Friday 19 January 2018

'If Kevin had been born just an hour earlier, he'd be fine'

Kevin Dunphy-English with his parents, Jane Dunphy and Seamus English, of Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny, after receiving a €2m interim payout in settlement of a personal injuries case.
Kevin Dunphy-English with his parents, Jane Dunphy and Seamus English, of Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny, after receiving a €2m interim payout in settlement of a personal injuries case.

Tim Healy

A four-year-old boy who sued over brain injuries sustained at his birth has settled his action for more than €2m to cover the next five years.

If Kevin Dunphy-English had been born an hour earlier at Waterford Regional Hospital, he would have been saved injury, the court heard.

However, Kevin, of Carrick Road, Mooncoin, Co Kilkenny, has cerebral palsy.

Through his mother, Jane Dunphy, he sued the HSE as a result of injuries during his birth at the Waterford Regional on July 9, 2010.

It was claimed he suffered significant brain damage during his delivery.

Jane Dunphy was admitted to the hospital on the evening of July 8. Labour progressed slowly but after 2.30am on July 9, decelerations on a cardiotocography (CTG) trace changed, it was claimed.

A foetal blood sample had been taken at 1.40am but was not repeated despite the deterioration in the CTG trace.

If the foetal blood sample had been repeated, it was contended, the result would have prompted a decision to intervene earlier in terms of delivery.

Dr John O'Mahony SC told the court liability was conceded and it was before the court for assessment of damages only.

The HSE had in 2013 accepted it was in breach of duty in the management of his birth by failing to effect a timely delivery.

A separate case involving Kevin's mother and his father, Seamus English, over nervous shock, had also been settled and could be struck out, the court was told.

Dr O'Mahony said Kevin was "seriously neurologically compromised" from the outset and was in intensive care for the first 24 days of his life.

Irish Independent

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