As a result of injuries that he suffered at the time of his birth Mayo University Hospital, a six-year-old boy has settled his birth injury compensation action against the Health Service Executive (HSE) for €7m.
This comes after lengthy mediation talks between all of the parties involved in the legal action. The boy is not allowed to be named due to an order issued by the court in relation to the case.
Appearing in Court on behalf of the boy, Denis McCullough SC said that this is the first legal action of its type in Ireland where it was claimed that a baby suffered a neonatal stroke. He informed Judge Kevin Cross that said medical experts had said that a stroke such as the one suffered by the infant can be caused by hypoxia ischemia. Experts appearing on behalf of the HSE denied this claim.
The boy’s mother had had attended Mayo University Hospital in 2013 in preparation for his birth. A number of scans that were conducted indicated that amniotic fluid had seriously reduced and the foetus was quite small – congenital abnormality was suspected, and the mother to Dublin. The defence team claimed that this was not an appropriate course of action to take.
However, it was claimed that the infant was not suffering from a congenital abnormality and the foetal compromise should have been diagnosed and a quick delivery was completed. Along with this it was claimed that too much time was allowed to pass during attempts to confirm a bed in a Dublin hospital for the mother. Due to this she was transferred to an ambulance but then taken back out as it was too late for such a transfer to be completed. A CTG trace to monitor the baby was started and it is claimed it was grossly abnormal but was discontinued. A caesarean section was used to to give birth to the boy.
Following delivery, the boy underwent intensive resuscitation and he was later taken to a Dublin hospital for further treatment. The legal action said that there was an alleged failure to deliver the baby in a proper and timely fashion and an alleged failure to recognise the CTG irregularities were causing damage to the baby or the situation required urgent intervention.
The HSE had denied this and argued that the boy suffered a stroke because of hypoxia ischemia – reduced brain oxygen caused by inadequate blood flow.