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5 May 2021
Catalogue of errors at Bradford Royal Infirmary led to baby’s brain damage
A boy who suffered catastrophic brain damage as a baby, after doctors failed to treat his mother for a urinary tract infection, has been awarded approximately £10 million in compensation to pay for the lifelong specialist care he requires.
The boy, who is now 10 and cannot be identified for legal reasons, is very severely disabled and completely dependent on others for all of his needs. He is unable to walk, is registered blind and has no speech. He requires specialist carers 24-hours a day to give him any semblance of a normal life.
The High Court in London today agreed the settlement should be paid to the boy, after it was negotiated by Angharad Hughes, a brain injury specialist at law firm JMW. As well as a high standard of care it will also enable him to live in a house specially adapted for his disabilities and access specialist equipment and therapies.
In 2017, Bradford Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust admitted its failures caused the boy’s brain damage after an investigation by Angharad revealed a catalogue of errors at Bradford Royal Infirmary led to his mother becoming critically ill with sepsis, and his brain being starved of oxygen.
His mother said that nothing could ever make up for the devastating impact on her son and her family but she hopes lessons have been learned to protect other patients from similar tragedies.
She said: “This has been a horrendous ordeal that I would not wish on anyone. Nothing can give my son the life most other 10-year-old boys take for granted because of the appalling standard of care we received. It’s heart-breaking to think of any other families suffering as we have and hospitals need to understand the life-changing consequences their actions have.
“I am relieved that my son will be taken care of financially for the rest of his life but no amount of money could ever make up for what happened to him.”
The boy’s mother had a tube fitted in her kidney during her pregnancy to drain urine after she developed kidney stones. Around the end of her pregnancy she noticed this was not working and attended hospital, at which point the tube fell out and she was admitted to hospital.
Angharad Hughes, a partner specialising in brain injury cases at law firm JMW, said “From the point of his mother’s admission to hospital things went badly wrong and the situation was completely mismanaged leading to a catalogue of appalling errors.
“A simple urine sample was not taken to check for a urinary tract infection (UTI), her care was not discussed with a senior doctor and a plan was not put in place to re-site the tube and deliver the baby safely. She was in fact suffering from a UTI, and when she became seriously unwell she was not seen urgently by a doctor or given appropriate antibiotic treatment.
“The consequences were traumatic, devastating and completely avoidable. Her body became overwhelmed with infection, and as well as posing an enormous threat to her life it had grave consequences for her unborn child.
“As has been acknowledged by the hospital, this poor standard of care has no place in a modern health service and I sincerely hope that lessons have been learned.”
Notes to editors:
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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.