Our Medical Negligence solicitors have secured an £8.4 million settlement for a teenager with cerebral palsy who was deprived of oxygen in the womb.
Sarah* was born at University College Hospital in London. Before her birth, her mother went to the hospital on the 13th September with vaginal bleeding. She was neither induced nor monitored by medical staff during this time, and was sent home.
Five days later on the 18th September, Sarah’s mother went into labour and was admitted to hospital.
Between the first hospital visit and the birth, Sarah had suffered chronic partial hypoxia while still in the womb. This meant she had been deprived of oxygen, ultimately resulting in a brain injury.
Her parents only discovered their daughter had cerebral palsy some time later, when they raised concerns about Sarah’s development.
They got in touch with our medical negligence team and asked us to look into the care surrounding Sarah’s birth.
Our investigation found that the hospital staff should have admitted Sarah’s mother for monitoring after experiencing blood loss on the 13th. They should also have offered to induce labour, which would have involved monitoring Sarah’s heart rate. An early induction may have allowed Sarah to avoid hypoxia entirely, or allowed staff to detect and treat it at the time.
Following our investigation, the NHS Foundation Trust that ran the hospital admitted that they were in part responsible for Sarah’s brain injury. We negotiated a £8.4 million settlement to fund the specialist therapy and care Sarah will need for the rest of her life.
Sarah’s mum explained: “When our daughter was born and then diagnosed with cerebral palsy all our life plans went out of the window. While nothing can turn the clock back this settlement at least gives us peace of mind that Sarah’s needs will be met for the rest of her life.
There have been some difficult times but we are so proud of how Sarah tries not to let her disability define her. She is extremely resilient and motivated and has thus far overcome every challenge life has thrown at her.”
Leena Savjani, the Partner who worked on Sarah’s case, added: “Sadly through our work we see the consequences of what families can be left to face following delays and failings in birth.
“People with cerebral palsy have complex needs and it often takes many years for health professionals to fully establish the full extent of the support they will require for the rest of their life.
“While we are pleased to have secured this settlement for Sarah, which has been carefully calculated and approved by the High Court, no amount of money can ever make up for the injuries she has suffered and the anguish her parents have endured.
“Despite her injuries Sarah has made great progress and we hope that the approval will ensure that she can continue that progress and lead as full and independent a life as possible.
“It is also vital that the Hospital Trust learns lessons from this case to improve patient care.”
If you or a loved one has suffered due to negligent medical treatment, our specialist team may be able to help. Visit our Cerebral Palsy Claims page for more information, or call us on 0800 056 4110. Alternatively, you can contact us online if you’d prefer.
*Name has been changed
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