Lawyers call for greater awareness of the risks of newborn jaundice after boy suffers brain damage 

16/10/2012

Specialist medical negligence lawyers have called for greater awareness of the risks of newborn jaundice after a four-year-old boy suffered devastating brain damage.  
Nashae Prendegast-Coote, of Deptford, London, will need round the clock care for the rest of his life after developing a rare form of brain damage called kernicterus. Kernicterus is completely preventable and is caused in newborn babies with jaundice that becomes so severe it affects the brain. 
Nashae’s kernicterus has left him with severe cerebral palsy and he cannot stand or walk. He is also profoundly deaf and suffers communication problems as a result. Nashae will always be dependent on others and will have a range of special care requirements to ensure he is properly looked after.
Now medical negligence solicitors at law firm JMW are working on behalf of Nashae’s grandmother and carer Marja Powell, 52, to challenge the treatment provided to the youngster following his birth at Lewisham Hospital. 
Nashae was born on 14th June 2008 and suffered brain damage a week later while he was still an in-patient. The case against the hospital concerns an alleged failure to provide appropriate treatment of Nashae’s jaundice and that the subsequent management of his care was substandard. Lewisham Healthcare NHS Trust, which is responsible for the hospital has denied that it acted negligently. 
Angharad Hughes, a medical negligence lawyer at JMW is acting on behalf of Nashae. 
She commented: “Kernicterus is caused when levels of a substance called bilirubin – which causes the yellowing of the skin – become so high that they cross the brain’s membrane and cause irreversible damage. However high bilirubin levels are completely treatable with phototherapy or a blood transfusion and with fast action and good care, kernicterus can be prevented.
“While kernicterus is rare, it is vital that healthcare staff at every level are alert to the potential dangers that newborn jaundice poses and that adequate steps are taken to avoid brain damage.
“Nashae’s brain damage has had a significant impact on him and is so severe that it is clear he will need a high level of specialist care and assistance for the rest of his life.”
If Nashae’s case is successful he will eventually receive compensation to cover the 24-hour care and specialist equipment he will require for the rest of his life. 
Ends

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Kelly Livesey on the details below:

Kelly Livesey

D. 0161 828 1868E.

Kelly.livesey@jmw.co.uk 

Note to Editors

JMW Solicitors LLP is a leading Manchester law firm and offers a broad range of legal services to both commercial and private clients.JMW’s Clinical Negligence team is headed up by leading clinical negligence lawyer, Eddie Jones. For more than a decade he and his team have advised and represented thousands of victims of clinical negligence, and their relatives, and have obtained over 70 million in compensation for their clients, as well as providing the answers as to why their medical treatment has gone wrong.

http://www.jmw.co.uk/services-for-you/clinical-negligence/ 



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