FFW wins substantial damages for child born with severe disabilities

From: Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP
Published: Wed Dec 27 2006

Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP (FFW) has won substantial damages for a boy left with severe disabilities after errors were made by medical staff during his birth in April 1999. Seven year old Mohammed Usama Ahmed requires constant care, and will never be able to work. He has severe behavioural and educational difficulties, and is unable to talk.

The professional negligence case was brought against Newham Healthcare NHS Trust, which operate the Newham General Hospital, where Mohammed was born on 30th April 1999. During labour, his mother was given Syntocinon, a drug which stimulates the uterus to produce contractions, so inducing labour. The drug contains a synthetic version of the naturally-occurring hormone oxytocin, which causes the uterus to contract during labour, and thereby expediting delivery.

The baby’s heartbeat and the uterine contractions need to be monitored whilst the mother receives the Syntocinon, as excessive contractions can cause the foetal heart rate to increase. In Mohammed’s case, too much of the drug was given to his mother causing an abnormal foetal heart rate and coupling of contractions. The combination resulted in hypoxia to the foetal brain.

If the dose of the drug had been reduced or stopped, the abnormalities to the foetus would not have occurred. Indeed, the very presence of the frequent contractions and foetal heart abnormalities would have led all responsible clinicians to do just that. Accordingly, Mohammed would not have suffered from any disabilities. Instead, he is now reliant on carers, and is unlikely to make substantial educational, or other, progress.

FFW Head of Clinical Negligence, Paul McNeil, acted for Mohammed’s family in the action against defendants, Newham Healthcare NHS Trust. Newham settled the case, just before trial, paying Mohammed very substantial damages. Paul has specialised in clinical negligence claims on behalf of victims for over 15 years.

Paul McNeil said: "We are delighted to have won a substantial amount of compensation for Mohammed and his family. He has a long life expectancy and will require constant care for the rest of his life. The award means the family will be able to provide this for him, and for him to realise his greatest potential."

About Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP:
Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP is a full service law firm based in the City of London. With 90 partners, over 180 other lawyers and over 250 support staff, we assist a wide range of domestic and international clients, with advice across a full range of legal issues. Field Fisher Waterhouse is one of the country's leading clinical negligence practices.


For more details or comment please contact:
Paul McNeil
Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP
35 Vine Street
London EC3N 2AA
Tel: 020 7861 4019
Email: paul.mcneil@ffw.com
Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP.
Company: Field Fisher Waterhouse LLP
Contact Name: Paul McNeil
Contact Email: enquiries@pr-sending.co.uk
Contact Phone: 020 7861 4019

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