Saturday, July 25, 2020

A six-year-old boy who sued over the circumstances of his birth at Mayo University Hospital has settled his High Court action for €7 million.

Denis McCullough SC, for the boy, who cannot be identified by court order, said it was the first action in Ireland where it was alleged that a baby suffered a neo-natal stroke.

The HSE had disputed if the boy suffered the stroke because of hypoxia-ischemia and the settlement was reached after mediation.

Counsel said experts on the boy’s side would say strokes can be caused by hypoxia-ischemia but this was disputed by the defendant and its experts.

Through his mother, the boy sued the HSE over the circumstances of his birth in 2013. His mother had had a number of scans at the hospital which revealed markedly reduced amniotic fluid and a small foetus. It is claimed that a congenital abnormality was suspected, leading to an inappropriate plan to transfer the mother to Dublin.

The baby, it was claimed, did not have a congenital abnormality and foetal compromise should have been recognised and a prompt and urgent delivery carried out.

It was claimed an excessive amount of time was spent trying to secure a bed in Dublin for the woman. She was put in an ambulance but then taken out as it was too late for such a transfer. A CTG trace to monitor the baby was commenced which, it was claimed, was grossly abnormal but the trace was discontinued.

Counsel said there was a great deal of confusion and a decision was made for a caesarean section. When the baby was delivered, he required intensive resuscitation and was later transferred to a Dublin hospital.

It was alleged there was a failure to deliver the baby in a proper and timely and manner and to appreciate the CTG abnormalities were causing damage to the baby or required urgent intervention. The claims were denied.

Counsel said the child requires one-to-one, 24-hour care. The boy’s father told the court the family was glad the case had come to an end.

“We are incredibly proud of our boy. He is a happy child,” he told Mr Justice Kevin Cross, who approved the settlement.

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