Mother Demands Jaundice Screening As Trust Agrees to Pay Compensation For Son’s Brain Injury

23 November 2015

The mother of a boy brain damaged after midwives allegedly failed to act on signs of newborn jaundice has called for a national screening programme to prevent more tragedies.

Urrvashi Kothari-Tailor was speaking after hospital bosses agreed to settle legal proceedings for mistakes which left her eight-year-old son, Dilraj, dependent on others for the rest of his life.

However, the Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust has not admitted liability for the alleged conduct of midwives based at Trafford General Hospital.

As a result of a failure to treat his jaundice properly , Dilraj developed an illness called kernicterus which left him suffering from cerebral palsy, blind and unable to speak.

During a hearing at the High Court in London, it was revealed that Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust is now working with Ms Kothari-Tailor’s lawyers to determine the amount of compensation needed to provide the care which Dilraj requires.

Eddie Jones, a specialist brain injury lawyer at JMW Solicitors, who is representing the family, said they were "delighted" at the prospect of their legal campaign drawing to a close.

"The real pity of this case is that the brain damage sustained by Dilraj was entirely preventable if he had been given the right treatment at the right time.

"Jaundice is a common condition in newborns and, whilst in rare cases the consequences  can be serious, it is treatable.

"Sadly, the mistakes made have had a catastrophic impact on Dilraj's life and the lives of the rest of his family."

Mr Jones added that the case was merely one of a number of claims from across the country being handled by his firm for similar mistakes resulting in kernicterus affecting other children.

The demands of caring for Dilraj Singh have forced his mother, from Stretford in Greater Manchester, to quit her job as a nursery nurse.

Ms Kothari-Tailor described how her experiences in dealing with her son's disability had convinced her of the need for greater vigilance to prevent further incidents of kernicterus.

"Having a child with special needs is very difficult to come to terms with, especially when you know that the injuries which they suffer from could easily have been avoided.

"More needs to be done in ensuring that midwives are alert to the signs that babies such as Dilraj are in danger of contracting kernicterus.

"There were opportunities missed to help my son. If only the link between jaundice and the risk of brain damage had been made early enough, something could have been done and we would not ultimately have been forced to take legal action to provide Dilraj with the care that he needs.

"I'm determined to try what we have gone through as a means of highlighting the importance of screening for other babies and their parents."

Ms Kothari-Tailor's comments follow a call in 2008 from the Government's former Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, for a national kernicterus register and routine screening to prevent the condition occurring.

Despite his urging, there is still no such register in place and no decision is understood to have been taken by the Department of Health on a screening progamme.

ENDS

 

Ends

 

For more information or to arrange an interview, please contact Samantha Meakin or Brendan Pittaway on the details below:

 

Samantha Meakin:

T. 0161 828 1981

E. Samantha.meakin@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.

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



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