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Case: £12 million+ settlement approved for home birth disaster

Simpson Millar has secured a clinical negligence claim against University College London Hospitals for an infant whose home birth went disastrously wrong.

Negligence in midwifery shortly before and after 'QR' was born led to the baby being delivered in poor condition and suffering from brain damage.

He has been diagnosed with microcephaly, developmental delay and dystonic cerebral palsy, as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). He'll require care for the rest of his life and will never work.

QR's case was founded on the failure of midwifery staff attending the home birth to spot the warning signs of shoulder dystocia (slow advancement and delivery of the infant’s head) and act upon it.

Failing to diagnose and instigate recommended manoeuvres in the management of shoulder dystocia, the staff also overlooked the need to summon urgent medical aid. As soon as shoulder dystocia became apparent, an emergency ambulance should have been called.

It was also QR's case that, after his birth, there was negligent failure both to properly resuscitate him and to provide a working oxygen cylinder at his home.

The claim, against University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was successful. Including a lump sum of £3.6m and annual payments for the rest of his life, QR recovered total damages worth more than £12m.

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