It has been reported that Britain’s stillbirth rate remains high – 4.6 per 1,000 births, more than 3,500 babies born stillborn every year! Many of the deaths are related to conditions that develop progressively and with the right antenatal care should be detected and treated to prevent the stillbirth occurring.
A stillbirth is a baby born dead at later than 24 weeks gestational age. The main reasons for stillbirth are abnormality, hypoxia, immaturity, trauma and infection.
All of these causes should be preventable with closer monitoring of the pregnant woman. It seems our rates of stillbirth in this country are worse then Estonia and Poland.
At Wilson Browne the clinical negligence/medical negligence team have experience representing women following a stillbirth where it is considered the stillbirth could have been prevented had those treating properly noted the warning signs and intervened appropriately. In these circumstances damages can be obtained for the mother for the psychological injury caused as a result of this traumatic event.
When a stillbirth occurs it is devastating for the couple and they need to be informed what has happened and why. Any couple in this situation should make a formal complaint to the Hospital Trust and it is likely that an internal enquiry will be carried out at the Hospital.
There are charities that can support parents following a stillbirth such as SANDS (Stillbirth and Neonatal Deaths).
For advice or assistance please contact Louise Tyler.