Home > Latest News > TBE v Royal Berkshire NHS Trust: £7.85 million awarded to child with severe cerebral palsy

TBE v Royal Berkshire NHS Trust: £7.85 million awarded to child with severe cerebral palsy

TBE was born on 15 September 2000 at The Royal Berkshire Hospital and is now 10 years old.

TBE's mother, SB, had a caesarean section delivery with her first child in 1998. Her pregnancy with TBE progressed normally and TBE was due on 19 September 2000. It was agreed with her doctor that she would attempt vaginal delivery of TBE but that should the baby's heart rate start to show abnormality, she and the baby should be continually monitored by CTG and the baby would be delivered. On 15 September 2000, S.B went in to labour and was admitted to the Royal Berkshire Hospital.
From the outset of labour, the CTG recording showed abnormalities indicating a decelerating heart rate without a return to the original baseline. This was not recognised by the midwife and not reviewed by the obstetrician. The CTG monitoring was discontinued for 20 minutes to allow transfer to the delivery suite. When it was recommenced it showed deep early decelerations in the baby's heart rate with increasingly delayed returns to the baseline heart rate, indicating fetal distress. SB was advised to start pushing with no progress. An epidural was attempted to aid a forceps delivery but this was abandoned in favour of a general anaesthetic and an emergency caesarean section after the baby's heart rate dropped to a persistently low level. TBE was born in a very poor condition, requiring intubation, and was transferred to the Neonatal Unit where he began to suffer from seizures. He was subsequently diagnosed with dyskinetic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. He is severely disabled having lost all useful function of his limbs and he is unable to speak, communicating with facial gestures and through communication aids, and is fed via a gastrostomy. He has delayed cognitive function but is a bright little boy with a brilliant sense of humour.

The evidence showed that, in the context of SB's previous caesarean scar and the abnormalities on the CTG trace that could indicate imminent rupture of the womb, which would be life threatening to both mother and baby, there was a negligent delay in TBE's delivery. This caused him to suffer a deprivation of oxygen and sustain a severe hypoxic ischaemic brain injury within the last hour of labour. This could have been avoided had the hospital staff recognised the abnormalities on the CTG trace in the background of a previous caesarean scar and taken the appropriate action to deliver TBE sooner.

The agreed settlement award is a lump sum payment of £3,660,700 plus annual payments index linked to ASHE 6115 of £140,000 to age 19 and £225,000 from age 19 for life.  The capitalised current value of the claim is £7,850,000.

 Simon Readhead QC acted for the claimant, instructed by Darbys Solicitors.

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