Case study: child born with genetic condition due to screening error
Compensation: £3.75 million
Sally’s third child Thomas was born with a terrible genetic condition due to failures in care which will mean he will have significant care needs. Angharad Hughes, one of the medical law experts at Hospital Negligence, helped his family to secure £3.75 million in compensation to enable them to cope.
Failure to follow up family history
When Sally was booked in for her first and second pregnancies her medical history was recorded and also that of her partner. On both occasions she reported that there was a history of muscular dystrophy in her family. However, on neither occasion was this followed up, nor was the couple referred to the genetic clinic. Both children, a boy and a girl, were born healthy.
Diagnosis of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Sally had a third child (Thomas) and whilst there were no concerns at Thomas’ birth it soon became clear that he was developing more slowly than expected. When Thomas was two-and-a-half he was referred to a paediatric neurologist and was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. This is a grave, progressive and terminal form of muscle weakness that almost exclusively affects boys, although girls can be carriers, as was the case with Sally. She was informed that there would be a 50 per cent chance of any further male children being affected.
If the family history of muscular dystrophy had been investigated during either one of Sally’s first two pregnancies she would have been identified as a carrier of the defective gene and she and her partner would have been given genetic counselling regarding future pregnancies.
Sally is adamant that had she known she was a carrier for this dreadful disease she would never have embarked on a third pregnancy. Thomas will need increasing levels of care throughout his life, which inevitably will be severely shortened. He is unlikely to live beyond his mid to late 20s.
Medical law expert Angharad Hughes took on Sally’s case and the hospital trust responsible for the errors made a full admission of liability. Angharad then negotiated a compensation settlement of £3.75 million to help the family to cope with Thomas’ condition.
Have you also suffered medical negligence?
If your child also suffers from a condition due to the failure by medical professionals to look into your family history of an illness, you could make a claim for medical negligence. Contact us today on 0800 014 7481, or fill in our contact form. If you want to read more about our services please click here.