Our clinical negligence team settled a claim against The Hillingdon Hospital NHS Trust for a young woman who fell while she was an in-patient following the birth of her daughter. The incident occurred when she was visiting the lavatory unassisted several hours after giving birth. She had suffered serious post-partem bleeding and had complained to nursing staff of feeling lightheaded.
She began to feel increasingly nauseous and dizzy while seated on the lavatory but there was no emergency cord for her to summon assistance from a seated position. Our client therefore stood up to walk to the door so that she could call for help but she fainted and fell to the floor, losing consciousness and suffering significant injuries to her face and teeth.
Initially the claim was disputed by the trust on the basis that the fall was unavoidable. Legal proceedings were brought, alleging that the trust was negligent for failing to ensure that there was a functioning emergency call bell/cord in the lavatory as well as for leaving our client unattended in light of her clinical condition and failing to take sufficient care of her safety. The trust subsequently made an offer to settle which our client accepted.