UK Birth Medical Negligence

In the UK birth medical negligence can have devastating consequences – not just for the child who has been injured during their delivery, but for parents, siblings and the extended family as well. The costs of providing care for a baby injured by birth medical negligence in the UK can be substantial, and hospitals are often reluctant to admit liability at an early stage – leaving parents to make major sacrifices to raise their child until compensation is paid.

Making a birth medical negligence claim in the UK is often complicated by the need to establish where a mistake in pre or post-natal care was made and who by. It also has to be shown that the injury sustained due to birth medical negligence could have been avoided “at the time and in the circumstances” with more professional care.

For these reasons, it is advisable to speak with a medical negligence solicitor at the first practical opportunity to establish negligence. Once negligence is proved, parents can begin receiving interim payments of UK birth medical negligence compensation until such time as the lifelong needs of your child – and how much they will cost – is calculated.

Cerebral Palsy Girl Awarded 5 Million Pounds Compensation

A twelve-year-old girl, who sustained severe brain damage due to mistakes made during her delivery, has been awarded 5 million pounds in a personal injury settlement.

Sophie Clarke (12) from Pontyclun, Rhondda Cynon Taf, was born in 1998 at the Princess of Wales Hospital, Bridgend. However, a gross abnormality of Sophie´s heart rate was not recognised, despite it registering on monitoring equipment.

Had staff at the Princess of Wales Hospital noticed Sophie´s condition, they would have intervened and delivery her by Caesarean Section. However, they allowed the birth to continue naturally, causing Sophie to suffer from a lack of oxygen in the womb.

Sophie suffers from severe cerebral palsy as a result of the errors made at the hospital and now needs twenty-four hour care, is fed via a tube and is confined to a wheelchair.

Solicitors acting on behalf of the family sued the Abertawe Bro Morgannwg University Health Board for negligence, and in a hearing at Cardiff Crown Court the negotiated settlement of 5 million pounds was approved.

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Multi-Million Celebral Palsy Compensation Due To 15 Minute Delay

An eight year old boy, who sustained terrible brain damage due to being starved of oxygen at his birth, has been awarded a multi-million pound compensation package by the High Court in London.

Callum Davies, of Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, was born at the Nevill Hall Hospital, Abergavenny in November 2002. A fifteen minute delay in his delivery starved his brain of oxygen, and resulted in Callum sustaining dyskinetic cerebral palsy and brain damage.

Claiming medical negligence against the Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust through his father Paul, Callum will now need extensive care for the remainder of his life – care which has been provided for him to date by his parents.

The health board which succeeded Gwent Healthcare NHS Trust in 2009 – the Anuerin Bevan Health Board – admitted liability for Callum’s birth injury and issued an apology in front of Mrs Justice Nicola Davies at the High Court.

Announcing details of the compensation package, Judge Davies approved an immediate payment of 2.275 million pounds in order to adapt the family home and provide an education programme for Callum. Further annual payments will be made by the NHS Trust to cover the cost of his care.

Addressing Callum’s parents in court, the judge added “It is clear that the care which you and your wife have given is of the highest order. I know that Callum’s injuries have impacted on you and your whole family as a unit and that is something which at times is very, very difficult for families. I am well aware that the settlement approved by the court is not the complete answer, but what I do hope for the family is that these monies will make life easier”.

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Two Million Pounds Compensation Award for Brain Damaged Twin

A young boy, who with his sister suffered irreversible brain damage when they were born, has been awarded 2 million pounds in compensation in the High Court.

Thomas Hartley (now 11 years old) of Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, was born with his twin sister, Rachel, at the Hemel Hempstead Hospital in October 1999. However, due to alleged negligence by the hospital staff, both children are now confined to a wheelchair whenever they go out and will need one permanently once they reach full adulthood.

Judge Peter Ralls QC in the High Court heard that the twins’ mother, Joanna, had been admitted to the hospital earlier in October with pregnancy complications, but doctors failed to realise that she was giving birth prematurely. Instead, they prescribed her with drugs to strengthen the babies’ lungs and delayed the birth.

The parents claimed in their court action that this oversight caused the children to suffer brain damage while in the womb – damage which lead to both children suffering from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and which could have been avoided had the correct diagnosis been made.

The West Hertfordshire Hospitals NHS Trust on behalf of Hemel Hempstead Hospital denied that the children’s’ conditions resulted from any negligence on its part, but agreed to pay £2m in compensation to Thomas, and a yet-to-be-agreed sum to his sister – both amounts to into a trust to cover the costs of the lifetime care and support they will need.

Approving the settlements, Judge Peter Ralls QC commented “I express my sympathy to Mr and Mrs Hartley who have been through what must have been a very anxious time… I wish you well for the future, and for your delightful children.”

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Birth Injury Jessica Awarded 400,000 Pounds in Compensation

The family of Jessica Taylor, 6, who suffers from Erb’s Palsy due to a mismanaged delivery, expressed their relief and gratitude after a compensation settlement of 400,000 pounds was approved in the High Court.

Concerns were raised by Jessica’s parents during mother Christine’s pregnancy that the birth might be complicated due to baby Jessica’s size. However, in August 2004, staff at Kings College Hospital, South London, proceeded with a normal delivery procedure under the impression that 11.4lb Jessica was of average size.

In the claim for medical negligence against the hospital, it was alleged that staff should have realised Christine’s prolonged second stage of labour indicated an obstruction (Jessica’s size), and that a normal delivery would result in complications.

Christine’s request for a Caesarean section was ignored and during the delivery Jessica’s should got trapped, leading to further complications. After the birth, Jessica was immediately taken to a special care baby unit where she was diagnosed with Erb’s Palsy.

Erb’s Palsy is a condition which affects the movement of the arm, and Jessica will always need assistance with day-to-day tasks such as dressing, despite intense therapy, specialist equipment and rehabilitation.

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust admitted liability and in a statement wished Jessica and her family the best for the future.

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Five Figure Compensation for Stillborn Birth Error

Parents of a stillborn child have received an undisclosed out-of-court five figure compensation payment and an apology from the Worcestershire Royal Hospital following the stillbirth of their son in October, 2009.

Katie Page of Droitwich, Worcestershire, was identified as having a “high risk” pregnancy due to a family medical history of thrombosis, and herself suffering from Factor V Leiden thrombophilia. However, her pregnancy had progressed normally and was only 10 days overdue when she experienced mild contractions during the night and noticed a subsequent reduction in her baby’s movements.

On telephoning the Day Assessment Unit (DAU) at the hospital, she was told to drink ice cold water and contact them in a few hours if she was still concerned. During that afternoon, Katie experienced further contractions and telephoned the hospital again to tell them that she had not felt her baby move for several hours. She was advised not to attend the hospital, but to call back later with an update.

Shortly after midnight on October 7, 2009, Robert Page telephoned the hospital to let them know that his wife was not coping with the pain and requested to come into hospital. At 2.00am, Katie was assessed by a midwife rather than an obstetrician, who listened to the foetal heart and performed a vaginal examination but not a CT scan trace. Katie was sent home again even though an induction had been originally booked for the previous day.

At 9.00am Katie telephoned the DAU again to ask about the inducement of her baby, but was told that no beds were available. Further calls throughout the day proved fruitless and, at 7.00pm, Katie attended the antenatal ward at the Worcestershire Royal Hospital requesting admission. It was not until 9.45pm that she was eventually admitted onto a labour ward.

Further delays occurred in assessing Katie’s condition, and it was not until 11.15pm that a midwife attempted to check the foetal heart rate. When the heart beat could not be found, an obstetric registrar was summoned and ultrasound scans performed which confirmed that Katie and Robert’s son – Harry – had died. Katie was induced the following morning and had to endure a prolonged labour to deliver her stillborn son, some ten hours after his death had already been confirmed.

The Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust accepted liability.

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33 Year Old Man Wins Birth Injury Claim

An incredible 33 years after his birth, an Oxfordshire man you suffered catastrophic injuries during his birth, has been awarded a 5.7 million pounds package in compensation.

Ian Murphy from Oxford was born in the city’s John Radcliffe Hospital in 1977. During his delivery his brain was starved of oxygen, resulting in Ian sustaining a cerebral palsy injury and being confined to a wheelchair from birth.

Ian has been always been supported by his parents, who have provided day-to-day care since he was diagnosed with the condition. Ian experiences difficulties in communicating and socialising and it was only when his parents started enquiring about suitable accommodation for when they are no longer able to care for him themselves, that they discovered they were entitled to compensation.

After taking legal advice, they claimed compensation for medical negligence against the South Central Strategic Health Authority, and in the Royal Court of Justice received an apology for errors made during the delivery and approval of a 5.7 million pounds compensation package.

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Birth Injury Teenager Compensation Approved

A teenager, whose birth was allegedly mismanaged resulting in oxygen starvation and brain injuries, has had her multi-million pounds compensation package approved in court.

Georgia Eloise Hunt of Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire was born at the city’s hospital in 1992 suffering from cerebral palsy and epilepsy caused – it was claimed by her parents – by the delay of her birth due to insufficient monitoring.

Mrs Justice Swift at the High Court heard how Georgia Eloise, who is now eighteen years of age, was allegedly starved of oxygen during her delivery and suffered “hypoxic insult” which has now left her with mobility problems and requiring 24 hour care.

In a case brought through Georgia Eloise’s father, Grahame Hunt, it was claimed that if the birth had been properly monitored, the injuries to her brain could have been avoided or contained so that Georgia Eloise could have led a more normal life.

The settlement package, which consists of a 1.4 million pounds lump sum payment and annual index-linked payments of 110,000 pounds was agreed by the NHS trust without admission of liability.

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Undisclosed Compensation for Undiagnosed Brain Tumour

A former Church of England assistant minister, whose brain tumour was left unattended for three years, is to receive a substantial out of court settlement for medical negligence.

Adrian Underwood, 42, from Birmingham, had been studying a theology course in Nottingham in 2001, when he started to suffer severe headaches. He was referred to Nottingham University Hospital, where he underwent a brain scan which revealed a growth inside his skull, but no further action was taken and Adrian was discharged – being told he had nothing more serious than a migraine.

Adrian was unable to finish his course – moving back to Birmingham to take the position of a curate. However, his health continued to deteriorate, and it was during a medical investigation in 2004 to determine why Adrian was losing his sight that the much enlarged brain tumour was noticed after a scan at Birmingham Eye Hospital.

An emergency operation removed a tumour the size of a lemon, which had forced down upon Adrian’s brain and formed a lump in his head. Adrian now suffers from regular fatigue and epilepsy as a result of this oversight – medical conditions which could have been avoided if the tumour had been removed after the initial scan.

Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust admitted liability but did not add any further comment.

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