Sunday 23 October 2016

Girl (5) left with scar that 'mutilates her striking natural beauty' settles case for €240,000

Published 25/05/2016 | 17:27

Stock picture
Stock picture

A five-year-old girl who has a permanent scar on her forehead after an elasticated type bandage was left on her head for 30 hours after her birth has settled her High Court case for €240,000.

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The scar on Abigail Byrne's head, which is 10 cms long and 1cm wide, “mutilates her striking natural beauty,” her counsel said.

The court heard her mother was told the mark would fade within a week but a public health nurse on a visit after the mother's discharge from hospital said it looked permanent and told her to seek advice on it.

The scar will never go away and options such as plastic surgery will not be available to Abigail until she is in her late teens, her counsel Dr John O'Mahony said.

Abigail, of Tobartae House, Ryefield West, Whitechurch, Co Cork through her mother Jennifer Byrne, sued the HSE as a result of her treatment after her birth in 2011 at Cork University Maternity Hospital.

Abigail had been delivered by forceps delivery on the morning of January 14 after a difficult birth.

It was advised that a stocking  bandage be applied to her head and it remained around her head until the evening of January 15, which the court heard was about 30 hours.

It was claimed there was a failure to ensure the positioning of the stocking bandage so that it would not give rise to tissue dislocation or damage and when it was removed there was a red mark visible of on the child’s head.

It was further claimed the stocking bandage was applied too tightly and excessive pressure from a crease in the bandage cut off blood supply to the skin and tissue.

Had the bandage been applied correctly, it was claimed, Abigail would not have been left with a facial deformity.

Liability was admitted in the case which was before the court for assessment of damages only.

Mr Justice Kevin Cross approved the settlement and wished Abigail well for the future.

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