Better Solicitors. Better Results

Call Us Free: 0800 999 6661

  • £34,500 for a leg injury at work Read More
  • £130,000 settlement for medical negligence victim rejected by local firm Read More
  • £250,000 for a decorator diagnosed with Mesothelioma Read More
  • £32,000 for a factory worker following exposure to noise Read More
  • £150,000 for the family of a loved one who sadly died following carbon monoxide poisoning Read More

We have seen recently in the news that cases of whooping cough in England have been on the rise, with the number increasing from 556 cases in January to 918 in February, and further escalating to 1,319 confirmed cases in March. This has brought the total number of cases in 2024 to 2,793. Unfortunately, five infant deaths have been reported between January and March 2024.

It is feared this year could see lots of the bacterial infection. The last peak year, 2016, had 5,949 cases in England.

This is a topic close to our hearts after acting on behalf of parents in 2014 in a very tragic claim where their baby daughter died from whooping cough when only 1 month old.

Signs of whooping cough

The initial symptoms of whooping cough resemble those of a cold, like a runny nose and sore throat. A high temperature is rarely present.

After approximately a week, you or your child may experience:

  • episodes of prolonged coughing, particularly worsening at night
  • a “whooping” sound, a sharp intake of breath between coughs (this may not occur in young babies and some adults)
  • breathing difficulties following a coughing episode, potentially leading to a bluish or grayish skin colour in infants
  • bringing up thick mucus, which may result in vomiting
  • facial reddening, more common in adults.

The cough can persist for weeks or even months.

Get Free Legal Advice

If you need legal advice from qualified solicitor, don't hesitate to contact us.

Increase rates of whooping cough in young children

It is concerning to see such high rates of cases in such young children. The vulnerability of babies under three months old to this illness is particularly alarming. The fact that five babies have already lost their lives this year is truly heartbreaking.

Pregnant women can help protect their babies by getting vaccinated – ideally from 16 weeks up to 32 weeks pregnant. However, they can still have it up until going into labour.

The whooping cough vaccine offers significant protection against severe illness. It is administered as part of the standard childhood vaccination plan in the UK and during pregnancy to safeguard newborns.

(Case study

However, this was not the case for our client Ms H, who despite asking for the whooping cough vaccine during pregnancy it was not administered leading to devasting consequences.

Baby IH, a twin, was born on the 11th of August 2014 and tragically passed away 29 days later due to contracting whooping cough.

During a routine antenatal appointment at Doncaster Royal Infirmary Women’s Hospital, Ms H inquired about the whooping cough vaccination. Her health visitor had advised her to ask the midwife for the vaccination. The midwife initially mentioned they would check if she needed the vaccine but later returned to inform Hayley that “the hospital doesn’t do them,” which Ms H interpreted as not needing the vaccination.

Around a month after Baby IH’s birth, she began coughing, which worsened throughout the day. Baby IH’s parents took her to the hospital where she was examined and discharged. Her condition deteriorated, prompting her father to return the next day. Baby IH was admitted overnight, and her condition worsened further, leading to her transfer to the intensive care unit at another hospital. Unfortunately, she passed away.

These are deaths that could have been prevented with vaccines that have been available for pregnant women for years. But in Ms H’s case, despite asking for the vaccine she was not administered it.

A claim was brought by Aston Knight Solicitors on behalf of Ms H for the significant psychological injuries she suffered when her baby sadly passed away as a result of the hospital failing to give her the whooping cough vaccine whilst she was pregnant.

Aston Knight Solicitors first represented Ms H at a four day inquest before a coroner and then brought a claim for negligence. The Doncaster coroner said that ‘on the balance of probabilities’ Baby IH would have lived if her mum had been offered the vaccine. The coroner commented “I will be writing to the Department of Health and NHS England expressing my concerns rising out of this and asking them to look at this on a national basis in a hope that other deaths could be prevented.”

Liability was admitted quickly but the hospital’s solicitors continued to make low settlement offers. Aston Knight Solicitors threatened to take the matter to a trial before a Judge. Following further negotiations a settlement of £149,000 was reached.

What made this result even more special was that before choosing Aston Knight Solicitors Ms H had spoken to a number of other law firms who all advised her that she did not have a case and any settlement would be low!

Ms H commented: “Both James and Bobby dealt with my case in a warm and caring manner. Many times I cried on the telephone whilst taking about my little girl’s death and they would just listen to me and gave me the advice I needed to stay strong and fight for my daughter. The compensation would never bring my daughter back but in mediation when I got to tell the defendant how my life was now, how my daughter’s death had affected my surviving twin’s life, really made a difference. I feel at peace now.

Thank you for being by my side through the most hellish part of my life”.

Contacting Aston Knight Solicitors

If you have lost a loved one following an accident or medical negligence and you would like a free consultation to discuss your options, please call Aston Knight Solicitors today on 0161 399 1231 or click the ‘Contact’ button above to submit an online enquiry and one of our dedicated Solicitors will contact you to discuss your claim further.

Get Free Legal Advice

Aston knight difference

The Aston Knight Difference

Learn more

Road Traffic Accident

Learn more

Medical Negligence

Learn more

Serious Injury

Learn more

Injury at Work

Learn more

Dental Negligence

Learn more

Privacy Policy | Contact | Complaints Policy

Copyright 2024 Aston Knight Solicitors