Maisha Najeeb, an 11-year-old from Essex, has been left with severe brain injury following a mix up of syringes at Great Ormond Street Hospital that resulted in her being inadvertently injected with glue into her brain.
Maisha suffered from a congenital condition, arterio-venous malformation, affecting the arteries and veins (blood vessels) in her brain, which had required treatment on a number of occasions but otherwise did not prevent her from living a normal life. She was at an ordinary school and hoped to be a doctor herself one day. In June 2010, she was admitted to Great Ormond Street to undergo treatment to her blood vessels. The treatment included an angiogram which would give doctors information on how the blood was flowing in her brain.
The treatment involved the use of syringes containing glue, for use in the treatment of the blood vessels, and others containing special dye, for use in the angiogram. Unfortunately, the syringes were not labelled and got mixed up. As a result, the doctor inadvertently injected glue into the child’s artery, instead of dye. The glue then travelled into her brain, causing serious and permanent damage.
Maisha almost died and required a number of operations. She has serious brain injury, and requires extensive care on a daily basis. She is in a wheelchair and has limited ability to communicate. She has severe painful spasms in her legs. She is dependent on others for her daily needs. While the hospital has formally indicated an intention to defend the claim, the legal argument is likely to centre on how much of her brain damage was due to the glue and how much from her existing condition.
Maisha's father, Mr Sadir Hussain, has instructed Edwina Rawson, clinical negligence partner at law firm Fieldfisher, in a claim against Great Ormond Street Hospital. The hospital has confirmed that there was a breach of duty in the inadvertent injection of glue into Maisha's artery. They admit that this caused some brain injury although whether all of her current problems were caused by it is under investigation.
Edwina Rawson said: "This was a tragic incident that could have been avoided had the syringes been marked in a way that made them distinguishable. Maisha has been seriously injured as a result of the mistake. If mistakes such as this can be made at Great Ormond Street, then there is a risk that similar incidents could happen in other hospitals. Systems of labelling in these circumstances need to be reviewed. I have obtained funding from the trust for Maisha's place at a rehabilitation centre, and am working to secure financial compensation to pay for Maisha's ongoing care and treatment. I hope that this incident will raise awareness about ensuring that such a mix-up never happens again."
Sadir Hussain said: "This has been absolutely devastating for Maisha, me and my family. Before this procedure Maisha was a happy, active child who was thriving at school. She now needs constant care and will be dependent on others for the rest of her life. I want to know that hospitals conducting these kind of procedures in the future will put adequate systems in place to make sure no child suffers in this way again."
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