In 2009, Ms M, a 26 year old woman working as a nurse in a children’s intensive care unit, was expecting her first child. The only possible risk to her pregnancy was due to her partner’s haemophilia, however an early scan had indicated that they were having a boy and that he would not be affected. Ms M and her partner were very excited about the birth of their first child.
Ms M attended the hospital after her waters broke. Ms M was induced, but as her labour developed there were signs of foetal distress which should have prompted a review of her labour by a doctor. No such review took place and consequently the baby boy, N, suffered brain damage at birth. N received total body cooling immediately after his birth for 24 hours which is believed to have significantly reduced the amount of brain damage sustained as a result of the defendant’s negligence.
N’s brain damage could have been avoided if Ms M had undergone a caesarean section after the baby’s distress was first observed; instead he will require significant care for the rest of his life. He suffers from micro-cephaly and a seizure disorder, his speech and language is severely delayed and he has an evolving behavioural problem.
N is being represented by Elizabeth Smith of Plymouth-based Brain Injury Group member, Wolferstans Solicitors. The negligent hospital has admitted liability and Elizabeth is in the process of valuing the care that N will need for the rest of his life which is expected to be in excess of £1 million.