A 12-year-old UK girl is set to receive millions of pounds in compensation from a Harrow hospital over severe brain injuries she suffered during childbirth. Sharani Sasikaran received a letter of apology from Northwick Park Hospital last month, in which hospital administrators acknowledged liability in the injuries that caused her to develop cerebral palsy.
British Hospital Admits Fault In Infant Birth Injury Case
Sasikaran’s mother, Suganthy, gave birth at Northwick Park Hospital in September 2006. In an official letter from the hospital trust, Northwick admitted that if the child had been delivered in a timely manner, she would not have suffered permanent brain damage. For her part, Mrs. Sasikaran is relieved, telling the Evening Standard, “the first three years were very hard. It’s a big relief. [When she was born] they took her to a different hospital. I couldn’t even hug her. I hope this never happens again.”
In 2006, Sasikaran went to Northwick Park Hospital to give birth. Hospital staff chose to induce labor when the mother was found to have developed pre-eclampsia. But instead of caring for her, attorneys for the family say staff members left her on the labor ward for nearly four days with “no progression” in her status.
Hospital Staff Failed To Address Fetal Distress
Lawyers say hospital staff failed to recognize that the baby was suffering from fetal distress. Attorneys also claim that staff at the hospital administered more than the recommended dosage of prostin, a drug used to induce labor. The hospital was only alerted to danger, the attorneys say, after Mrs. Sasikaran could no longer feel her baby moving. She immediately called a student midwife, court documents reports, who realized the baby’s heart rate had reached a dangerously slow pace.
Doctors performed an emergency Caesarean section, but were unable to avert severe injuries from befalling the infant. Young Sharani had suffered oxygen deprivation due to acute asphyxia. She was born floppy and unresponsive, according to medical records. Sharani was ultimately diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
Diagnosed With Cerebral Palsy, English Girl Secures Settlement
Today, the girl possesses limited communication skills. She requires constant care. “She’s a very happy, friendly child,” says her mother, Mrs. Sasikaran. “She tries to play with everybody. She tries to speak but can’t. She can walk a few steps but falls over. I can’t leave her alone.” Sharani’s sisters, nine and eight, help her mother and father with care duties.
Thankfully, due to the hospital’s admission of guilt, the Sasikaran family will no longer have to worry about whether or not they can afford the constant care that Sharani requires. Since the National Health Service hospital trust acknowledged having breached the duty of care, attorneys are now working with the family to assess Sharani’s life-time medical needs. The family is hoping to buy her an electric wheelchair.
Attorneys Assess Long-Term Cost Of Care
Once Sharani’s needs are evaluated, an appropriate settlement will be agreed to. The family’s lawyer Jane Weakley said: “because the trust made a full admission of the failings that caused Sharani’s injuries, I will now assess her life-long specialist needs. These will be maximum severity and will amount to a multi-million-pound settlement.”
A spokesman for the hospital trust apologized again for Sharani’s injuries in a statement to the Evening Standard. “We would like to express our sincere apologies…the team has made significant improvements over recent years, and is currently involved in a national program to increase the safety of mums-to-be and their babies.”