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Tragic Theo’s Triumph after NHS Trust Trauma
The High Court in London will today be asked to approve a payment of £6.4 million to 8 year old Theo Kramer who was severely brain damaged during his birth at the Edgware Birth Centre in April 2002. The payment will be made by Barnet and Chase Farm Hospitals NHS Trust on behalf of the Edgware Birth Centre. It has admitted the Birth Centre was negligent and was responsible for the appalling injuries suffered by little Theo.
Theo's parents Janet Evans and Earnie Kramer had very carefully selected the Edgware Birth Centre in Burnt Oak Broadway, Edgware. Janet was 38 years old when she became pregnant with Theo and both she and Earnie visited a number of units before choosing Edgware for Theo's delivery. They wanted him to be delivered in the most natural way whilst at the same time minimising any risk to their much wanted baby.
Janet and Earnie were told the Midwives at the Birth Centre were better trained and more experienced than many Midwives working in Hospitals. They were also reassured the Birth Centre would be safer for their baby and in the event their baby needed to be delivered in hospital this would be arranged as fast if not faster than for a woman already in Hospital.
Sadly this was not the case. Janet was left in the care of a student Midwife. Theo's heart rate was not properly monitored and the student Midwife failed to realise that Theo was in severe distress and needed to be delivered. Theo was gravely ill when he was born because he had been deprived of oxygen and there were further delays in arranging for him to be transferred to Barnet General Hospital.
The Edgware Birth Centre should never even have accepted Janet Evans as a patient because their protocol excluded first time mothers over the age of 35.
Theo who is an only child has been left with severe damage to his brain. He has very little mobility, cannot sit up without support and will never be able to walk. He also has severe learning difficulties. In spite of this Theo is described by his parents as “bright, very personable” and a “bit of a heartbreaker” at school where he has many friends. He enjoys communicating using a voice output communication aid and has a particular passion for watching Formula 1 racing on the television.
Theo’s Dad, Earnie whose company provides e-safety software for schools, believes that this tragedy should never have happened. He said today ”It is critical that parents are given full and frank information about stand alone birth centres and particularly the downside of giving birth in a midwife led unit. The government is pushing forward with greater focus on the use of birth centres but needs to realise that higher standards and safer environments cost money, and proper training and support is needed if tragedies like this are to be avoided.”
Theo's Solicitor Eddie Jones, a specialist Clinical Negligence Solicitor and Partner with JMW Solicitors, Manchester added:-
“This is a particularly tragic case where Earnie and Janet feel rightfully angry that they were misled into choosing an NHS Birth Centre to deliver Theo when a safer option, in his case would have been a Hospital Maternity Unit. Parents choosing to have their babies in stand alone midwifery led units need to understand the disadvantages of such units and to know that if things go wrong with the labour they won’t have the same support as in hospital.
For more information:
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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 50 million in compensation for their clients, as well as providing the answers as to why their medical treatment has gone wrong.