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Nervous Shock Following Birth - Anna Macey, Kings Chambers

22/06/17. (RE and others v Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS Trust). This case arose out of a claim for clinical negligence following the birth of a baby, RE, who suffered an acute profound hypoxic ischaemic insult immediately prior to and after her delivery, on 22 April 2011.

RE was known to be a very large baby, and her mothers’ pregnancy was a difficult one. The delivery, which involved acute pain and anxiety for RE’s mother, included a period of around 15 minutes where RE had crowned, but not been delivered. When she was delivered RE was described by the Court as having been born “pale, floppy and without respiratory or heartrate”. Her body was white and lifeless, and her head was swollen and purple. Resuscitation was commenced and a heart rate was first noticed after 10 minutes, with her first gasp after 12 minutes.

Mr Justice Goss, sitting in the High Court, considered that there has been no negligence with respect to the antenatal care provided to RE’s mother. But the NHS Trust had...

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