A Burnley mum is taking East Lancs Hospitals NHS Trust to the High Court claiming that her six-year-old daughter’s cerebral palsy was a result of delays when she was born.
The little girl is severely disabled after parts of her brain died as her mother spent up to three days in undetected labour, according to a writ issued in London’s High Court.
Now her mother is suing East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust for damages of more than £300,000.
If her claim is successful, on a full liability basis, she could be awarded millions to pay for care for the rest of her life.
The child was born at Burnley General Hospital on May 16th, 2011, by emergency caesarean, weighing just 2.53 kgs. And although she was born at 42 weeks gestation she was suffering from severe growth retardation.
She suffered brain damage after being starved of oxygen, probably because of a blood clot in her mother’s placenta affecting her arteries, the writ says. Now she suffers from cerebral palsy affecting her right side and also severely affecting her development.
The mum had gone to the hospital in February, 2011, after feeling unwell, but despite tests showing abnormal results, her pregnancy continued under midwifery care rather than obstetric care, the writ alleges.
The mum says her complaints were not properly recorded in her notes, and she was not given an adequate clinical examination, which was sub-standard, negligent and a breach of duty.
Midwives should have recognized that tests on the baby’s heart rate showed abnormal results and they should have referred her to an obstetrician, but did not, in breach of the hospital’s guidelines, she says.
The mum says if she had been referred to an obstetrician, a scan would have found her baby was small for her age and that the pregnancy was no longer low risk. It says she should have been delivered by 38 weeks.
If the baby had been delivered before her mother went into labour, or up to 72 hours sooner, then she would have been born unharmed, the writ claims.
The claim for damages for her daughter includes the cost of past and future care, accommodation, therapies, case management, transport, holidays, loss of earnings, and pain, suffering and loss of amenity.