Childbirth Negligence Compensation Settlement of €3m for Limerick Man (27)

27-year-old Kennedy O’Brien from Limerick has settled his High Court birth negligence compensation in relation to the care he received at t Munchin’s Regional Maternity Hospital, Limerick in 1993.

The legal action, was was referred to as ‘enormously complex, was settled with no acceptance of liability.

The young man’s legal representative in court informed the Judge that they were alleging that it had taken more than three hours for the medical team to review the new born baby’s blood sugar levels. This was at the time of Mr O’Brien’s delivery in 1993.

An additional claim stated that, following Mr O’Brien’s birth, there was a failure to feed him inside of the first hour post delivery or review blood sugar levels in a timely fashion as is so vital. This alleged absence of monitoring post delivery until Mr O’Brien was more than three hours old had a massive impact on him, it was claimed. Counsel alleged that a major delay in reacting to Mr O’Brien’s severe hypoglycaemia then impacted his long-term neurological condition.

Taking the legal action via his mother, Helen Egan O’Brien, Mr O’Brien with an address at Knockbrack West, Lisnagry, Co Limerick, sued the Health Service Executive in relation to the standardof care following his delivery at the hospital. At the time of his birth at 9.13am on September 14, 1993 Mr O’Brien weighed 2.6kg. It was claimed he was growth-­restricted and in particular danger of ­hypoglycaemia in the neonatal period. Counsel told the High Court that the newborn baby should have been fed early and blood sugar measurements should have been taken soon after this.

However, when the blood sugar levels were finally tested at around 12.25pm, it was discovered that claimed the measurement was so low it did not register on the glucometer which was used. Allegation were made that this situation should have resulted in emergency treatment for the infant.

The following day, September 15 1993, it seen that Kennedy was jittery. However, he was feeding regularly and still having some dextrose intravenously. After this he experience seizures and was diagnosed with cognitive delay. All of these allegation were denied by the counsel for the defence.

Mr O’Brien underwent an MRI brain scan when he was aged 16. It was alleged that this scan indicated there were some changes and which allegedly may have been caused by hypoglycaemia in the neonatal period.

As he was giving his approval for the childbirth negligence compensation, Mr Justice Kevin Cross said the figure of €3m was a very good one. Kennedy’s father, Kennedy Snr, informed the court the family was satisfied with how everything has gone so far and added that his son needed ongoing support and “we are there for him”.

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