This article was published on April 20th, 2015
A woman, whose baby suffered brain damage during his birth, has won a 16-year fight against the NHS for £5.25m compensation. The mother claimed medics neglected to give her proper advice which may have meant her son had a safer caesarean birth instead. She believes she should have been made aware of all the risks surrounding her son’s birth but, as a result of complications during delivery, her son was born with severe disabilities.
Her damages claim had originally been rejected on two previous occasions but eventually it was decided the health board didn’t advise the patient well enough. The woman is petite and a Type 1 diabetic and it is acknowledged that diabetic mothers can give birth to larger than an average size babies which often leads to complications at birth.
Her obstetrician was aware of the risks of shoulder dystocia, but made a decision not to discuss this with the patient or to discuss caesarean section as an alternative. Had she been made aware of the risks then she would have chosen to have the child by caesarean section.
Now after 16 years the legal fight is over, the mother involved says it is a huge relief of her shoulders and she hopes no one else should have to go through what she and her son went through.
During this case it was revealed that her sons shoulder became stuck after the delivery of his head which is not uncommon with women who are diabetic. The staff performed appropriate manoeuvres to release the shoulder, however there was a 12-minute delay, and he suffered oxygen deprivation. The baby needed to be resuscitated which led to the baby being brain damaged, suffering cerebral palsy and nerve damage and now the child cannot control his shoulder, arm and hand movements.
From this case we have seen that doctors and patients should discuss and agree decisions together and doctors should provide person-centred care in order to do what is best for the patient.
As a result of the court’s decision to award the family with £5.25m, the mother says now she can ensure that her son receives the best treatment and care possible for the rest of his life.
Although compensation can never repair the damage done after a catastrophic injury, it can help to pay for lifelong care including respite care and also help modify homes and vehicles to improve quality of life. We offer a free initial interview in order to review your specific circumstances and assess the viability of your claim. After this, the majority of claims are dealt with on a no win – no fee basis.
Call us now on FREEPHONE 0800 1979 345, or complete our simple enquiry form.