Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Hospital Errors Left My Luca with Brain Damage'; Medical,legal Cases

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'Hospital Errors Left My Luca with Brain Damage'; Medical,legal Cases

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN DELGADO

A BABY was born with brain damage after a midwife pressed the emergency button three times but doctors failed to respond, it was alleged today.

It took 20 minutes for a delivery team to reach the mother's bedside after staff realised the child's heartbeat had dropped dangerously low.

By the time doctors arrived the baby is said to have suffered severe asphyxiation.

Now the mother of Luca Dhillon is suing the hospital on her son's behalf, claiming his handicap was caused by staff negligence.

Luca, who will be two years old on Sunday, has cerebral palsy and cannot sit, stand or crawl without help.

Because of a related stomach disorder, he can take fluids only through a tube inserted into his stomach.

His mother, Rebecca Wallace, 37, claims a midwife called for urgent help three times before a senior obstetrician arrived to deliver the baby.

A High Court writ for damages against the hospital trust alleges clinical negligence by staff through failure to appreciate the urgency of the situation.

Luca was born at the Royal Free Hospital, Hampstead, after Ms Wallace, who lives in Golders Green, was transferred there from the Edgware Birth Centre, where she had hoped to have a natural birth but was finding the labour difficult.

A midwife at the Royal Free noted that the baby's heart rate was slowing dangerously and pressed the emergency bell.

A doctor came but there was no response from two senior members of the medical staff, it is claimed.

The alarm was sounded twice more before a senior doctor reached the operating theatre. Luca was delivered by forceps after a failed attempt at delivery by attaching a suction cup to his head. The umbilical cord was wrapped tightly around his neck and he suffered severe asphyxiation. …

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