Rise in Stillbirths During the Pandemic
November 6, 2020
Between April and June, at the start of the pandemic, there was a rise in stillbirths after labour had started. This year, the figure was 40, compared with 24 in the same period last year. This has prompted a national review by The Healthcare Safety Investigation Branch.
The HSIB have said that they fear that women were put off seeking treatment because of COVID-19, and the stay at home message.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists said the figures surrounding the rise in stillbirths were concerning. They have said that redeploying maternity staff to ICU wards during the first wave of the pandemic may have also had an effect on the figures. They have said that they are waiting for more data post-pandemic to compare numbers of stillbirths over a longer period of time.
In general, during the pandemic, there were 27 million fewer GP appointments than usual during the lockdown, which could have led to the worsening of other conditions. The HSIB also estimate that 86% of maternity units reported a reduction in pregnant women going into hospital for emergencies during lockdown. This could have led to the rise in stillbirths that the country has seen during the pandemic.
HSIB investigated 73 stillbirths between April and September this year, compared with 101 through the whole of 2019. They will release their report in 2021. The Office for National Statistics is due to release more up-to-date figures soon, according to a report by the BBC.
Unfortunately, we have seen how the pandemic has affected all kinds of treatment this year. This includes the effect that it has had on expectant mothers. There are many reasons that you may be able to claim pregnancy negligence. These include: Doctors or midwives failing to pick up when something is wrong with your baby or failing to spot infection in yourself or your baby, negligence that occurs during birth that affects either yourself or your child.
Sometimes this negligence can have a devastating effect on you and your family. We understand that if something goes wrong with your pregnancy or birth that claiming may not be the first thing on your mind, but here at The Medical Negligence Experts, we work with solicitors who can help relieve the financial burden that you may face when negligence occurs.
Claiming on Behalf of a Child
In some cases, negligence may affect your child, for example, if something happened during labour that was missed. If this is the case, you may be able to make a claim on their behalf. In cases where the negligence has affected a child, you would have until the child turns 18 to make a claim on their behalf. They would then have a further three years to claim for themselves, until they turn 21.
If you have experienced a stillbirth due to negligence that was the fault of someone else, then the usual three-year time limit would stay the same. However, you may be able to claim for the emotional distress it has caused you.
How We Can Help
Here at The Medical Negligence Experts, we work with solicitors who have years of experience in dealing with all aspects of medical negligence claims. This includes birth and pregnancy negligence. Contact us today by filling in our contact form or by calling us on 01614138761 to speak to one of our friendly, knowledgeable advisors.