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Posted 6 June 2018
by Stuart Bramley

Dr Vaishnavy Laxman to Return to Work after Tragedy

Stuart Bramley, a clinical negligence Partner, writes:-

“At risk of stating the obvious, there could have been no good outcome from this appalling tragedy. Since Dr Laxman was described as ‘negligent’ by the panel, something for which she should bear a ‘heavy responsibility’ it is likely that many will feel she should have been struck off. It is unlikely that her career will ever return to how it was before March 2014 but the lives of the baby’s parents and family will never resume any normality either.

The case illustrates how decision-making can be more devastating that the medical care itself being performed badly, although the Tribunal found that both had occurred here. My colleagues and I are handling a number of legal claims where a breech delivery was poorly dealt with, mainly by trying to free the trapped head through forceful pulling on the babies’ arms, resulting in Erb’s Palsy, an often-permanent neurological injury. As in Dr Laxman’s situation, these should never have been allowed to proceed to a vaginal delivery in the first place. If a mum-to-be with a breech baby goes into labour before 34 weeks, when the head is still larger than the body, a Caesarean should always be considered, to avoid the real possibility that the fetal body will pass through an incompletely-dilated cervix but the head then becomes lodged.

I do hope that no other mothers in this situation are denied the choice of a Caesarean and a full explanation of the risks and benefits. My heart goes out to the parents in the Dundee tragedy”.

If you require any advice regarding a matter similar to this, then please do not hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team of medical negligence solicitors.


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About the author

Stuart Bramley

Partner and Solicitor

Partner and solicitor with over 25 years' experience of medical claims and inquests