An epileptic mother has been awarded £4million clinical negligence compensation after she nearly drowned whilst left unattended during her labour.
Rebecca Waite was only 19-years-old when she went into Ipswich hospital to give birth to her first child in 2004. After being induced, the midwife advised Miss Waite to take a bath to help ease the pain that she was suffering.
With a long history of unstable epilepsy, which meant she suffered from fits without warning, it was clear in this case that she shouldn’t have been left unattended whilst taking a bath during labour. However, no members of hospital staff were present when the fit happened, and as a result she slipped under water and stopped breathing.
Miss Waite was revived and managed to give birth to her son, Kyle. However due to a lack of oxygen, she suffered from brain damage which will affect the rest of her life. The health of her son was also severely compromised during the birth and he is now unlikely to live past the age of 12.
Subsequently, a claim for clinical negligence compensation was made to the Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust and a multi-million pound payout was awarded – £3.4million to Miss Waite and £1.6million to Kyle for the injuries and damages caused.
The solicitor representing Miss Waite in court said: “Rebecca should never have been encouraged to have a bath unsupervised as she was known to be at risk of having a seizure. Allowing her to do so had tragic consequences.”