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Brain damaged teenager to receive multi-million pound payout

Posted in: Birth Injury Head and Brain Injuries Medical Negligence 

13-year-old Ben Harman is to receive a multi-million pound compensation package after an east Kent hospital admitted to causing his brain damage at birth. The brain injury happened when doctors failed to check his blood sugar levels after birth, despite clear warning signs that he was not healthy. It was heard that hospital staff failed to carry out any glucose tests until two days after his birth, by which point his condition had deteriorated, and he had suffered a brain injury.

It was heard in court that Ben was severely underweight and “floppy” when he was born. When doctors checked his glucose levels two days later, they failed to inform his parents of his blood sugar injury. They finally admitted to the damage four years later, despite his parents complaining about his health throughout the first years of his life. East Kent Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust finally admitted its responsibility for the injury in July 2013. 

“really hard”

Ben’s parents Jo and Robin Harman described the battle for compensation as “really hard”. They said that years after the damage had been done to their son, the specialist “just muttered it was a neonatal birth injury”. It was heard in court that if his blood sugar had been checked earlier, the brain damage would have been avoided.

The High Court judge ruled that Ben was to receive a lifetime care settlement. A trust spokesperson said: “We have previously accepted that had the trust carried out adequate observations of Ben when he was born, he would not have been discharged and sustained his subsequent brain injury.

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