Family awarded €335,000 for brain damaged baby

A SEVILLA court has sentenced the Andalucian Health Service to pay €335,000 to a couple whose daughter was brain damaged at birth.

According to the Patients’ Ombudsman, the mother was admitted to the Puerta del Mar Hospital in Cadiz on February 28, 2006, already overdue. Tests showed that the baby was in perfect health and its heartbeat was normal, but when the hospital induce dthe birth, its heartbeat had become slow.

The actions of the gynaecology department case were deemed negligent for failing to see that the amniotic fluid was a dark colour (meaning the baby had defecated in the womb) nor that she had the umbilical cord wound around her neck twice, which would make a caesarean section recommendable. Instead, a natural birth went ahead.

The child was left with severe quadriplegia and epilepsy and will need the assistance of others for the rest of her life.

The Patients’ Ombudsman said the amount paid in compensation was almost half of what is normal in such cases, as it doesn’t take into account the moral and economic damages caused to the parents.

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