A settlement of compensation for medical negligence at Sligo General Hospital has been approved at the High Court in favour of an eighteen year old man.
Thomas O´Connor was delivered at the Sligo General Hospital on September 6th 1996 by an emergency Caesarean Section after having been distressed in his mother´s womb. When he was born, Thomas showed no signs of life and was resuscitated with the assistance of a breathing tube.
According to his mother, both the delivery and resuscitation of her son was conducted negligently; and, due to the hospital´s alleged medical negligence, Thomas was twice deprived of oxygen. Due to the lack of oxygen, it was claimed, Thomas suffered terrible brain damage and he is now spastic quadriplegic, blind and fed through a tube.
On behalf of her son, Ann O´Connor of Collooney in County Sligo claimed compensation for medical negligence at Sligo General Hospital – alleging that Thomas´ delivery had been delayed unnecessarily for up to four hours, and that the breathing tube that had been used to resuscitate him had been inserted too deeply, contributing to a heart attack that Thomas had suffered on his way to the Intensive Care Unit.
The Health Service Executive denied liability for Thomas´ birth injuries, and contested the claim for compensation for medical negligence at Sligo General Hospital. However, at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross heard expert witnesses testify that a CTG trace had been discontinued in the morning of Thomas´ birth despite there being clear evidence of foetal distress, and that the ventilation tube had been inserted at a depth of 14cms, whereas it should have been put in at between 9cms and 10cms.
Judge Cross was also told that a settlement of compensation for medical negligence at Sligo General Hospital had been agreed for €1.75 million without an admission of liability. The judge approved the settlement – saying that he was delighted that the ordeal was over for the O´Connor family and noting that much of the settlement will be used to pay for Thomas´ continued care at the residential home in Sligo.