cut through Tabby's bladder, rather than just her uterus. This left her with terrible complications that are unlikely to ever fully resolve.

On 10th June 2009, Tabby went into labour with her first baby. Everything went well, but when Tabby was told to start pushing she didn't make any progress. It was found the baby was in an awkward position, so a ventouse delivery was attempted in order to turn her. When the second attempt failed, it was noted the baby's head had started to swell, so the obstetric team decided to proceed to an emergency caesarean.

An emergency C-section was performed and a healthy baby girl was delivered. Immediately after, however, Tabby's husband was told there had been complications as the obstetrician had miss-recognised the anatomy and cut through the bladder in order to access the womb. An operation had to be carried out to repair the injury caused to her bladder without delay. This was performed by a consultant urologist who said it was the worst damage he had ever seen.

A stent was put into one of Tabby's ureters and she remained in hospital for a further 10 days, with the first two being on the intensive care unit. During this time she became very unwell and it was suspected that urine had been leaking into her tummy, causing her body to go into septic response. She required a blood transfusion, morphine and a catheter.

Despite all her complications, medical staff were extremely unsympathetic, and one doctor even accused Tabby of being a drug addict as he could not insert a cannula into her vein. Another removed her catheter and forgot to replace it. Consequently Tabby wet the bed which was not cleared up for 24 hours, leading her to develop a fungal infection in her groin.

While in hospital Tabby felt neglected and was very traumatised by the whole experience, especially as she was unable to bond with her new-born daughter. She began to suffer from depression, a problem which persists to this day. She was eventually discharged from hospital but the catheter remained in situ for a further four months. Her husband had to take six weeks off work to care for her, as she was too unwell to even wash herself. Although the catheter has now been removed, she suffers from reduced bladder capacity, urinary frequency and slight incontinence.

The scar tissue around her bladder may also cause problems with fertility, although Tabby is now uncertain as to whether she would cope with another delivery, as the first has caused her so many physical and psychological issues. The impact of the C-section has had a devastating effect on her everyday life, leaving her unable to return to work, and for a long time leaving her unable to carry out household chores, bond with her daughter, be intimate with her husband or have any kind of social life.

Feeling very upset about the care she had received, Tabby contacted us to ask whether there is any action she could take. We advised that the obstetrician had been negligent, as any reasonably competent obstetrician would be able to perform a C-section without cutting through the bladder.

We helped Tabby make a claim for the substandard level of medical care she had been exposed to, claiming over £30,000 compensation on her behalf.

(Details which might identify our client have been changed.)

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