Hospital admits blame for brain injuries

A HOSPITAL has today admitted responsibility for an Ipswich boy's brain injuries.

Rebecca Lefort

A HOSPITAL has today admitted responsibility for an Ipswich boy's brain injuries.

Finley Green, who is now three-years-old, was born in Ipswich Hospital in August 2004 and suffered injuries from which he will never recover.

Before his birth his mother, Nicola Howe, had a protracted labour and a decision was made to take her to theatre.

The usual protocol is for doctors to attempt briefly to induce the birth, on this occasion using a suction cap attached to the baby's head, and then to proceed to a caesarean if it does not immediately succeed.

On this occasion two doctors were present. But after the first had tried unsuccessfully to induce the birth, instead of proceeding immediately to a caesarean, the second doctor also attempted to induce. This process took about half an hour, during which time the foetus was trapped in the birth canal and starved of oxygen.

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Eventually he was delivered by emergency caesarean section.

Now in a letter to the family's lawyers, Kester Cunningham John, the hospital has admitted responsibility for Finley's injuries.

The letter said: “Further investigations have been carried out into this matter and we can confirm that the trust will no longer be denying breach of duty in this case.

“We also confirm that it is accepted that, but for the admitted breach of duty, the claimant would have been born earlier and would have avoided the hypoxic injury from which he suffered.”

Now that liability has been admitted the case will go before a court to decide on a proper level of damages suitable to support Finley, who will not recover from his injuries.

However, it may take some time before it is possible for doctors to assess Finley's prognosis.

Tom Cook, the lawyer managing the case for Finley and his mother, said: “As a result of the trust's negligence, Finley has sustained profound brain injury, which means he will require lifelong care, specialist therapy and equipment.”

Jan Rowsell, spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital, said: "The trust has accepted that there was a breach of duty in this case relating to Finley's treatment when he was born.

“The trust has formally apologised to the family and regrets that there were failings in the treatment afforded to Finley and his mother at the time of his birth.

“The trust acknowledges and very much regrets the consequences to Finley and his family. “Investigations into Finley's injuries continue but the trust hopes that the matter can be resolved as soon as possible and appropriate compensation paid to Finley.”