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Birth Compensation Action Settled for Family of Newborn Baby whose Skull was Fractured During Delivery

A High Court action has been settled in favour of the family of a baby who passed way just five days after his birth at the National Maternity Hospital (NMH).

The child in question, Henry John McMahon. was diagnosed with a debilitating heart condition before his birth. He was due to undergo cardiac surgery at a different hospital shortly after his birth. However, Richard Kean SC for his family, told the court that Henry experienced a traumatic instrumental delivery and was inflicted with a fractured skull during the process.

Counsel said it was imperative he experience as healthy a delivery as possible in order to increase his chances of a successful cardiac intervention. Sadly, following his birth he was in no state where he could have the necessary critical cardiac surgery.

Henry’s mother, Sorcha McMahon, of Kilmacud Road, Blackrock, Dublin, sued the NMH, Holles Street, Dublin ub relation to the mental distress suffered by her family in relation to his death. The action submitted alleged that there was a failure to provide henry with reasonable care while he and his mother were patients in the hospital. Additionally it was claimed there had been a failure to involve a consultant obstetrician to assist with delivering the infant. Finally it was claimed that Henry was denied the opportunity of life saving heart surgery due to the alleged gross compromising of his condition as a result of the alleged mismanagement of his birth.

The claims were denied by the defendants.

In an affidavit provided to the court, Mrs McMahon said her son was delivered at the hospital on September 18, 2017 . Shortly after this  he had been diagnosed during an antenatal ultrasound scan with a heart condition. As a result of this a plan was put in place that he would be transferred to Our Lady Children’s Hospital, Crumlin, Dublin, after delivery for operative care, and his prognosis was positive.

She said it was important that that Henry be given birth to in the healthiest condition possible because he could not experience any additional compromises in light of his pre-existing heart condition and his requirement for immediate operative intervention.

Mrs McMahon said her son experience a traumatic brain injury and after birth his condition was extremely impacted. She said her son’s condition on being taken to the Children’s Hospital, was such that he was deemed unfit for his vital cardiac surgery and a decision had to be taken to permit palliative treatment. She said her son passed away on September 23, 2017.

The details of the settlement are to remain private.

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