A young mother has been awarded thousands of pounds after doctors left a medical swab inside her for THREE DAYS following the birth of her child.
Paige Balding, 20, was diagnosed with sepsis after she gave birth to her son Hunter Jae July last year.
A tribunal found medics failed to realise that a 20cm by 20cm medical swab was left inside her causing her to contract sepsis.
She was awarded a £4,000 cash settlement.
Sepsis is a life-threatening illness caused by your body’s response to an infection.
It develops when the chemicals the immune system releases into the bloodstream to fight an infection cause inflammation throughout the entire body instead.
During the birth at Badilson Hospital, in Essex Paige says she was given a medical swab to reduce bleeding during labour.
She says that doctors at the hospital had forgotten the swab was still inside her and only discovered it three days later.
Paige, who is also a mother to her four-year-old daughter, says the infection was also passed onto her newborn as well.
Paige said: “They should have picked it up before it was passed to my son.
“I couldn’t believe it, and the doctor blamed it on the fact that he was tired.
“You can’t nearly kill two people and blame it on the fact the you were tired.”
Paige, from Stanford-le-Hope, Essex went into labour on July 19 after having a sweep.
The follow day Paige had her waters broken because doctors found she was four cm dilated – Hunter was born at 4.51pm on July 20.
She added: “When he was born, he wasn’t breathing so they took him away to resuscitate him.
“After that, my body felt like it was shutting down and I had no idea why.
“I couldn’t keep my eyes open and was going in and out of consciousness for about two hours. I woke up and asked what was going on and they told me I had septicaemia.”
Paige was moved to a different ward to recover but days later, she was still in distress.
She added: “I started getting discomfort and I had no clue what it was.
“The midwife told me that it was just the stitches from when I had given birth so I trusted her.
“The pain went on and got progressively worse and I told the staff they needed to check it because I could feel something there and again was told it was just the stitches.
“It got to the point where I couldn’t sit down and I was in so much pain.
“I went in the toilet and that’s when I realised I could definitely feel something there. I was absolutely disgusted with what I found.
“I asked again if the midwife could take a look and she agreed.
“When she examined me, she looked like she was going to faint and rushed off to get a consultant after telling me not to move.”
Paige says medics recovered a surgical swab which had been left in her since she gave birth.
Paige, who is engaged to Hunter’s father Chris Alexander, 20, said: “They pulled the swab out of me and then from that point they started a serious investigation called a ‘never event’.”
Never Events are serious, largely preventable safety incidents that should not occur if the available preventative measures are implemented.
They include wrong site surgery or foreign objects left in a person’s body after an operation.
She was treated with antibiotics and discharged herself from hospital so she could take her baby, who had now recovered, home.
Paige added: “I thought I just had to discharge myself from here. I couldn’t trust them anymore.
“They didn’t even argue with me because they knew how bad it was me being in there.
“I just said, I will not stay in here another minute.
“And to leave something like that in my for three days.”
Paige is now trying to raise awareness and is urging women to trust their “gut feeling if something doesn’t feel right.”
She added: “You don’t think it will happen to you until it does.
“And then when it happens to you, you think it can happen to anybody.
“You need to go with your gut instinct. If I can save one persons life or the life of a baby it will make what happen to me more worth it.
“No amount of money can replace a life. You can’t buy mine and my sons life.”
She adds: “Hunter is doing really well now – he’s just like any other 10-month old baby which is a huge relief but this will always be something I will never forget.
“I would have loved more children but I just couldn’t even think about it now.”
A spokesperson from Basildon Hospital said: “We regret that the normally outstanding standard of care that our maternity service is recognised for was not provided on this occasion.
“The quality of care we offer and the experience our patients have of our services is our highest priority, as is learning the lessons from incidents and using them as an opportunity to improve our care.
“The Trust is pleased that the parties have reached a settlement agreement, and wishes the family all the very best for the future.”