£6.9 Million for premature birth victim

Posted: 29th December 2014

NHSA young man who was left needing care for life after being starved of oxygen in an ambulance following his premature birth at a hospital which lacked full emergency obstetric facilities has won a £6.9 million compensation package from the NHS.

The man, aged in his 20s, was delivered prematurely by emergency caesarean section at a small hospital after it was discovered that his mother was suffering from cancer. Medics failed to properly inform the mother of the options open to her and her baby began to suffer acute breathing difficulties soon after his birth.

He had to be transferred to another hospital for intensive post-natal care but suffered brain damage in an ambulance en-route. His life had been blighted by cerebral palsy and serious cognitive and physical disabilities. He would never be able to work or look after himself and depended on his parents’ devoted care.

Lawyers on his behalf sued the NHS trust responsible for the hospital, which agreed to a settlement of his case comprising a £2.6 million lump sum as well as index-linked and tax-free annual payments to cover the costs of his care for life. The settlement, worth £6.9 million in total, was approved by the High Court.

Lawyers representing the trust made a public apology to the man and his family for the shortcomings in the care provided. Despite the severity of his disabilities, he was described as ‘a sociable young man’ who had endeavoured to lead as independent a life as possible with his parents’ unstinting support.