Kingston Hospital admitted failings and paid a £27,500 settlement after a mum became unresponsive on the operating table for several minutes during the birth of her second child. 

Carla Richter, 39, from Carshalton, lost a “horrifying” amount of blood and had no heartbeat for five minutes after experiencing a cardiac arrest. 

Carla’s waters broke prematurely when she was picking her seven-year-old son up from school on January 7, 2020. 

She was taken to Kingston Hospital where she was watched closely as her pregnancy was deemed high risk because of a history of hypertension and hypothyroidism. 

Everything went smoothly at first, with Carla acknowledging friendly maternity staff and close monitoring of her progress. 

But things started to go wrong at shortly after going into labour. 

Despite giving birth to a healthy baby girl, Carla said she knew something was not right. 

She said: “They gave my daughter to me to hold but with the pain I was in, I couldn't bear to even hold her. 

“I just remember screaming. Blood curdling screaming. The amount of visible blood loss was horrifying. It was a really horrific experience and I was so confused because it seemed like no one was reacting.” 

Surrey Comet: Carla Richter lost a horrifying amount of bloodCarla Richter lost a horrifying amount of blood (Image: Supplied)

‘I was terrified’ 

Carla’s pain was caused by a retained placenta which resulted in a post-partum haemorrhage. 

Doctors tried to remove the placenta manually six times, caused severe pain and a lot of blood loss, before Carla begged them to take her to the theatre. 

Then in the theatre she suffered cardiac arrest. 

Kingston Hospital have since admitted that the cardiac arrest was caused by a combination of lack of blood alongside a failure to aggressively replace her fluids. 

Carla became unresponsive for several minutes following the cardiac arrest. 

After the surgery she was sent to the ICU and did not see her baby until two days later when she was discharged into the high dependency unit. 

She said: “In the hallway, I just cried. All I wanted was to hold my baby. 

“And then, even when I got to high dependency, it felt like a lifetime before they actually even brought her to me. 

“I was crying and couldn’t stop. I was honestly an emotional wreck. 

“While I was in the ICU, I had been so scared I couldn’t sleep at night. I was terrified that something else would be wrong and they wouldn’t catch it. 

“My husband is a very strong person, but even he broke down at the hospital. It's literally the first time I've ever seen him so emotional.” 


Carla and her husband, Dean Richter, also 39, instructed Veristas Solicitors to represent them. 

After a letter of claim was sent to Kingston Hospital NHS Trust a settlement of £27,500 was agreed. 

Carla said: “For me, them accepting liability is so much more important than the money. 

“Knowing that it wasn’t my fault, and it was to do with them means everything. 

“Veritas were so wonderful, and my solicitor Amina was so calm and kind and took the time to explain everything to me.” 

Amina Ali said: “It is an honour to be able to help people like Carla get justice. 

“Her case highlights the importance of seeking help if you have concerns about the medical care you have received, knowing your rights, and knowing it is okay to speak up for yourself. 

“We hope her story will help other women who may feel as though their birth was mishandled feel confident that they can speak out. I wish her and her family all the best in the future.” 

'An action plan has been put in place'

A spokesperson for Kingston Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “Our staff strive to provide the best possible care in our maternity department, and we are sorry that this happened.

"Our investigation into this incident identified that there were shortcomings in the care we provided at the time and a full review has been carried out.

"An action plan has been put in place to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future and to ensure that the safety of all those in our care continues to be prioritised.”