There’s something that doesn’t sit quite right when you’re going into labour and believe to be carrying a completely healthy baby, only to unfortunately suffer a stillbirth without knowing what went wrong, and left completely in the dark about a full investigation would be carried out and reported on.
This is a common occurrence in the UK as many parents are finding themselves isolated as the hospitals are unwilling, or unable to provide them with any answers. There was a particular case in the media recently of two parents, both of which were doctors, who went to extreme lengths to try and uncover why their child was a stillborn, with the hospital finally admitting that a staff error was the cause.
This case has had a huge impact on the rest of the UK as parents are now left uncertain whether they’re been told the truth by the medical staff. It can also have a huge impact on the mental health of the parents as they may believe that they have done something wrong during the pregnancy that could have caused this stillbirth, only to find out that they have been neglected.
What you can do is contact a medical negligence firm who would be able to inform you whether or not you have solid grounds to move forward with your case if you believe that there has been an element of neglect which could have caused a stillbirth.
Stillbirth in the UK is unacceptably high
Stillbirths in the UK are twice as high as countries such as Iceland and Denmark, with there being at least 11 stillbirths a day throughout the country, becoming more common than cot deaths. The main issue with this particular problem is that it has taken years of campaigning to encourage that every stillbirth needs a proper investigation.
If there happens to be a death of what is seemingly a healthy baby, it should immediately raise alarm bells. Studies have indicated that changes to ante-natal care could potentially spot any early problems.
An investigation is occurring in 2018
The Campaign for Safer Births, which has been set-up by parents who have suffered a stillbirth have worked tirelessly to ensure that stillbirths are thoroughly investigated, and finally their voices have been heard. As of April 2018, each death will be investigated by an impartial team of investigators which is a huge result as they will finally get to the bottom of why their healthy baby ended up been a stillborn.
A lesson for hospitals
Going off the studies that have been undertaken into stillbirths, it’s apparent that some of the measures that could have prevented it are reasonably straightforward, which will have required a different approach rather than a major investigation.
This could be simple signs for women to look out for, being clear about any specific risk factors, introducing more checks into the ante-natal care and increasing the monitoring during labour. This knowledge that we could provide to the patients and hospitals will only increase as the independent investigators highlight what went wrong and how it could have been prevented.
It will hopefully increase the transparency that is currently lacking between hospitals and patients and ensure that they have a greater willingness to admit when mistakes were made. The issue with hospitals is that maternity-related errors are the main negligence payment so if improvements occur then there will be a reduction in medical negligence claims.