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Meningitis failures cause newborn baby to suffer severe brain damage - £4.6M
Nine-year-old Bobby suffered catastrophic brain damage when he was just six weeks old after an out-of-hours GP, a paramedic and a community GP failed to refer him to hospital when he developed symptoms of meningitis. Bobby’s permanent disabilities are severe but after his family was put in touch with the brain injury specialists at JMW he was awarded £4.6 million in compensation to cover the cost of the care he requires.
Misdiagnosis by out-of-hours GP
When Bobby fell ill one evening his mother Marie was immediately concerned as had severe vomiting and diarrhoea unlike anything Bobby had experienced before. Bobby would not settle and seemed very poorly so at 11pm Marie called the out-of-hours GP service.
The doctor was unconcerned and, unacceptably due to Bobby’s young age, did not arrange to see him in person or tell Marie to take him to the nearest medical centre. The doctor asked Marie about Bobby’s feeding and decided that a diagnosis of over-feeding would explain the sickness even though without a physical examination he could not rule out a serious illness.
Paramedic takes no action
Over the next two hours Bobby deteriorated further and his parents were becoming increasingly concerned. Bobby would not settle at all, his breathing was fast and shallow and his skin was clammy: all signs that he was suffering from a severe infection which required hospital treatment.
At 1.20am Marie called NHS Direct and the nurse she spoke to rang an ambulance when Marie reported that Bobby’s lips were blue and his skin was turning grey. However when the ambulance arrived, the paramedic, despite Bobby’s young age and his worrying symptoms, decided he had a virus and did not transfer him to hospital where he could be checked out by specialists. The paramedic told Bobby’s parents to give him Calpol and that he should recover over the next few days although they could take him to see his GP in the morning if they wished.
Third attempt to get help
Bobby remained in a poor condition overnight and by the next morning his parents were beside themselves. They knew something was not right however they kept being fobbed off. They decided to try again with their own GP and as soon as the surgery opened they called for an appointment.
The doctor saw Bobby at 10am and despite further worrying signs, including Bobby being drowsy and floppy she simply reiterated the paramedic’s advice.Later that evening Bobby’s eyes began moving in different directions and his parents took him back to the doctor who this time told them to take him to hospital but still had no sense of urgency.
At hospital Bobby was fitting and he was diagnosed with meningitis. Doctors tried very hard to treat him successfully with antibiotics but it was now too late to prevent permanent brain damage from being caused.
Successful medical negligence case
As specialists in brain injury cases JMW conducted a thorough investigation into the care provided to Bobby and took legal action on his behalf. The two doctors and the ambulance service denied that the failure to refer Bobby to hospital had caused his brain damage however negotiations by JMW clinical negligence partner Olivia Scates led to them agreeing liability for 85 per cent of his injuries and for a £4.6 million care package to be secured. This will provide the highly specialist care that Bobby, who is not expected to live past his teens, requires to lead as comfortable a life as possible.
Has your family also suffered in a similar way to Bobby's?
If so, our expert, sympathetic solicitors can help you to claim the compensation you need to cover the costs of the devastating effects of the clinical negligence you experienced. Call us on 0345 872 6666 or fill in our contact form.
More Case Studies
Eddie Jones, head of clinical negligence at JMW, helped Khalil and his family to secure a lifelong compensation package worth £26 million after appalling errors by maternity staff caused him brain damage during his birth.
'Daniel' has severe physical disabilities, will never be able to work to earn a living and is dependent on others for all of his needs after he suffered devastating and avoidable brain damage at birth. He was awarded £25 million in compensation after his case was taken on by the cerebral palsy specialists at JMW Solicitors who have decades of experience in such cases.
'Francesca' suffered devastating brain damage during birth due to errors made with a drug used to speed up labour. She has lifelong specialist care requirements and will never be able to live independently, work for a living or have her own family. Although nothing could ever make up for this, Sally Leonards, a partner specialising in brain injury cases at JMW, was able to obtain £24 million in compensation to ensure she is properly taken care of and has financial security.
Melissa Gardner, a JMW partner specialising in cases of brain damage caused during birth, has secured a £22.3 million compensation settlement for a girl left severely disabled by maternity failures. Ruth will never be able to work and will be dependent on others for the rest of her life so the compensation will cover the cost of her 24-hour care and provide financial security.
Angharad Hughes, a partner in JMW's specialist clinical negligence team, secured £22 million in compensation, for a boy who suffered severe head trauma as a baby due to appalling errors made during a forceps delivery.
The specialist cerebral palsy solicitors at JMW secured a £22 million compensation package for an 11-year-old girl who suffered oxygen deprivation during birth leading to brain damage after her mother was talked out of having a C-section by doctors.
Melissa Gardner, a partner in JMW's medical negligence team, secured £22 million in compensation for a girl with severe physical disabilities due to poor monitoring of her oxygen levels just after she was born.
'Annie' should have been delivered urgently when there were signs that she was in distress in the womb. However blunders by midwives and doctors meant her birth was delayed and she was starved of oxygen leading to her being diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy. Eddie Jones, head of medical negligence at JMW, obtained £18 million in compensation to cover the cost of Annie's lifelong care.
'Alex' suffered severe and permanent brain damage during his birth after an induction of labour went badly wrong. Steven Brown, a partner in JMW's medical negligence team specialising in brain injuries, secured £13 million in compensation for Alex to help him to have the care and financial security he requires to cope with his disabilities.
A partner in the JMW medical negligence team and a specialist in cerebral palsy cases, obtained £13 million in compensation for two siblings who were tragically both brain damaged by hospital errors.
Shauna was left with severe cerebral palsy and requires 24-hour care for the rest of her life after maternity failures. Our specialist cerebral palsy team secured her compensation totalling £10 million to provide her with financial security.
Lily was left catastrophically brain damaged after maternity failures. The cerebral palsy specialists at JMW secured her £10 million in compensation to cover the cost of the specialist care, accommodation and financial security she requires.
The specialist cerebral palsy solicitors at JMW secured a compensation settlement of £8.8 million for 'Sam' after maternity failures left him needing round-the-clock care.
Luke suffered catastrophic brain damage due to appalling failures by midwives. He was left with severe cerebral palsy and will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life. The brain injury specialists at JMW obtained over £7 million in compensation to cover the cost of this.
Seven-year-old boy R was left brain damaged after he was starved of oxygen at birth, when doctors at failed to recognise he was in serious danger and delayed his delivery. Eddie Jones helped the boy's mother to secure £6.56 million in compensation, ensuring the financial toll of the special needs he will have for the rest of his life are taken care of.
Young Theo has severe cerebral palsy which has left him with very little mobility and unable to sit up unaided after his brain was staved of oxygen due to the negligence of a birth centre. JMW secured Theo a £6.4 million compensation package to provide the specialist care he requires.
Harry was left with cerebral palsy in all four limbs, learning difficulties and behavioural problems due to the negligence of midwives. Eddie Jones, one of the cerebral palsy legal experts at JMW Solicitors, obtained him £6.22 million in compensation.
Heather was starved of oxygen at birth and as a result suffers from cerebral palsy. JMW were able to negotiate a settlement on her behalf which will help her live as normal a life as possible.
Huw was left with severe and permanent brain damage after his delivery was delayed despite abnormalities with his heart rate. The cerebral palsy specialists at JMW obtained Huw £5 million in compensation to provide the care he requires.
Alfie was left with severe cerebral palsy, epilepsy and learning difficulties after midwives failed to adequately monitor his blood sugar levels following his birth.
Hannah was left with severe cerebral palsy after a maternity unit failed to treat her respiratory illness effectively. The expert lawyers at JMW Solicitors negotiated a £4.8 million compensation package to fund her future care.
'Bobby' was left with severe cerebral palsy and very significant disabilities after meningitis failures when he was a baby led to permanent brain damage. Bobby is not expected to live beyond his teens but a JMW medical negligence partner secured a £4.6 million care package that will enable him to have as comfortable a life as possible.
Harvey suffered devastating brain damage as a newborn baby after a community midwife failed to take action on his newborn jaundice. He was left with cerebral palsy and will never be able to live independently or hold down a job. The specialist solicitors at JMW secured £4.5 million in compensation to help Harvey to cope with his disabilities.
Melissa Gardner, a partner specialising in serious injury cases at JMW, and solicitor Rachael Heyes, have negotiated a compensation settlement totalling £9.8 million for a man who has permanent disabilities due cerebral palsy. Serious errors were made during his birth which led to his brain being starved of oxygen but he will now have access to the care, equipment and accommodation he will require for the rest of his life.
Talk to Us
For an assessment of your potential brain injury claim, please complete our online enquiry form and one of our specialists will contact you shortly, or call us on 0800 054 6512. We can discuss your situation in more detail and answer any questions you may have.