Should I have made a claim back then against the hospital?

Submitted by lilacsigh on Sun, 12/16/2007 - 02:05

I know this is now well out of whatever time limitations there are but I'm curious. When I had my son almost twenty years ago, I had an emergency C-section after many hours of labor. To cut a long story short, I was given more muscle relaxant than necessary to enable them to perform the op . It should have been just enough to relax the stomach muscles. Instead it affected all my muscles and because your heart's a muscle, my heart stopped. They gave me enough to last over an hour instead of around fifteen to twenty minutes, my dr said. It was seven minutes before they managed to restart it.

I know the details as it was all documented after many months in a letter to my dr, but only because she made enquiries about it when the hospital made no mention of this in their note to her on how the birth went. They just said I'd had an emergency C-section.

The head consultant had came to see me the following day after the birth and told me I'd gave them a fright.

Obviously if I really was, I'd need to know that if I had to have surgery again. What I've I had a bad accident and couldn't tell anyone I was allergic? I was thinking I'd need to wear an SOS medallion.

I'd relayed to my dr how I'd awakened in a single room with an oxygen mask on, a nurse sitting beside me and hooked up to a heart monitor with a red raw throat (apparently that was the breathing tube that caused that.) A snapshot of my son was on the bedside cabinet. He was being looked after in the nursery. I had a nurse remain with me round the clock for the next two days and was released a week later. Usually you're released within a day or so.

I knew something serious had happened because my mum had been in the waiting room just a few doors along the corridor. She said that suddenly there were alarms ringing and lights flashing above the room door coupled with running feet. My husband was being kicked out of the operating room and told he couldn't be there just now as staff were rushing in. They were both terrified and had no idea what was going on. First time I saw them both after I woke up they were telling me and still trying to get answers on what had happened.

The head consultant eventually told them I'd had an allergic reaction to the general anesthetic and it was the first time in thirty years anything like that had happened. She really did underplay it when I think about it now, but it was this fear of an allergy which made me mention it all to my dr.

My dr was very annoyed that none of this had been mentioned and started looking into it. After much correspondence back and forth, they admitted it wasn't a reaction to the anesthetic at all but what was essentially an overdose of the muscle relaxant.

I didn't pursue it after that although many said I should. I was just relieved that it wasn't an allergy, that I was ok and my son was ok. That probably seems strange to some people. Remember though that I was a first time mum, very exhausted and stressed that didn't want to go up against the health authority and it was months later before we got an answer out of them. I was just glad to have the weight off my mind. Bear in mind I wouldn't have had bundles of spare cash to cover a costly drawn out lawsuit either.

Anyway, that's what happened. I should mention this was in the UK, which meant I'd have been suing the NHS (National Health Service), a government body.

My opinion (and that's all it is, an opinion) as to what really happened is that it was an unskilled person administering that dosage of muscle relaxant because not long after this, my mum bumped into an old school friend. Her daughter had went through the exact same thing and they'd told her it was thirty years since it'd happened too! She'd actually had to be transferred to the main hospital across the road (the maternity one was a separate entity) as she'd taken longer to revive than I did and they thought there might be brain damage but in the end she came through it all ok. Her child was born shortly after mine.

We'd never have known about it if mum hadn't met the lady nor she about me. Funny how these things happen - she hadn't seen her in decades. I've often wondered if I should have gone ahead and pursued a claim and would be interested in what people think. Would it have been worth doing?

One lighter thing about this. I had a student nurse with me observing right from when I first went into labor nineteen hours before the C-section and I was his first birth. The poor lad (Marcus was his name) came to see me the following day and was as white as a sheet. He said he'd went home after his shift and had kept babbling about it all to his mum then not slept a wink worrying about me. He actually came back early to see if I was okay, the sweetheart. I remember him saying I'll never forget this one! Wonder if he ever did... :)

Posted: 16 Dec 2007 04:23 Post Subject:

WOW! HOLY MOLY WHAT A STORY!!!!!!!!!

I'm not sure on how the UK works..here as far as your claim goes I'm sure you have bypassed the statute of limitations...However, if your son were injured they would just be starting (when he turned 18)...should you have pursued this, yeah, i think so...but spilled milk and all........Were I you though, I would still check the laws in the UK....

PS so glad that you and your son are ok, what a horrible experience.

Posted: 17 Dec 2007 07:57 Post Subject: Lodge a complaint

Hey why don't you lodge a complaint with the following person:

Veronica Fraser
Head of Complaints and Public Enquiries
Customer Service Centre
Department of Health
Richmond House
79 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2NS



BillyMathew

Posted: 17 Dec 2007 08:17 Post Subject: Your right!

I should mention this was in the UK, which meant I'd have been suing the NHS (National Health Service), a government body.



Well my friend, lemme just clarify that the NHS being a government body doesn't have the authority to play with your life. I'm sure that if you would go through the following page, you'd be able to conclude it in a better way.
adviceguide.org.uk/index/family_parent/health/nhs_complaints.htm
We do need to get equipped in order to stand upto such practices face to face!
Dorothy_Henrick

Posted: 18 Dec 2007 05:48 Post Subject:

WOW! HOLY MOLY WHAT A STORY!!!!!!!!!

I'm not sure on how the UK works..here as far as your claim goes I'm sure you have bypassed the statute of limitations...However, if your son were injured they would just be starting (when he turned 1Cool...should you have pursued this, yeah, i think so...but spilled milk and all........Were I you though, I would still check the laws in the UK....

PS so glad that you and your son are ok, what a horrible experience.



I was just curious more than anything else, Lori. Thanks for responding. As I say it's long ago, 18 years past in May since it happened and though it probably sounds weird, I wouldn't want to have to try track people down and dig up records etc.

I've made my peace with it and was lucky I came out the other end without any brain damage I'm told, so I guess I look at it as "thank heaven for small mercies." Everything for a reason eh. I'm just not sure what this one was. :)

Hey why don't you lodge a complaint with the following person:

Quote:
Veronica Fraser
Head of Complaints and Public Enquiries
Customer Service Centre
Department of Health
Richmond House
79 Whitehall
London
SW1A 2NS



I appreciate the information, Billy, but really for the reasons above I wouldn't. I'm going to let sleeping dogs lie. I was just interested in what people thought. Thank you for taking the time to respond to it. :)

Well my friend, lemme just clarify that the NHS being a government body doesn't have the authority to play with your life. I'm sure that if you would go through the following page, you'd be able to conclude it in a better way....We do need to get equipped in order to stand upto such practices face to face!



Thank you, Dorothy, for sharing that. You're right of course, they can't play with your life.

Perhaps if I'd been older and more confident, it would have been a different story. I was only 23 and had been brought up that you revered doctors and didn't question them in any way, shape or form. I think that had a lot to do with me not pursuing it too in hindsight.

But all's well that ends well! Thanks to you all for the input and letting me ramble on about it. :)

Posted: 18 Dec 2007 12:11 Post Subject:

If it is any consolation to you I had a horrific labor and delivery with my son that caused him many problems...(epilespy, dislex. five forms, eye and ear problems, gut problems-he's ok now but suffered a lot as a child) and I just wasn't mature enough to realize that we should've went after this doc...he was 'run out of town' within a year of my son's birth...with many malpractice suits chasing him....but again i was just too immature to realize that i should've made him pay...was grateful that our boy was alive! so you aren't the only one lilac, ! :wink: :D

Posted: 22 Dec 2007 12:37 Post Subject:

wow, what a horrific story, I am glad that you both survived these two horrific deliveries, hope all is well with your children today, do you have to watch for lingering affects years later or are you kids out of the woods?

Posted: 22 Dec 2007 01:26 Post Subject:

Can't speak for OP,

do you have to watch for lingering affects years later or are you kids out of the woods?

I had to though...now our grandson (born in April of this year) had a horrific delivery too...was blue/black and lifeless at birth had shoulder distotia (i don't know how to spell that)....let me tell you that was the longest couple of minutes of my life while they worked on that child...we've been told to keep close tabs, thank the Good Lord he appears healthy and happy thus far...My son had some nuero damage, nothing real bad, but some none the less....he's fine though 26 years old married, good job, 19 month old daughter. :P

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