Friday 21 July 2017

Profoundly disabled man (18) who requires 24-hour care suffered brain damage at birth and in his treatment afterwards at Sligo General Hospital, High Court hears

Thomas O'Connor has been in residential care since he was 12.
Thomas O'Connor has been in residential care since he was 12.

Tim Healy

AN 18-year old man suffered brain damage at birth and in his treatment afterwards at Sligo General Hospital, the High Court heard.

Thomas O'Connor, who is profoundly disabled, spastic quadriplegic, blind and has to be fed through a tube, has brought an action for damages.

His counsel told the court  experts will say two alleged episodes of oxygen deprivation  during his delivery and later when he was less than one hour old  contributed to the brain damage.

Desmond O'Neill SC said Thomas requires 24 hour care.

He has been in residential care since he was 12. His mother visits him every day and he goes home for weekends and holidays.

Through his mother Ann  O'Connor, Ard Curley, Collooney, Co Sligo, he has sued the HSE and consultant Dr Carthage Carroll who practices at Sligo General Hospital arising out of the circumstances of his birth on September 6, 1996.

It is claimed that there was an alleged failure on the part of the HSE to ensure that Mrs O'Connor was competently and properly managed, cared for and supervised during the course of her time at the hospital.

It is further claimed there was an alleged failure to inform Dr Carroll of the abnormal  cardiotocography (CTG) results in a timely fashion.

The court heard when Thomas was born,  he showed no signs of life  and four minutes later began gasping. A tube was inserted to assist his ventilation and breathing.

It is claimed there was a delay in carrying out a caesarean and later an  allegedly ineffective resuscitation.

The HSE and Dr Carroll deny the claims.

Dr Carroll, in his defence, says he was not made aware of the abnormal  CTG trace prior to his arrival on the ward at 7.50am.  Once he inspected the CTG, he acted with appropriate urgency and speed, he says.

The case continues before Mr Justice Raymond Fullam.

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