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Child who as a baby suffered burns and blistering before a heel prick test settles High Court action for €70,000


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A child who as a new born baby suffered burns and blistering as he was about to have a heel prick test has settled a High Court action for €70,000.

Ren Cotter (2) suffered the injury in Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH) when a glove with warm water was placed on his left foot to aid blood circulation, his counsel Doireann O’Mahony said.

“It caused burns, blistering, redness and pain,” counsel said.

She said the hospital apologised to the little boy’s mother Abby Cotter after the incident.

Liability was admitted in the case.

Counsel said the baby had to stay in hospital for several days after the incident and had to have dressings.

A plastic surgeon who had examined the toddler’s left foot earlier this year said the scarring was not particularly noticeable, counsel added.

Ren, from Blarney Street, Cork city had through his mother sued the HSE over the care provided to him at CUMH.

He was born at the hospital on May 22, 2020, but in the course of general post-natal testing a warm glove was applied to his left foot to stimulate blood flow.

The application of the glove it was claimed caused severe blistering, redness and burning to his left lower leg and foot.

It was claimed the postnatal testing was completely substandard and the glove was applied to the baby’s skin either too hot or for too long.

He was kept in hospital until May 31, 2020.

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It was claimed substandard postnatal testing had been provided and little to no information had been given to the baby’s mother as to the nature of the injury while she was in hospital and in a distressed state.

The little boy has been left with altered pigmentation on his left calf and above his knee area.

Counsel told the court that a separate action for nervous shock brought by Abby Cotter had been settled and could be struck out. The terms of that settlement are confidential.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey said he was satisfied Ren’s settlement was fair and reasonable and he approved it.

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