• Ranked in Chambers & Legal 500 for Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
  • Featured in the Times Top Law Firms 2019, 2020, 2021 & 2022 List for Personal Injury & Clinical Negligence
  • In 2021 alone, we were successful in securing over £85 million in damages for our clients
  • Over £98 MILLION in damages secured for our clients during lockdown!

Woman dies at hands of under-qualified anaesthetists after caesarean

  • Jan 13, 2016
  • EmmaArnold

A court has heard how two anaesthetists were under-qualified when treating a woman who sadly died.

Mrs Frances Cappuccini, a primary school teacher, died after undergoing a caesarean section when the two doctors failed to take the basic steps which could have saved her life.

The NHS Trust employing the anaesthetists is on trial accused of corporate manslaughter on the grounds that it knew, or should have known, by failing to ensure the two doctors had the necessary qualifications and training to be able to work with such seriously ill patients.

Mrs Cappuccini returned to the ward after her baby boy was delivered and the doctors were meant to bring her back to consciousness after her general anaesthetic.

However, a build-up of acid formed in her body and she suffered a heart attack as she was unable to breathe.

The anaesthetists removed the mechanical ventilator and began using a manually operated face mask but it soon became clear to other medical staff present that she was having difficulties breathing on her own.

According to expert opinion, this is when the doctor should have called for urgent help and should have re-intubated Mrs Cappuccini without delay but, by the time she was put back on the ventiliator some time later, the damage was already done.

Hannah Bottomley, clinical negligence Solicitor at PotterReesDolan, said:

It has been with equal amount of shock and sadness that I have followed this case. The legislation for corporate manslaughter only came into force in 2008 and this is the first criminal prosecution of an NHS Trust under it. It's interesting that the prosecution in a criminal case are having to deal with issues that, from a clinical negligence perspective, we are often familiar with but find no less shocking.

I find it particularly shocking that a Trust would employ doctors in a role without checking that they had the necessary qualifications and training to ensure that they could safely undertake that role and care for their patients and I await the outcome of this criminal trial with interest.

This is, of course, all to be put in the context of a young woman who lost her life, something the prosecution allege could have been wholly avoided and all our thoughts here at PotterReesDolan go out to Francis Cappuccini’s family for their tragic loss.

PotterReesDolan have dealt with a number of clinical negligence claims whereby a woman has been neglected during the birth of their baby which you can read here.

Recent Posts

By filling out this form you are authorising Potter Rees Dolan to use the details you provide to contact you regarding your potential claim. Read our Website Privacy Notice.

Contact Us