1 September 2003
Bromley Health Authority agreed to pay over £2 million, in a settlement approved by the High Court on 19th June 2003, to three children born prematurely after their mother received fertility treatment in one of their hospitals. The liability settlement was reached and approved by the High Court back in November 2001, following allegations by the claimants that there was unacceptable management of the fertility treatment and unsatisfactory counselling following the discovery of the subsequent multiple pregnancy of their mother.
This is the climax of a complex case involving tandem claims by the parents of the quadruplets, born prematurely in December 1992, and the three living children. One of the babies died at just two days old, the other three suffer from various complications associated with being born at just 26 weeks.
Their mother received fertility treatment from a gynaecologist at Farnborough Hospital, but after four failed cycles her drugs were changed to Metrodin and Profasi. In July ’92, after the first cycle of new treatment, which it was alleged was prescribed in excessive dose and not monitored appropriately, she found out she was pregnant with quadruplets. It was alleged that she was then negligently advised by the gynaecologist against fetal reduction and also that she could deliver four healthy babies at 36 weeks. She went into premature labour on 22nd December and on Christmas Eve, the babies were delivered at Kings College Hospital by Caesarean.
Sadly, one of the babies died a couple of days later and the remaining babies suffered various problems due to their premature birth, some of which will affect them for the rest of their lives. The worst affected child is a boy who had brain, heart, lung, kidney, liver, bowel and eye problems, some of which required surgery. He has hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy and Attention Deficit Disorder.
The second boy had lung and heart problems and is left with impaired coordination due to Developemental Co-ordination Disorder, and has learning and behavioural difficulties due to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
The baby girl had a collapsed lung and heart problems that needed surgery and eye problems that got better on their own. Fortunately she has no continuing problems.
The figure of £2,008,500 consists of compensation for their pain and suffering, past expenses and future expenses, anticipating the level of care they will need.
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