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Paul Sankey discusses Clinical Negligence and Low Blood Glucose Levels in Babies

The claim for damages for medical negligence by the father of a 7 year old who suffered brain damage in the first couple of days of life after his blood glucose levels fell dangerously low highlights a little recognised issued in the care of new born babies.
The claim is against Addenbrooke’s Hospital, normally known as a centre of excellence, and Rosie Hospital, both part of the Cambridge Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. Most people would be confident of good care at these hospitals. I am running a very similar claim against the Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, and it seems odd that there should be parallel claims against good hospitals in Oxford and Cambridge.
In both claims the allegations are that there were failures adequately to monitor feeding and assess blood sugar levels. In one case blood test results were entered in the wrong box misleading clinicians who were wrongly reassured by a blood glucose result which recorded as normal when in fact it was very low. In both cases the children suffered low blood glucose levels, fits and developed brain damage.
Childbirth is of course potentially a time of risk for mother and baby and despite generally good maternity care things can go wrong. The most common injuries I come across are babies suffering an injury to their brain and developing cerebral palsy after being deprived of oxygen at birth. However these 2 cases of babies suffering tragic and highly disabling injuries from low blood glucose levels show what an important – if unusual – issue this is.