Mother takes action over alleged birth injury and brain damage to son following oxygen deprivation

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The mother of a three-year-old boy who suffered brain damage at birth after being deprived of oxygen is suing Queen’s Hospital in Romford, Essex.

Baby Boy

Sarah Hutchins, 37, is alleging that maternity staff at the hospital did not act quickly enough to prevent birth injury and as a result her son Blake is suffering from developmental problems and can only say a few words.

Ms Hutchins was admitted to the maternity unit in August 2009 when she was thirty-seven-and-a-half weeks’ pregnant with Blake and was concerned that her baby had stopped moving.

A subsequent inquiry by the hospital found that a doctor examined Ms Hutchins and decided the baby was in distress, but a report found that action was not taken quickly enough at the maternity unit and Blake suffered because of oxygen deprivation in the womb, which can cause brain damage and birth injury.

Ms Hutchins did not learn of the report until a doctor at another hospital informed her solicitor of the contents of it last month. Ms Hutchins’ legal representatives say she should have been told of the findings of the report at the time.

Ms Hutchins has been classed as a high-risk mother by the hospital at the time of her pregnancy because she smoked – she had given up smoking while expecting Blake, however.

Queen’s Hospital has been criticised by the health watchdog on previous occasions and since 2007 the deaths of five patients have been flagged up.

Ms Hutchins said:

“If he had not had a lack of oxygen, if they had got him out quicker, there is every chance my boy would not have to go through any of this. Medically, he has global developmental delay.”

Developmental delay can occur in premature babies and also in the babies of expectant mothers who smoke.

Ms Hutchins is taking action on behalf of her son against Barking, Havering and Redbridge Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs Queen’s Hospital for birth injury compensation.

A spokesman for Queen’s Hospital was unable to comment on whether Blake’s developmental problems had been caused by staff delays during his birth.


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