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Adding insult to injury

Jock Mackenzie discusses time and event cause and effect, negligence in pre-existing disabilities and strikes against a doctor’s name

9 December 2014

In Megan Baynham v Royal Wolverhampton Hospitals NHS Trust [2014] EWHC 3780 (QB), Justice Goss had to consider the cause of the claimant’s (M) injuries of asymmetric quadriplegic cerebral palsy, learning difficulties and epilepsy after her delivery by emergency caesarean section (CS) at 28 weeks’ gestation following a partial placental abruption. 

Negligent timekeeping 

M claimed that negligent management of her mother led to a 40-minute delay in delivery, resulting in a greater severity of brain injury than would otherwise have occurred. The defendant hospital (W) admitted that, due to system faults, delivery should have occurred at 00:15am, 30 minutes after the decision for CS had been made, rather than at 00:40am, a delivery delay of 25 minutes. 

W, however, disputed that an additional 15-minute delay was the examining registrar’s fault. M claimed the registrar should have decided to perform a CS within a...

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