Coombe Found Liable in Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy Medical Negligence Claim

A High Court judge has found the Coombe Women´s Hospital in Dublin liable in a dyskinetic cerebral palsy medical negligence claim brought against it by the mother of a ten-year-old boy.

The claim for dyskinetic cerebral palsy medical negligence claim was made by Dr Fiona Murphy of Malahide, County Dublin, on behalf of her son Eoin (10) following the events surrounding his delivery at the hospital on 12th July 2002.

Eoin was born suffering from near total acute hypoxic ischaemia, which a later investigation into the claim for dyskinetic cerebral palsy due to medical negligence determined had begun two or three minutes prior to his delivery .

However, due to a paediatric registrar not being available, Eoin was not resuscitated for seventeen minutes – during which time Eoin sustained irreversible brain damage and now suffers from severe dyskinetic cerebral palsy.

After hearing evidence at the High Court in Dublin, Ms Justice Mary Irvine said that, had the hospital acted with reasonable care, there was no reason why Eoin should not have been effectively ventilated by the time he was nine minutes old which would have then prevented his injuries.

Finding the Coombe Hospital liable for Eoin´s dyskinetic cerebral palsy, the judge said “the delay was unacceptable and the hospital was negligent in failing to ensure the child received the type of intubation and ventilation mandated in the first 10 minutes of his life”.

The judge subsequently adjourned the dyskinetic cerebral palsy medical negligence claim until May for the assessment of damages.

UPDATE May 2013: Eoin was awarded an interim settlement of compensation for dyskinetic cerebral palsy amounting to €2.9 million. His case is scheduled to be reviewed in 2015 to assess his long-term requirements, by which time it is hoped a periodic payment structure will have been introduced to assure his future financial security.