Dear Mrs Macaulay,
My wife gave birth to my daughter on December 30, 2022 at Spanish Town Hospital. The mode of delivery was Caesarean section.
After birth, we were informed that our baby was diagnosed with HIE Stage 2, which is a condition with cerebral implications.
A doctor told me that the delivery was difficult and the baby could not come out. My child was born unresponsive and had to be resuscitated and placed to cooling.
My impression is that the medical team did not properly monitor my wife and child sufficiently to prevent an incident like this to occur, hence the effects and possible effect(s) on my child.
I have the intention of suing for medical misconduct.
Can you please advise me?
I am very sorry to learn of your baby's diagnosed condition after birth.
I understand that HIE Stage 2 is a case where the baby is lethargic (that is to say, tired and sluggish), with significant muscle limpness and poor reflexes, including little or no grasping and sucking reflexes and that there may be periods of apnoea â€” brief periods of pauses in breathing. I also seem to recall that apnoea can be injurious to the heart.
The first thing you must do is to try to obtain a full medical report of all the procedures done to your wife and baby. If you have difficulty with this then retain the services of a lawyer as soon as you can who has experience with medical negligence cases and you, but especially your wife, should give the attorney full details about everything that was done to and with her, including everything that was said and by whom, so that he or she can be put fully in the picture. This I know for a fact, you most certainly need to obtain a medical expert's opinion which supports your impression, but with certainty, that the medical team did not properly monitor and attend to your wife and child with due diligence and the standard of care which is required for a caesarean section operation and the safe extraction of your child and her care and safety thereafter. Your lawyer would have to do what is necessary to have your specialist doctor's opinion accepted by the relevant judge as an expert, which would then put his or her opinion at the level which would best support your case.
Without such an opinion and without the acceptance of the expertise and opinion as truly so, you will not have any chance of success.
So if you are determined to sue for negligence in the performance of their duties, the first thing you must do is to secure your legal representation and all the required medical reports and then your expert medical opinion before your claim can be prepared to be filed in court. You should also discuss with your lawyer the possibility of filing a complaint with the Medical Board and/or request an investigation by them about what happened before, during and after your baby was delivered.
I hope that I have assisted you and that you shall have a lawyer who can fully assist you to prepare for whatever direction he or she deems advisable, or all of them, after he or she has received all the necessary information to ground a claim for damages in the Supreme Court.
I wish you, your wife and baby all the very best.
Margarette May Macaulay is an attorney-at-law, Supreme Court mediator, notary public, and women's and children's rights advocate. Send questions via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; or write to All Woman, 40-42 1/2 Beechwood Avenue, Kingston 5. All responses are published. Mrs Macaulay cannot provide personal responses.
The contents of this article are for informational purposes only and must not be relied upon as an alternative to legal advice from your own attorney.