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Case Study

£3.4m for twin's cerebral palsy for delayed Caesarean at Horton General Hospital

Oliver was born at the Horton General Hospital on 9 February 1995. His mother had been admitted to hospital the previous day expecting twins. She was then 34 weeks pregnant.

At about 4.48am, William (twin 1) was delivered “easily”. Oliver was noted to be in a compound presentation of both hand and vertex. The obstetrician, having twice unsuccessfully tried ventouse delivery with a silastic cup, then proceeded to emergency Caesarean section.

Oliver was eventually delivered by Caesarean section at 5.30am. He has dystonic athetoid cerebral palsy, caused by acute fetal asphyxia.

The claim alleged that the doctors should have delivered Oliver and his brother by caesarean section immediately, in the light of the persistent (and deteriorating) severe bradycardia on the CTG at 3.00am on 9 February. This would have taken about 30 minutes to achieve and both twins should therefore have been delivered before 4am.

It is thought that although Oliver suffered very severe physical injuries, he is of normal intelligence and it is hoped that with special schooling he will be able to make significant achievements despite his undoubted communication difficulties.

After negotiations between the parties the case eventually settled in the sum of £3.4 million. The settlement being approved by Mrs Justice Cox. Paul McNeil conducted the case with the assistance of Public Funding (formerly known as Legal Aid).