Trust admits liability in brain damage baby case

A health body has admitted liability in an action brought by the family of a Tyrone woman left brain damaged at birth in a Belfast hospital in 1985.

Substantial undisclosed damages are to be paid for 24-hour care as part of the settlement at the High Court.

The woman’s parents, who cannot be identified, had fought a 12-year legal battle to prove medical negligence.

They claimed there was an unacceptable delay in delivering the child at the RVH following an amniocentesis test.

During the procedure a needle passed through the placenta caused a feto-maternal haemorrhage, the family claimed.

As a consequence the baby’s blood pressure dropped, she was starved of oxygen and suffered moderate brain damage.

Conceded liability

It was claimed the child should have been delivered immediately by caesarian section, rather than two days later.

The hearing was scheduled to last two weeks but the Health and Social Care Board conceded liability and causation.

The family are now to receive compensation and their full legal costs in bringing the case.

Following the resolution the woman’s mother said there was no feeling of delight at the outcome.

She said her daughter would never have her own family as a result of what happened to her.

“A lot of things have been denied her, whether you describe it as mild, moderate or severe (brain damage). The penalty has been severe,” she said.

A spokesperson for the Health and Social Care Board declined to comment on the case.