A new mum from Bridlington has spoken of her horror when she discovered she had suffered burns from medical equipment while undergoing an emergency caesarean section.
20-year-old Mary Ann Pattern was in labour at Scarborough Hospital when midwives realised the cord was wrapped around her baby’s neck and Miss Pattern was not sufficiently dilated.
Medics then decided to deliver the baby by caesarean section. But during the operation, a pair of cauterising tongs fell onto Miss Pattern’s calves, causing two large burns.
Miss Pattern said: “I had had an epidural so didn’t feel anything at the time and my legs were covered with a quilt. The only reason they realised something had happened was the smell of my burning flesh.”
Miss Pattern had previously suffered two miscarriages so she was initially more concerned about the health of her new-born baby girl than any injuries she may have suffered. Baby Tallulah-Ann was born safe and well on Christmas Eve 2011.
Miss Pattern said staff did try to explain to her how the burns had happened but she wasn’t able to take in what she was being told because of the drugs she had been given during labour. Miss Pattern and her daughter remained in hospital for three days although she says her burns were never properly dressed and she was not given clear guidance on how to treat them.
Once the effects of the epidural had worn off and she was back at her home the burns started to cause Miss Pattern severe pain. She went to the Bridlington Minor Injuries Unit where she was immediately given antibiotics, as the burns had become infected.
Miss Pattern was later referred to the plastic surgery department at Hull & East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and is receiving on-going scar massage and silicone therapy to heal the wounds, although she still has two scars between one and a half and two and a half centimetres in diameter.
Miss Pattern, who lives on The Crayke, Bridlington, said: “I’ve still got scars and I am very, very wary of hospitals. I am so glad I have my daughter but the pain caused by the burns was absolute agony.”
Miss Pattern sought legal advice from Neil Hudgell Solicitors and has now received compensation of £5,000 from Scarborough and North East Yorkshire NHS Trust.
Jacqueline Fadul-Vallarino, medical negligence specialist at Neil Hudgell Solicitors, said: “This was an extremely traumatic and anxious time for my client. Whilst she thought she was safe in the care of medical professionals, an injury occurred which caused her a great deal of pain and suffering. I hope this settlement goes some way towards compensating her for what she has had to endure”.