Coombe Hospital Liable in Compensation Claim for Birth Injuries due to a Lack of Care

by | Feb 6, 2013

The Coombe Hospital in Dublin has been found liable in a compensation claim for birth injuries due to a lack of care after a High Court hearing.

The compensation claim for birth injuries due to a lack of care was brought by Fiona Murphy of Malahide, County Dublin, on behalf of her son Eoin (10), who suffers from severe dyskinetic cerebral palsy due to an ‘unacceptable’ delay occurring when vital medical treatment was needed in the minutes after his birth.

Eoin was born on 12th July at the Coombe Hospital suffering from near total acute hypoxic ischaemia which had developed several minutes before his delivery. However, a delay of seventeen minutes occurred before a paediatric registrar was available to resuscitate him and Eoin suffered irreversible brain damage as a result.

Eion´s mother made a compensation claim for birth injuries due to a lack of care against the Coombe Women´s and Infant´s University Hospital, who denied the claim against them. However, at the High Court, Ms Justice Mary Irvine ruled that there was no justifiable reason why Eoin could not have been ventilated within the first nine minutes of his life which would have prevented such grave injuries being sustained.

The judge said that the hospital had failed to act within a reasonable period of time and that “the delay was unacceptable and the hospital was negligent in failing to ensure the child received the type of intubation and ventilation mandated in the first 10 minutes of his life”.

Ms Justice Mary Irvine adjourned the claim for birth injuries due to a lack of care until May to allow for a comprehensive assessment of compensation.

UPDATE May 2013: Eoin was awarded an interim settlement of compensation for birth injuries due to a lack of care amounting to €1.9 million. The case has now been adjourned for a further two years to allow for the proposed introduction of structured compensation settlements and a review of Eoin´s future requirements.

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