Hospital apologises over care as six-year-old settles case for €450,000

ireland
Hospital Apologises Over Care As Six-Year-Old Settles Case For €450,000
Lucas Walker was at born Portiuncula University Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co Galway in November 2014 and has been left with a moderate brain injury. Photo: Four Courts file image.
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A Galway hospital has apologised to the family of a six-year-old boy for the shortcomings in care at the time of his delivery.

Lucas Walker was at born Portiuncula University Hospital, Ballinasloe, Co Galway in November 2014 and has been left with a moderate brain injury.

The little boy yesterday settled his High Court action for €450,000. His family are now hoping he can gain access to the private speech and language therapies which he requires.

The apology from the hospital general manager said: “On my own behalf and on behalf of the staff at Portiuncula University Hospital, I apologise to you and Lucas for the shortcomings in care during his delivery on November 19th, 2014 and for the injuries caused to him.”

His counsel Jonathan Kilfeather SC told Mr Justice Paul Coffey it was their case that as a result of alleged mismanagement, the baby suffered a hypoxia brain injury. The settlement was reached after mediation.

Alleged failures

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He said an apology was given in writing to the family and while there had been limited admissions in the defence by the HSE, liability was not canvassed at the mediation. Counsel said an independent review of maternity services at Portiuncula University Hospital later took place.

Lucas Walker, Carrick on Shannon, Co Leitrim had through his mother Rachel Murphy sued the HSE over his care at the time of his birth in November 2014.

The boy’s mother was admitted to the hospital on the evening of November 19th, 2014, and a CTG trace was commenced.

It was claimed foetal hypoxia was allegedly caused through the stimulation of excessive contractions. It was further claimed there was an alleged failure to adopt a plan to rescue the baby against a background of an abnormal CTG.

It was also claimed there was an alleged failure to provide adequate or timely resuscitation to the baby following his birth.

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After birth, Lucas was in poor condition and he was transferred to a Dublin hospital where he underwent therapeutic cooling.

Lead a normal life

Outside court the family solicitor Damian Tansey said the cooling process at a Dublin hospital “stopped or arrested” further damage and Lucas is now “almost perfect in every respect though there are some challenges arising from the hypoxic injury.”

Unfortunately, he said Lucas has not been able to avail of public occupational and speech and language therapies and his family hope he can now access private services.

“He needs those therapies now, not in 10 or 15 years. Hopefully he will be in a position to lead a perfectly normal life,” Mr Tansey commented.

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