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Severe cerebral palsy caused by maternity failures - £8.8 million
Sam suffers severe cerebral palsy due to errors made by maternity staff during his birth. He will never be able to live independently or hold down a job and will require 24-hour care for the rest of his life. After his family were put in touch with the cerebral palsy specialists at JMW Solicitors Sam was awarded £8.8 million in compensation.
Start of labour
Sam’s mother Elaine had a fairly normal pregnancy and aside from two abnormalities detected at her 20 week scan which later corrected themselves, everything progressed well.
When Elaine was 13 days overdue she attended hospital for a check up and it was decided that she would be given some help to get labour started. Elaine had had a ‘show’ that morning so things were clearly starting to happen and maternity staff decided to insert a Prostin pessary to help things along.
That night Elaine tried to get some rest in the hospital but didn’t really sleep. Although she wasn’t in pain she did have some discomfort and was given Co-codamol by hospital staff for this during the night.
Elaine had some breakfast at about 6.30am and monitoring of the baby’s heart rate was started at about 7.30am. Two midwives starting their shift then took over Elaine’s care.
At about 8am one of the midwives broke Elaine’s waters using an instrument and she told Elaine that there was meconium present and it looked like it had been there for some time. Meconium is the bowel contents of babies while they are still in the womb but is not normally expelled until after birth. When meconium is released by the baby during birth it can be a sign that the baby is in distress.
Elaine was by now having contractions and was moved to the labour ward at about 8,15am. At 8.45am Elaine was attached to a Syntocinon drip to speed up the frequency of her contractions and shortly after she was given an epidural to help with the pain.
The Syntocinon drip was adjusted by doctors and midwives numerous times. Meconium was found again at about 10am.
From Elaine’s bed she could see the monitor that was tracing the baby’s heart rate. When it dropped she was told by a midwife to lie on her left side. At about 10.45am the midwives called a female doctor into the room who examined Elaine and checked the Syntocinon drop. Elaine began to feel quite frightened.
The staff continued to change the bed sheets due to the presence of meconium and at 11.40am Elaine’s epidural was topped up. At 1.40pm Elaine was experiencing strong pressure as if she needed to go to the toilet. A doctor appeared and said that he wanted to take blood samples from the baby to check its condition. These were done but the results were not obtained because the blood samples had clotted in the test tubes. After this the Syntocinon drip was increased twice at the request of the doctor.
At 3.45pm Elaine was 9cm dilated and the midwives and doctor told her to push. Sam was born at 4.58pm in a poor condition. He was blue and had to be resuscitated. After quite a few minutes Sam finally cried, however it was not the cry of a healthy newborn and Elaine could sense that something was wrong. Sam spent a week in the special care baby unit and a month after his birth was diagnosed with severe brain damage.
Medical negligence case
Elaine had serious concerns about the care provided to her and Sam during her labour; especially relating to the amount of Syntocinon she was given. After investigating the care provided, JMW found that it had been negligent for the drip to be increased, particularly given the signs that Sam was in distress, and that action should have been taken to deliver him more quickly. JMW gathered independent medical evidence that found that had these errors not been made, Sam’s brain damage would have been avoided.
The hospital made a full admission of negligence and JMW negotiated a compensation settlement of £8.8 million to cover the cost of Sam’s specialist care.
Has your family suffered in a similar way?
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.
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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.
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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.