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Baby Deprived of Oxygen at Birth: Foundation Trust Pays Victim £7m

Baby Deprived of Oxygen at Birth: Foundation Trust Pays Victim £7m

Chase Lorck, a six-year-old boy from Dulwich, South London who has cerebral palsy as a result of being deprived of oxygen at birth, has been given £7m in damages. He was born at King’s College Hospital in 2008; he must use a wheelchair, and will require 24-hour nursing care for the rest of his life. He is only expected to live for another 20 years.

Midwives abandon original birth plan

Midwives at the hospital encouraged Chase’s mother Christine Hayes to have a natural birth, abandoning the original plan to have a caesarean due to the baby being in a breech position. By the time she was admitted to theatre, it was too late to perform a Caesarean. Chase was born in such a critical condition, it took doctors over ten minutes simply to detect a heartbeat.

Staff had questioned whether Ms Hayes’ obstetrician had adequately explained the risks that come with procedures such as caesareans.

A similar case in Belfast has seen the city’s Health Trust pay £8m to “KD”, a severely disabled teenager who is quadriplegic, has cerebral palsy, and requires round-the-clock care. He had been admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital shortly after his birth, requiring treatment to an infection. However, the infection was not properly dealt and he developed spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy, together with epilepsy. He has limited motability and cognitive functioning.

The Belfast Social Health and Care Trust admitted liability in 2012, just before the case came to trial – since when, KD’s family has been negotiating the financial package. The £8m will go toward the purchase of a “smart wheelchair” which runs along tracks under the floor at his home, and will pay for occupational therapy, music therapy, speech and language therapy, hydrotherapy and physiotherapy from a specialist trained team. Tax experts advised the family about the indexing of future care costs, and offered help with financial planning. The settlement, described as a “landmark”, is thought to be one of the biggest of its kind in Northern Ireland.

Kings College: “Trust has learned important lessons”

King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust accepted full liability for the Chase Lorck incident at the end of 2010. A settlement was agreed with Chase’s family at the beginning of November, and has now been approved by a judge. They will receive £3.1m, along with yearly payments of £300,000 a year until Chase is 18, at which point the amount increases to £320,000.

In a statement, King’s College Hospital said “We have apologised to Chase’s family, and the Trust has learned important lessons from this case. These have helped us make improvements to the care we provide for mothers-to-be at King’s”.

You are entitled to expect a certain standard of treatment from those providing medical assistance to you. If this treatment falls below standard you may be entitled to recover the cost of the private medical treatment needed to correct the failings on the part of those originally treating you.

If you have concerns about the medical care that you have received, please contact a member of the IBB clinical negligence team. Our goal at IBB Solicitors is to obtain justice for victims of the negligence by others, by securing compensation that reflects their pain and suffering, as well as related financial losses including loss of earnings, treatment costs and specialist care costs.

Please contact a member of our team on 01895 207835 or 01895 207295. Alternatively, you can send an email with your name and contact information and brief details as to the nature of the accident/clinical negligence and the injuries sustained to malcolm.underhill@ibblaw.co.uk and one of our team will be able to help you.