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£5.2 million settlement for Badly Brain Injured Boy
A nine-year-old boy, who was left with cerebral palsy, blindness and an inability to speak following a failure to diagnose his jaundice in his new born period, has secured a settlement of over £5 million following a High Court Approval Hearing today, Monday 4 December.
The young boy, who cannot be named for legal reasons, will be dependent on others for the rest of his life after developing a rare form of brain damage called kernicterus. Kernicterus is completely preventable and is caused in new-born babies with jaundice that becomes so severe it affects the brain.
The boy was born healthy at Trafford General Hospital in March 2008 but community midwives failed to treat his jaundice properly and the delay in treatment resulted in him suffering severe kernicterus. He will always be dependent on others due to his range of special care requirements.
After a successful medical negligence claim he has now been awarded a package equivalent to £5.2 million in compensation by Central Manchester NHS Foundation Trust to enable specialist care for now and throughout the rest if his life.
Eddie Jones, a Partner and specialist brain injury lawyer at JMW Solicitors, who is representing the boy and his family, said they were "pleased to have received compensation which will help him get the care he requires to cater for his disabilities”.
Eddie Jones, Partner from JMW, commented:
"Jaundice is a common condition in new-born babies and, whilst in rare cases the consequences can be serious, it is treatable. Sadly the mistakes made by community midwives have had catastrophic consequences for the boy and his family.
His mother has had to go through such an awful ordeal due to an avoidable tragedy but she has fought hard to secure compensation for her son to ensure his needs will be catered for during the rest of his life.
More needs to be done in ensuring that midwives are aware to the signs that babies are in danger of contracting kernicterus so other families do not have to experience such tragic circumstances.”
Mr Jones added that the case was merely one of a number of claims from across the country being handled by the firm for similar mistakes resulting in kernicterus affecting other children.
In 2008 the Government's former Chief Medical Officer, Sir Liam Donaldson, called 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 programme.
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