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Boy (11) whose face was allegedly cut by scalpel during his birth awarded €35,000

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The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. Photo: Damien Eagers

The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. Photo: Damien Eagers

The National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street. Photo: Damien Eagers

An 11-year old boy whose face was allegedly cut during birth has settled a High Court action against the National Maternity Hospital (NMH).

Approving a €35,000 settlement, Mr Justice Paul Coffey told Leo Quinn he could barely see the scar on his mid-forehead which extended down his nose.

The settlement, which was confidential, is without an admission of liability. The judge said it was a fair and reasonable settlement.

Leo’s counsel, Doireann O’Mahony BL, told the court when Leo was delivered there were a number of cuts on his face which all healed up with the exception of one on his mid-forehead which has left a 2cm long scar.

She said it was alleged the baby had been cut with a scalpel during the surgery but the hospital later, in its defence, denied that a scalpel had caused it. It said the cut could relate to a number of hours earlier in relation to an artificial rupture of membrane procedure.

Counsel said liability remains very much at issue in the case. She said the scar is not very noticeable.

Leo, of Dunmore Grove, Kingswood, Dublin, through his mother Jacqui Quinn, sued the NMH, Holles Street, Dublin.

Leo was delivered by emergency Caesarean section on June 6, 2011, and was overall in good condition.

It was claimed the baby suffered a significant incision, a midline laceration on the forehead extending on to the nose as well as cuts under his right eye and to the left of his nose.

It was claimed that the site of the injury indicated the baby was in the lower segment of the uterus and allegedly not presenting.

It was claimed there was a failure to exercise the care, competence, judgment and skill to be expected in the management of the delivery of the baby.

It was further claimed the baby was caused to sustain significant facial scarring which was allegedly entirely avoidable.

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The claims were denied and the hospital pleaded that the medical management of the birth was in accordance with widespread, general and approved medical practice.

It denied that a scalpel had caused a laceration as the scalpel during a Caesarean section could not have accessed the baby’s face during the procedure.

It claimed that it was more likely the injury occurred about eight hours before the Caesarean section during the use of an amnihook instrument as part of an artificial rupture of membrane procedure.


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