Family Claim Compensation for Newborn Jaundice Injuries

Posted on: January 8th, 2015 by Editor

A family from Honiton in Devon are claiming compensation for newborn jaundice injuries after their son developed the rare condition kernicterus when he was four days old.

On 15th April 2013, baby Khan was born to Ed and Laura-Faye Gold at the Exeter Hospital in Devon and, other than be a little jaundiced, was a perfectly healthy son for the parents who already have four other children. Mother and son were allowed to return to their home in Honiton and, over the next few days, were regularly visited by midwives checking on Khan´s progress.

Laura-Faye raised concerns about her son´s jaundice during the visits, as it seemed to be getting worse; but was told that many babies are born with jaundice and it was nothing to worry about. Laura-Faye was advised to take Khan out into the sun more often, but four days after he was born, Laura-Faye had problems feeding Khan and noticed that her son was arching his back and neck as if in pain.

Laura-Faye phoned her local hospital, who advised her to bring Khan in so doctors could take a look at him. A blood sample was taken and Khan´s parents were told to take their son and the blood sample to Exeter Hospital for further examination. After several tests were conducted on the sample, Khan was diagnosed with kernicterus and rushed to intensive care.

Kernicterus is a condition which occurs when an underdeveloped liver fails to remove bilirubin from the bloodstream and – despite Khan having a blood transfusion to replace half the blood in his body and spending a week under special lighting that breaks down bilirubin – the pigment had got into his brain and he suffered brain damage.

The damage to Khan´s brain is likely to be permanent, and doctors are unsure whether he will ever be able to walk. Khan´s parents sought medical negligence legal advice and made a claim for compensation for newborn jaundice injuries on the grounds that midwives from the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust failed to follow NHS guidelines on the treatment of newborn jaundice.

Ed and Laura-Faye allege in their claim for compensation for newborn jaundice injuries that the midwives who visited their home after Khan was born should have escalated Laura-Faye´s concerns to the family´s GP or Exeter Hospital´s paediatrician in a timely manner. Solicitors representing the Gold family have also alleged that there were training issues at Exeter Hospital.

The Chief Executive of the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust – Angela Pedder – has apologised to the family for the failures which led to Khan developing kernicterus from newborn jaundice. Since the circumstances of Khan´s kernicterus were investigated, the Exeter Hospital has adopted a policy which includes testing all babies born with jaundice for the condition.

Negotiations have started with the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust to resolve the family´s claim for compensation for newborn jaundice injuries. The final settlement is anticipated to be in seven figures.

Speak to a medical negligence solicitor about your claim
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