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Cerebral Palsy - Tetraplegic - dystonic but with lower limb spasticity

Judgement entered with damages to be assessed
Defendants: North Middlesex Hospital NHS Trust

The Facts

The Claimant is a child born in December 2005 at a North London Hospital.  His mother had a normal pregnancy and attended the Obstetric Unit to give birth 7 days after her due date. 

CTG monitoring was started but was stopped to allow his mother to use the toilet.  It was not restarted on her return and it was not until 4 hours later that the monitoring was restarted.  By this time, the baby was in severe distress and had to be delivered by emergency caesarean section. 

At birth, the Claimant did not breathe, was floppy, had a low heart rate and low APGAR Scores.  He went onto develop hypoxic ischaemic encephalopathy and subsequently was diagnosed with a mixed form of tetraplegic cerebral palsy, which was primarily dystonic but with some lower limb spasticity.

Allegations

  • The continuous fetal heart rate monitoring was discontinued and should have been re-started and continued
  • That appropriate checks were not carried out on the baby’s condition.
  • That there was a failure to provide any monitoring of the fetal heart until the time that a severe bradycardia had become established causing the baby to be born in a severely compromised condition.

Result

Investigations were carried out and proceedings were issued in the High Court.  An Order for a split trial was made. This meant that the issues of liability and causation (or blame) were dealt with as a preliminary issue by the court.

Liability and causation were denied and the case was listed for trial in the High Court of the liability and causation issues. Shortly before the trial date, a full admission was made and blame was accepted for the client’s injuries.

Judgement was entered on the client’s behalf and a large interim payment has been made to allow the client’s parents to purchase a suitable home and organise appropriate care, rehabilitation and so on.

The case will remain open until he is of an age when his lifelong needs can be fully assessed.