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Boyes Turner’s specialist cerebral palsy solicitors have obtained an admission of liability for a young man who suffered brain damage at birth over 20 years ago.
The defendant NHS hospital, which was responsible for his mother’s care during her labour and delivery, has admitted that there were negligent delays in his delivery. The claimant suffered acute and profound asphyxial brain damage in the 10 to 15 minutes immediately prior to his birth. The short period of hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) left him with bilateral asymmetric spastic cerebral palsy.
When the claimant’s mother was admitted to hospital in labour the CTG fetal heart monitor initially revealed that all was going well. She was monitored continuously throughout the labour but within three hours the CTG began to show worrying abnormalities. The fetal heart baseline began to rise and then decelerations (dips in the baby’s heart rate) appeared. At first the decelerations were in response to the maternal contractions but then dropped further and took longer to return to the already elevated baseline heart rate. The beat to beat variability on the CTG also began to reduce – indicating another abnormality. The abnormal CTG trace should have alerted the midwives to call for an obstetrician. If they had done so, the doctor would have requested fetal blood samples, which would have shown that the baby was struggling to get enough oxygen. The baby would then have been delivered by caesarean section or forceps delivery depending on the baby’s position and cervical dilatation at the time the decision was made.
Instead, the claimant’s mother was given syntocinon which was gradually increased. This drug stimulates the uterus and can speed up labour. It must be used with great care to avoid hyper-stimulating the uterus and causing stress to a fetus that is already being deprived of oxygen.
At birth the claimant needed resuscitation and was transferred to the special care baby unit. Blood tests indicated that he was acidotic. He had suffered an acute, near total hypoxic ischaemic injury. He has bilateral spastic cerebral palsy which has left him physically disabled.
Boyes Turner’s specialist cerebral palsy lawyers were approached by the claimant as an adult, investigated the claim and issued court proceedings against the defendant NHS hospital, which has now admitted liability for the claimant’s injury. Judgment will be entered and an interim payment obtained to help meet the claimant’s immediate needs whilst we assess the full value of the claim.
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