Birth Hypoxia Boy Awarded £5.5M Damages Faces NHS Appeal

Posted: 13th June 2012

Hospital testsThe family of a teenage boy who was awarded £5.5 million damages after a judge found that he had been negligently starved of oxygen in the few minutes before his birth is facing an appeal by the NHS.
Fourteen years after the boy’s birth, lawyers and experts are still at odds over exactly what happened in a period of just five minutes before his delivery.
The boy is severely disabled. He cannot speak, has to be fed through a tube and needs 24-hour care. Last year, a judge awarded him £5.5 million to meet his care needs after the court found that his hospital birth had been negligently delayed.
Judge Stephen Oliver-Jones QC ruled that the boy's brain damage was a result of profound hypoxia during the final few minutes before he was born and, had he been delivered sooner, he would have been uninjured.
However, the NHS is taking its case to the Court of Appeal. If it is successful, the boy, will go uncompensated.
The Trust involved argues that the damage to the boy’s brain occurred 'some time remote from delivery' in the last three days of his mother's labour.
It is also argued that Judge Oliver-Jones 'misunderstood' medical expert evidence central to the case and that, even with competent care in the final stages of labour, the boy could not have been delivered by the critical time.