Autistic teenager set to receive millions for hospital negligence

NHS logoA teenager who was left with severe autism because of mistakes made by a hospital at the time of his birth is set to receive millions of pounds in compensation.

The boy, now 13, sustained a severe brain injury after Kent and Canterbury Hospital failed to notice his dangerously low blood-sugar levels after his birth in 2002. The hospital, which admitted causing the condition, had reportedly failed to explain its negligence to the boy’s parents, who wrongly assumed his autism to be an unpreventable occurrence. 

The parents were only made aware of the hospital’s culpability four years later when they applied for a blue disabled parking badge and were asked to supply medical evidence of their son’s condition.

It transpired that hospital staff had failed to perform blood glucose tests until two days after the boy’s birth, by which time his condition had deteriorated severely, and although dextrose was given it arrived too late to save him from brain damage.

When the boy was discharged his parents were not told of the risk that his low blood-sugar levels may have caused brain damage. It was only when he failed to meet his developmental milestones that they realised something was wrong.

The judge, Mr Justice Turner, noted that the boy’s thinking ability and social awareness are severely impaired and he has the oral communication skills of a six-month-old baby.

The High Court has awarded him a lifetime care settlement, through which he is expected to receive a lump-sum payment of several million pounds and annual payments for the rest of his life. This means he will be able to receive the specialist rehabilitation, care and treatment he needs during and beyond his school years.

Clinical negligence claims

Clinical negligence (also termed medical negligence) is a highly specialised area of law. If you have suffered from medical negligence, it is important to instruct a solicitor with a proven track-record if you pursue a claim.

Partner Iona Smith, who takes personal care of all Gaby Hardwicke clients who have suffered from clinical negligence, has an excellent and formidable reputation in and beyond Sussex. In addition to achieving Senior Litigator status with the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, her experience has led to membership of Headway (the organisation that assists those suffering from serious head injuries) and the Spinal Injuries Association.

For confidential expert advice on any clinical negligence or personal injury matter contact Iona Smith on 01424 730 945 or .

Posted: 18 June 2015

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