An unborn baby was decapitated after the wrong method of delivery was chosen.

The incident occurred in March 2014 in Dundee’s Ninewells Hospital where Dr Vishnavy Vilvanathan Laxman made the decision to perform a regular delivery instead of an emergency caesarean when the mother’s cervix was only 4cm dilated. The Medical Practitioners Tribunal Service heard: "But for Dr Vilvanathan Laxman's error of judgement in this regard, the decapitation would not have occurred." (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-44357023)

The tribunal was informed that Dr Laxman was approaching the end of a 24 hour split shift when she attended on the mother who was 25 weeks pregnant. During the course of proceedings, the tribunal was adamant that Dr Laxman was “endeavouring to achieve the best outcome for Patient A and Baby B” (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-tayside-central-44357023). However, the crucial issue is whether her decision to perform a regular delivery was clinically indicated or whether it would have been more appropriate to have performed an immediate caesarean section.

An NHS Tayside spokeswoman has confirmed that Dr Laxman is no longer employed by the Trust and has ensured it has vigorous procedures in place to make sure, in light of any major adverse events, improvements are made and they are not repeated.

Freeths’ Clinical Negligence Team has a national reputation for providing the highest quality advice for all medical claims and has years of experience in dealing with the effects of adverse events during labour. If you are concerned about the medical care which you or a loved one have received, please contact one of our national team:-

Siobhan Genever, Director (Nottingham) on 0845 271 6793 or siobhan.genever@freeths.co.uk

Carolyn Lowe, Partner (Oxford/Milton Keynes) on 0186 578 1019 or carolyn.lowe@freeths.co.uk

Karen Reynolds, Partner (Derby/Stoke) on 0845 272 5677 or karen.reynolds@freeths.co.uk

Jane Williams, Partner (Leicester) on 0845 272 5724 or jane.williams@freeths.co.uk

For further information please also visit our website at: http://www.freeths.co.uk/legal-services/individuals/clinical-negligence/