Court Approves Compensation for Delayed Caesarean Section

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The High Court has approved a €1.35 million settlement for a young boy who suffered serious birth injuries after a hospital’s failure to operate on his mother.

The claim for medical negligence compensation was made on behalf of a child from Bantry, Co. Cork. Born in March 2010 at the Cork University Maternity Hospital, the boy sustained severe birth injuries after an alleged failure to correctly interpret the results of a CTG scan. The scan showed that the boy was suffering from foetal distress syndrome.

As the staff did not believe the foetus was in danger, there was a delay in performing a Caesarean section. Consequently, the boy suffered from a lack of oxygen and contracted hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy in utero. He was born with severe brain damage.

The boy, now six years old, is blind and unable to speak. He also suffers from daily seizures and is reliant on round-the-clock care. His parents and extended family provide constant care, and he receives additional support from the Jack and Jill Foundation.

Acting on her son’s behalf, the boy’s mother made a claim for medical negligence compensation against the Health Service Executive (HSE). Though the HSE denied the allegations of negligence, they agreed to pay an interim settlement of compensation of €1.35 million without admitting liability. The settlement allows for an assessment of the boy’s condition and future care needs.

As the claim was made on behalf of a minor, the settlement had to be approved in court before it could be awarded. At the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told of how hard it was for the boy’s family to get compensation for the delayed Caesarean section, and of their relief that the process was over. Wishing the family the best for the future, Judge Cross approved the settlement and adjourned the case for three years.