Case Study: Failure to Monitor Blood Sugar Levels Leads to Brain Damage

Compensation: £5 million 

Alfie, six

JMW has helped secure £5 million pounds compensation for a young boy who has been left brain damaged, due to midwives failure to monitor blood sugar levels following his birth.

Alfie’s mother enjoyed a healthy pregnancy and he was born at 41 weeks after an uncomplicated delivery. While his birth weight was fairly low at 4lb 11oz, his condition was good.

Low temperature and blood sugar levels

However after he was taken to the postnatal ward, his temperature and blood sugar levels were checked and found to be low.  

Alfie was transferred to the special care baby unit, where his blood sugar and temperature were monitored every four hours. He was also given extra feeds of formula milk and expressed breast milk, which brought his blood sugar level to an acceptable level.  

For the next 24 hours, Alfie was kept in the special care baby unit and his blood sugar and temperature stayed at a healthy level. After being checked by a consultant paediatrician, he was discharged back to the post natal ward at about midday.  

A plan was set out for the Alfie to be breastfed every three hours and that his blood sugars should be monitored for the rest of the day. If his blood sugars continued to be at a safe and healthy level then the consultant’s advice was for monitoring to be discontinued.  

Inadequate monitoring of blood sugars

However on his return to the neonatal ward Alfie’s blood sugars were not monitored adequately by midwives and care was not taken to ensure he received the regular feeds he needed. The next day Alfie and his mother were discharged from hospital, and it was then that catastrophe struck.

Return to hospital

The day after being discharged Alfie was taken back to hospital by his family suffering from severe hypoglycaemia, which is caused when blood sugars become so low that the brain is affected. 

Consequences

Despite doctors managing to stabilise his blood sugar levels, the hypoglycaemia Alfie suffered caused him devastating and irreversible brain damage, which could have been prevented with proper treatment. Alfie now has severe cerebral palsy, epilepsy, significant learning difficulties and very poor eyesight.

The claim for negligence

Alfie’s case was taken up by Eddie Jones, head of medical negligence at JMW, who successfully secured him a lump sum and periodical payments amounting to £5 million, which will cover the 24-hour care he will require for the rest of his life. 


*Names have been changed to protect client confidentiality.

If you believe you or someone has been a victim of neonatal medical negligence, please do not hesitate to give us a call to discuss the situation and to see whether you could be entitled to compensation. Ring us today on 0800 054 6512, or complete our online enquiry form and a member of our friendly team will get in touch with you. 

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