It has been reported that a perfectly healthy baby has been left deaf, blind and with locked-in syndrome simply because a trainee midwife didn’t recognise the early signs of jaundice.
The baby had a condition called kernicterus which is easily treatable with either light therapy or a blood transfusion. It is a tragic shame that the early signs and symptoms weren’t recognised and that the baby subsequently went on to develop much more severe and long-term health complications.
When asked about her opinion on this devastating news published last week on the BBC News website, Kathryn Turner, partner in the Clinical Negligence team at Express Solicitors commented: “It is essential that community nurses and midwives are competent when visiting patients alone. The consequences for this child and his family of the Trust’s failure to ensure that an acceptable competency level had been met by the midwife who visited them have been catastrophic.
“Whilst it is good to see the Trust holding their hands up and admitting the errors that were made in this case – something which should happen far more frequently than it in fact does – that does not change the fact that this child suffered an avoidable, catastrophic injury as a result of their failure to ensure that a suitably experienced and competent midwife visited him at home that day.
“Monitoring of mothers and babies in the days and weeks after birth is taking place more and more in the community, because of earlier post-natal discharge. The NHS has a responsibility, when discharging earlier, to ensure that care standards are not compromised and that families like this one are not subjected to negligence.”
If you or a family member has suffered as a result of the negligence of healthcare professionals you may be entitled to financial compensation. For free legal advice and help with making your claim for compensation, please contact Express Solicitors today on 0800 158 5274.