Newborn Baby Dies Because Ambulance Fails To Attend On Time

Nelsons represented Ms Z in a claim for the death of her newborn baby daughter after an ambulance took too long to arrive.

Ms Z aged 25 was pregnant with her first child. Late on in her pregnancy she experienced sudden blood loss and the hospital maternity unit advised her to call for an ambulance which her partner immediately did at 02:29am. The call was prioritised as a Category A Red 2 call. This meant that an emergency response should arrive at the scene of the incident within 8 minutes zero seconds or less.

At 02:31am East Midlands Ambulance Service NHS Trust deployed a solo paramedic in a rapid response vehicle to the call who arrived at our client’s house at 02:45am. At 02:48am the paramedic requested a Priority 2 back up ambulance. At 03:00am an emergency fully equipped ambulance was dispatched. At 03:12am the ambulance arrived at our client’s house.

The ambulance left our client’s house at 03:21am and arrived at hospital at 03:34am. The ambulance did not use any audible or visual warning devices to travel to the hospital. At 03:44am our client was handed over to the maternity staff.

An ultrasound scan showed that the baby had a slow heartbeat as a result of placental abruption (where the placenta comes away from the uterine wall) causing a substantial haemorrhage. Baby Y was delivered by emergency caesarean section at 04:04am but was in very poor condition. Tragically Baby Y had suffered severe brain and organ injury due to the prolonged blood loss and passed away at 11:26am the same day, despite the valiant efforts of the neonatal staff to revive her.

Ms Z had to endure an emotional 2-day Coroner’s Inquest into her daughter’s untimely death, and soon after that commenced a claim for medical negligence against East Midlands Ambulance Trust. After obtaining independent expert evidence we were able to prove that the Trust had indeed been negligent in this case. Their rapid response vehicle should have arrived within 8 minutes but took 16, and the ambulance should have arrived within 19 minutes but did not arrive until 42 minutes after the initial 999 call was made.

If the Ambulance Trust had not been negligent, our client would have arrived at hospital much sooner and Baby Y would have been delivered 30-40 minutes earlier than she was. She would not have suffered a brain injury and would have survived. East Midlands Ambulance Trust admitted breach of duty causing the death of Baby M.

Baishali Clayton and Danielle Young settled the claim out of Court for a five figure sum.

If you have been affected by the death of a baby, please speak in confidence to one of our experienced clinical negligence team.