Suffolk boy brain-damaged at birth awarded multimillion-pound payout

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West Suffolk HospitalImage source, WEST SUFFOLK HOSPITAL
Image caption,
The boy's mother was being treated by West Suffolk Hospital

A boy born with severe brain damage due to failures in his mother's antenatal care has been awarded a multimillion-pound settlement.

Staff at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds and the blood and transplant service failed to monitor his mother's dangerous blood condition.

Because of this, he developed multiple post-birth complications, including liver and brain damage.

Medics said the injuries could have been avoidable with proper monitoring.

At 28 weeks pregnant the boy's mother, who has not been named, tested positive for Rhesus disease, a condition where a pregnant woman's antibodies destroy her baby's red blood cells.

Laboratory staff at West Suffolk Hospital and the NHS Blood and Transplant Service, where blood had been sent, failed adequately to alert the mother's antenatal team and GP.

As a result, she and her son were not properly monitored, and the alert to the results and need for monitoring in her notes was only found after her son's delivery in 2010.

The boy's father said in a statement: "All we want to do is to be able to provide the best possible life for him and we are so proud of the courage he shows every day."

He said he hoped health bodies would realise the heartbreaking effect of "easily avoidable" mistakes.

The out-of-court settlement will cover lifelong, 24-hour care for the boy.

Internal investigations by both organisations found that knowledge of the mother's condition would have led to blood monitoring and an early delivery, which could have prevented injuries to the boy.

A West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust spokesman apologised for the mistakes and said it hoped the settlement would allow the family to receive the "care and support needed".

A spokesman for the blood and transplant service apologised "unreservedly for the tragic incident".

Both the trust and blood service said they had made changes to their way of working to avoid similar mistakes happening again.