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Award for boy who suffered catastrophic brain injury.


A boy who suffered catastrophic brain damage before his birth at a Sheffield hospital has received £500,000 compensation.

The boy, now a teenager, was still in the womb when he suffered a brain haemorrhage with "massive bleeding", the High Court, London, heard. His barrister Simeon Maskrey QC said: "Nobody knows why."

Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust denied clinical negligence played any part in the injuries and agreed to settle his claim without making any admission of liability.

Mr Maskrey added that Royal Hallamshire Hospital staff also mistakenly thought the baby was suffering from leukaemia and a genetic heart defect.

The boy's condition was considered so dire his parents accepted doctors should not intervene and his mother’s labour should run its course.

Mr Maskrey said his case was that their decision had been based on doctors' "incorrect assumptions" and intervention had in fact been necessary.

He also said bleeding continued after the boy's delivery, resulting in "secondary damage" that could have been avoided.

NHS lawyers said appropriate advice and treatment had been given throughout and, by the time of the boy's delivery, the "die was cast" and the damage had already been done.

The boy faces a lifetime of severe disability and Mr Maskrey said the settlement was a "reasonable outcome" for him and his family.

NHS counsel, Philip Havers QC, expressed the trust's "very great regret.” The chief executive wrote a letter of sympathy to the boy's parents.

Judge Margaret Obi approved the £500,000 settlement and said she hoped the payout would give "some comfort" to the teenager and his family.