Midwife failures lead to permanent brain damage - £6 million
Midwives who attended to Bradley when he was a newborn failed to recognise and treat his low blood sugars (hypoglycaemia). As a result Bradley suffered devastating and permanent brain damage. Bradley was left with both physical and mental disabilities and he will never be able to live independently. After Bradley’s parents were put in touch with Eddie Jones, a cerebral palsy specialist at Hospital Negligence, he was awarded £6 million in compensation to cover the cost of the specialist care he will require for the rest of his life.
Poor after care
When Bradley was born he had to be resuscitated and his birth weight was fairly low, he was jaundiced, appeared jittery and had not fed well while he was in hospital. However nonetheless Bradley and his mother Rachel were discharged -just five hours after his birth. Rachel was advised to place him in sunlight to treat the jaundice and swaddle him to help with his jitteriness – incorrect advice as these symptoms required investigation and monitoring by medical professionals. Rachel and her husband were concerned that Bradley was not fit to go home but they were assured that he was.
The next day Bradley’s jitteriness and poor feeding continued and he was very sleepy. A community midwife visited them at home early in the afternoon and Rachel told her she was concerned but she was simply advised to feed the baby every three hours and to continue to swaddle him.
Following this first midwife visit Rachel attempted to feed Bradley every three hours, including setting alarms during the night. Bradley remained very sleepy and took very little milk.
The next day another midwife visited Bradley and Rachel at home. Bradley was still jittery, jaundiced, very sleepy and fed little if at all. Rachel was becoming very worried about Bradley but the midwife had no concerns and the only advice she gave was for feeding to continue every three to four hours.
Later that morning Rachel attended hospital for an Anti D injection with Bradley and her husband. It was a hot day and Bradley appeared to be perspiring and continued to be jittery. Rachel asked the midwife who gave her the injection about Bradley’s condition and expressed her concern. The midwife simply told her to follow the advice that she had been given previously and said no more.
However later that evening while the family was at home, Bradley turned blue/purple and went floppy. Rachel and her husband rushed him to A&E at the hospital. Bradley was found to be suffering from hypoglycaemia due to inadequate feeding and also jaundice. The jaundice was immediately treated with phototherapy and had no lasting impact on Bradley. However despite the hypoglycaemia also being immediately treated it was by now far too late to prevent Bradley from sustaining permanent brain damage.
Successful medical negligence case
If the midwives who attended to Bradley at home had recognised that Bradley’s jitteriness, sleepiness and poor feeding were signs of hypoglycaemia and had referred him straight to hospital for treatment he would have made a full recovery and avoided brain damage. Nothing could be done to turn back the clock but after Hospital Negligence’s Eddie Jones took on Bradley’s case against the hospital trust responsible for the midwives a full admission of negligence was made. Bradley was later given a £6 million care package to provide him with financial security and enable him to access the care he requires.