Sunday 20 August 2017

Court awards €2.1 to boy (7) catastrophically injured during child birth

Niamh Brannigan, mother of Patrick Brannigan (7), of CastleBlayney, Co. Monaghan, pictured leaving the Four Courts after the High Court approved a €2.1Million settlement offer in an action taken by Mrs Brannigan on behalf of her son. Pic: Courts Collins
Niamh Brannigan, mother of Patrick Brannigan (7), of CastleBlayney, Co. Monaghan, pictured leaving the Four Courts after the High Court approved a €2.1Million settlement offer in an action taken by Mrs Brannigan on behalf of her son. Pic: Courts Collins

Tim Healy

A SEVEN-year-old boy who was catastrophically injured during his birth in hospital has settled his High Court action with an interim payout of €2.1million.

Patrick Brannigan, from Annyalla, Castleblayeny, Co Monaghan, has dyskinetic cerebral palsy, is confined to a wheelchair, and has no means of communicating, senior Counsel Denis McCullough said.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told Cavan General Hospital had admitted liability at an early stage in the case and apologised to Patrick  and his parents.

Patrick through his mother, Niamh Brannigan, had sued the HSE as a result of the circumstances of his birth at Cavan General  on July 20, 2007.

Counsel, Mr McCullough, said there was a " catalogue of errors" and the baby, when he was delivered by an emergency caesarean  was in very poor condition.

Mr Mc Cullough said Patrick is a cheerful good humoured boy who is cared for full time by this parents.

The case will come back before the court in three years time when his future care needs will be assessed.

The court heard Mrs Brannigan had been admitted to the hospital and from 17.55 on July 20, 2007, a cardiotocography (CTG) trace showed signs of foetal distress.

At about 18.30,  the CTG trace was showing signs of being pathological but it was decided to commence syntocinon, a drug used to speed up  labour.

Counsel said syntocinon should never have been used  when a CTG trace is pathological and there are signs of foetal distress.

It was claimed there was a failure to manage adequately or at all the labour and delivery and a failure to monitor the baby adequately or at all while the labour progressed.

It was also claimed there was a failure to deliver the baby as quickly as possible once there were clear signs of foetal distress.

Approving the settlement, Mr Justice Cross wished Patrick and his family well.

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