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Case: Vaginal Swab Left Behind Following Birth Delivery

A consultant obstetrician carried out a forceps delivery as a result of fetal distress. As a result our client suffered 2 vaginal tears, which were repaired although it was necessary to insert a vaginal pack to help stop the bleeding.

According to hospital notes, a swab and needle check was made.

The following day the pack was removed and she was discharged home with her baby 2 days later.

However, our client found it difficult to sit and noticing an offensive smell she contacted her GP, who prescribed antibiotics, believing she had an infection.

Our client was not improving and still in pain, and contacted her GP, complaining that although the swelling had now reduced, she was still in significant discomfort and had suffered some faecal incontinence. A review appointment was made.

The review noted that our client was still complaining of pain, and that she had previously experienced an offensive discharge which improved after a course of antibiotics.

On examination, a gauze swab was found in her vagina and was removed.

Our client required a further prescription of antibiotics which consequently caused her to develop vaginal thrush which is a known side effect of antibiotic treatment. As our client was breastfeeding, the thrush was passed on to her baby in oral form.

Our client’s faith means that she cannot have alcohol, and her faith was compromised by the fact that she had to give her baby alcohol-based medication.

Our client claimed that the care she received following the delivery of her baby was substandard, in that the Whittington Hospital failed to carry out a proper swab count on removal of the vaginal pack; and left a swab in situ when no competent midwives or obstetricians would have failed to remove it.

Our client reached agreement at £3,000.

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