‘Bristol heart baby’ compensated

Posted: 5th August 2014

SurgeonsA young man whose life will always be overshadowed by brain damage suffered during heart surgery carried out when he was a toddler at the Bristol Royal Infirmary has won a £225,000 settlement of his claim against the NHS.

The man was aged four when he underwent surgery to correct a congenital heart defect. The operation was performed by one of the surgeons at the centre of the Bristol heart babies scandal of the 1990s, which resulted in a public inquiry into standards of paediatric heart surgery at the hospital.

The man had been left suffering from cognitive impairment which, although ‘subtle’, would blight the rest of his life. Lawyers on his behalf claimed that he had been left on heart bypass for too long and that there was a negligent failure to remedy an obstruction in his blood flow during the operation.

Proceedings were brought against the United Bristol Healthcare NHS Trust, who agreed to the settlement without making any admission of liability. Despite his difficulties, the man's lawyers described him as popular, with a wide circle of friends and enjoying the benefits of a loving family. The money would be used to help him rebuild his life and to provide the support he needed for the future.