14 year-old born with brain injury following maternity unit delays secures financial settlement and future wellbeing
A 14 year old boy, known as “FXZ” in the proceedings, has secured a financial settlement from Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust after delays in his delivery led to a severe brain injury.
A High Court Judge yesterday approved the settlement at a hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in London, meaning that FXZ will now receive compensation from the NHS Trust to provide the life-long, round the clock care he requires.
Delayed caesarean section
FXZ was born at 30 weeks gestation after his mother’s waters broke prematurely. Labour was very slow to progress and after many hours, dips in FXZ’s heart rate became apparent in the CTG monitoring. However, there was a delay in obtaining a review by an obstetrician, who when arrived, made the decision that FXZ needed to be born by emergency caesarean section.
In the meantime, another patient on the labour ward had also been told she required an emergency caesarean and was taken first to the operating theatre. With only one operating theatre and obstetric team available, FXZ’s mother had to wait for one hour and 45 minutes for FXZ to be delivered. 38 minutes beforehand, the CTG monitor was switched off and there was no monitoring at all of FXZ’s heart rate, despite the earlier concerns.
FXZ was born in poor condition, with a very slow heartbeat and needed resuscitation. He was admitted to NICU and later brain scans confirmed that he had sustained an injury to the white matter of his brain, known as periventricular leukomalacia, or PVL.
Delays in getting compensation
FXZ has fought his claim against the Defendant Trust for many years, with the support of independent expert evidence. No admissions of liability have ever been made by the Trust, however, with the family’s lawyers narrowing the field of issues and irrefutable expert witness submissions, the Defendant Trust realised that they could not reasonably defend this case in a trial.
Living with disability
As a result of his brain injury, FXZ has severe quadriplegic cerebral palsy. He relies on a wheelchair for mobility and requires around-the-clock care. Despite his injury, FXZ is a sociable and determined young man, who loves to take on life’s challenges.
His financial settlement will provide security for him and his family, giving him access to the care and support, equipment, suitable housing and therapies that he needs and to ensure he can live as independently as possible.
Supported by specialist clinical negligence lawyers
FXZ and his family are represented by CL Medilaw, a law firm that specialises in medical negligence and serious injury cases, particularly those involving birth injuries, along with Jonathan Hand KC of Outer Temple Chambers.
Laura Cook, a Partner at CL Medilaw commented: