Nurses failed to spot blocked tube in baby ventilator

NEGLIGENCE St Mary's Hospital
NEGLIGENCE St Mary's Hospital

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A HAMPSHIRE man has been awarded a multi-million pound settlement because he was starved of oxygen after birth due to hospital negligence.

The patient, who remains anonymous and was referred to in legal proceedings as ETS, has cerebral palsy and behavioural difficulties because nurses failed to spot a ventilation tube was blocked.

It meant ETS, who was born at the former St Mary’s Hospital, in Milton, Portsmouth, was starved of oxygen in the first few days of being born.

The High Court approved a settlement £8.6million in damages as he will require lifelong care.

ETS had been born prematurely and was being nursed in a ventilator in the special care baby unit because his lungs were not developed sufficiently.

His condition deteriorated significantly and, when his medical records were made available, it was discovered the cause of this had been a blockage in his ventilation tube.

The court ruled that the neo-natal team’s failure to recognise and act upon the blockage before ETS had been starved of oxygen caused his brain injury.

ETS brought proceedings against Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust– which ran the hospital – claiming the neo-natal care he received was negligent and this was the cause of his brain injury.

The trust agreed to a settlement, in which ETS will get a lump sum and annual periodical payments for his ongoing support and therapy needs.

His parents, who represented him in the case, said: ‘We are relieved the case has concluded and ETS can fund the support and care he will need for the rest of his life to maximise his independence.

‘However, no amount of money will make up for what he has lost out on and the impact of his injuries on him and our family.’

The family was represented in court by the clinical negligence team at Penningtons solicitors

Associate solicitor Alison Johnson said: ‘I’m delighted with the settlement that has been achieved for ETS.

‘The positive difference it will make to him for the rest of his life can never be underestimated.’

The hospital trust said in a statement: ‘On April 19, the High Court approved a settlement between the family of the claimant and Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust.

‘The award of compensation will enable the claimant to receive suitable care throughout his life.

‘The trust hopes the compensation approved by the court will assist the claimant in achieving his full potential.’