Hospital admits that negligent care resulted in young man’s cerebral palsy

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Ben Ward, a medical negligence specialist at Ashtons Legal, has obtained an agreement from an NHS Trust that a young man, Mr T, living with cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy is doing so as a result of negligent care at the time of his birth.

Mr T’s mother has diabetes and it is well known that insulin-dependent mothers often have larger than average babies. Monitoring towards the end of her pregnancy clearly showed that she was indeed having a large baby. She was not, however, made aware of the potential risks or benefits of having a caesarean section as opposed to a normal delivery or given the option to elect for caesarean section.

Unfortunately, the birth turned out to be difficult. Labour was induced and an emergency Ventouse was required to assist his delivery. Sadly, due to his size, one of his shoulders became stuck which delayed his delivery. During this time he was deprived of sufficient oxygen, leading to his suffering hypoxic brain damage and ultimately cerebral palsy. In addition, and due to the pressure required to pull him out of the birth canal once stuck, he also suffered a brachial plexus injury resulting in Erb’s palsy.

Ben comments: “Mr T’s case is a great example of the need to move away from a paternalistic approach to decision making in medicine, to a far more patient-centric one. Mr T is fortunate enough to have a devoted mother who has dedicated her life to ensuring that he is able to achieve his maximum potential. We cannot turn back the clock and put Mr T in the physical position he would have been in had his mother undergone a caesarean section. However, I am really delighted that through this process, we can now proceed to quantify Mr T’s future needs to ensure that he can live a fulfilling and independent a life as possible which will help to alleviate the pressure and worry that his mum has relating to what the future holds for him. This injury was incurred some years ago and it is encouraging to know that new accepted practices in this hospital would have resulted in a different outcome today.”


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