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Mother Receives Damages After Negligent Death of Her Son

05 February 2016

The UK’s First Slavery and Trafficking Prevention Order

A mother has received compensation after she tragically lost her two-year-old boy as a result of medical negligence. 

Slater and Gordon Solicitor: Lauren Tully is a clinical negligence solicitor at Slater and Gordon in Manchester.

Settlement Value: £55,000

What Happened: Our client was awarded damages for the death of her two year old son as a result of negligent medical treatment.

Her son had received treatment for a tumour in his pelvic region. He was admitted to hospital in between cycles of chemotherapy for infections and fevers.

Just two days after finishing a course of chemotherapy at the age of two, he was admitted to hospital with a rash, a high temperature and diarrhoea. Over the following week, he was also found to have low blood pressure and a high heart rate.

His condition deteriorated rapidly over the following week. He initially became lethargic before deep wounds developed around his anus and on his bottom which ulcerated, became very painful and eventually turned black in colour.

These ‘red flag’ indicators of infection were ignored despite various opportunities to acknowledge them. Our client was reassured that her son’s condition was normal given his history of chemotherapy. This assurance was given despite the nursing staff failing to take blood samples to adequately determine the infection present.

Had they taken the blood samples sooner, they would have realized that the infection was resistant to the particular antibiotics used and that he wasn’t improving as he should.

Eleven days after being readmitted to the hospital, our client’s son was transferred to the intensive care unit where he suffered two cardiac arrests and died despite an initially successful attempt at resuscitation.

Impact: As a consequence of the failure to acknowledge the various ‘red flag’ indicators such as the boy’s fever and high heart rate, as well as the general deterioration of his condition which ultimately led to his premature death, our client suffered psychologically and was prescribed sleeping pills and antidepressants.

It was recommended that she undergo bereavement counselling and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to help manage the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder and her depression.

How Slater and Gordon Helped: Our client instructed Slater and Gordon in 2012. After concluding that there were good prospects of success, a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), commonly known as a no win, no fee agreement, was entered into.

Expert medical evidence from a consultant paediatric oncologist and consultant medical microbiologist was obtained.

Both experts took a critical view of the care afforded to our client’s son and found that had the infection been identified and appropriately treated on the numerous occasions where opportunities were presented, the boy would have survived.

Decision: Proceedings were issued in November 2014 and we negotiated a settlement in the sum of £55,000 before the matter went to court.

Although no sum of money can undo the devastating loss felt by our client, the money ensures that she can now undergo counselling.

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If you have any questions about the above case study or would like to speak with a clinical negligence solicitor, call us for a free consultation on 0800 916 9049 or contact us online.