Mum burned by tongs during childbirth op wins thousands in compensation
A MOTHER who suffered burns from medical equipment during an emergency caesarean has received thousands of pounds in compensation.
Mary Pattern, 20, went into labour on December 23 last year but her labour did not progressed and she was sent home.
She returned to Scarborough Hospital on Christmas Eve and medical staff were carrying out a caesarean section when they discovered the baby's cord around her neck.
During the operation, a pair of cauterising tongs fell on to Miss Pattern's calf, causing two large burns.
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The wounds later became infected and treatment is ongoing to heal the scars.
Now, Miss Pattern, of Bridlington, has received £5,000 from the former Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which ran the hospital at the time.
She said: "I 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.
"I've still got scars and I am very wary of hospitals.
"I am so glad I have my daughter but the pain caused by the burns was absolute agony."
Miss Pattern had previously suffered two miscarriages and said she was more concerned about the health of her baby daughter Tallulah-Ann than any injuries she may have suffered.
She said staff tried to explain how the burns had happened but she was unable to take in what she was told due to the drugs administered during labour.
Miss Pattern, who stayed in hospital with Tallulah-Ann for three days, claims her burns were not 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 home, she said the burns started to cause her severe pain.
She went to Bridlington minor injuries unit where she was given antibiotics, as the burns had become infected.
Miss Pattern was later referred to the plastic surgery department at Hull and East Yorkshire Hospitals NHS Trust and she has been left with two scars measuring between 1.5cm and 2.5cm in diameter.
Miss Pattern said she does not want anyone else to experience the same problems in the future.
She said: "It's pretty disgusting that it happened.
"You don't expect to deliver a baby and come out with two third-degree burns.
"At first, I thought 'accidents happen'.
"But they shouldn't happen and my sister, Lisa, said I should take it further.
"I don't want this to happen to anyone else and that's why I've spoken out."
Miss Pattern said despite the compensation, she still has to live with the scars. "It's not about the money and it never has been," she said.
"It has helped but I'm scarred for life at the end of the day.
"The scars are very noticeable on my legs.
"You can see them clearly when I wear a dress or a skirt."
Miss Pattern sought legal advice from Neil Hudgell Solicitors in Hull before receiving compensation.
Jacqueline Fadul-Vallarino, medical negligence specialist at Neil Hudgell Solicitors, said: "This was an extremely traumatic and anxious time for my client.
"While 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."
A spokeswoman for York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, which has recently taken over Scarborough and North East Yorkshire Healthcare NHS Trust, said: "We have apologised to Miss Pattern and are pleased we have been able to reach an amicable settlement.
"We wish her well for the future."
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