A mother whose child has been left disabled after suffocating whilst being breastfed is claiming compensation from the Hospital where the baby was born for her injuries.

The child, now aged 6, suffered severe brain damage when her brain was starved of Oxygen when both her nostrils were covered whilst her mother was breastfeeding her. The child now suffers from cerebral palsy, visual impairment, epilepsy and significant neuro-developmental problems.

The child’s mother alleges that the advice she received regarding breastfeeding from the midwife was not sufficient to prevent the injury to her child and therefore the Hospital Trust, for whom the midwife worked, was negligent. She says that the midwife should have warned her to keep the child’s airway clear and keep one of the nostrils clear and should have returned to check on them, as promised, after 10 minutes.

In any claim for medical negligence the Claimant is required to prove that there was a breach of duty of care in the advice that was provided to them, or the surgical procedure they underwent. They are also required to prove that the breach of duty of care caused the injuries suffered by the Claimant.

The test for establishing if there was a breach of duty of care is whether someone of the same standing, i.e. another midwife, would have acted differently in the circumstances. If the Claimant can establish that another midwife would have provided specific advice regarding keeping the child’s airway clear and/or one nostril clear during breastfeeding, the Claimant’s claim for compensation may be successful.

In a claim for medical negligence where the Claimant is an adult, the limitation period for bringing a claim for compensation is 3 years from the date of accident or the date of knowledge of the medical negligence. In this case, the claim is brought by the child’s mother on behalf of the child, as the child does not have capacity to bring a claim herself. The limitation period for bringing a claim for compensation for medical negligence where the Claimant is a child or is on behalf of a child is 3 years from the date of the child’s 18th birthday. This may be different if the child suffers a disability which means they never have capacity to deal with the case.

Here at Jordans Solicitors, we have a dedicated medical negligence team of professionals with experience in a wide range of medical negligence matters including problems experienced during childbirth, negligent surgery and delays in diagnosis of and treatment for various medical conditions.


If you have been a victim of medical negligence and would like to discuss the possibility of pursuing a claim for compensation please call our medical negligence team on 01924 457 171 or visit our website and request a call back.

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