Case Study: Delay in Diagnosing Baby's Heart Condition

Compensation: £10,000

JMW has succeeded in obtaining £10,000 for a young boy after doctors misdiagnosed his heart condition which resulted in numerous complications and was an extremely distressing time for his family that could have been avoided.

This was Joseph’s mother’s second pregnancy.  Everything had gone well and Joseph was born by normal vaginal delivery.  However, his mum immediately noticed that his hands, feet and lips were blue. 

She also noted that on his first night he was slow feeding and he had bubbles of foam coming from his mouth.  At about midnight she was so concerned about his persistent blueness that she went to seek advice from the midwives’ office. 

Inadequate assessment following birth

She was told that it was normal for newborn babies to have blue hands and feet and Joseph was not examined.  Shortly after 8 am the following morning Joseph’s mum called a nursing auxillary over to see him.  She immediately recognised that he was seriously ill and he was rushed into the resuscitation area.  Unfortunately, resuscitation did not go smoothly and it was difficult to maintain Joseph’s ventilation.  He suffered 2 collapsed lungs in the process and his oxygen levels remained low.  Later that morning it was suspected that he had an underlying heart problem.  He was referred to a local specialist hospital where the diagnosis was confirmed.


He recovered well from his heart problem but he did have some delay in development. 

The claim for negligence

The Hospital Trust accepted that Joseph was not adequately assessed at birth and if he had been his heart problem would have been diagnosed some hours earlier.  They also accepted that he would not have had the need for emergency resuscitation and his collapsed lungs would have been avoided.  Following further investigation it was found that Joseph’s developmental delay was not down to the hospital error, his case settled for £10,000.00.

Have you also suffered negligent treatment following birth?

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