The HSE and Tipperary University Hospital have apologised to a five-year-old boy for the upset and trauma experienced around the time of his birth.
A letter of apology was read out in the High Court as Shay Crowe settled his action with a €300,000 interim payment for the next five years.
His counsel, Patrick Treacy SC instructed by Cian O’Carroll solicitors, told the court that certain admissions were made by the HSE in the case, including a breach of duty relating to a 29-minute delay to the delivery of the baby by caesarean section.
Mr Treacy said the situation was so serious that when baby Shay was born he had no heart rate.
It was further admitted that the neonatal resuscitation programme guidelines were not strictly followed at the Tipperary hospital. However, the HSE also contended there was no delay in bringing back the boy’s heart rate. It said an effective and timely resuscitation was achieved without adverse consequences.
In a letter read to the court from the HSE and Tipperary University Hospital, they apologised to Shay and his mother for “the upset and trauma experienced during the care, treatment and management received by you both at Tipperary University Hospital from presentation on November 8th, 2017, to include the episode of transfer to Cork University Maternity Hospital.”
It added: “Tipperary University Hospital and the HSE acknowledged that this was traumatic for both of you and his family.”
Shay Crowe, from Cahir, Co Tipperary, had through his mother, Agita Gintale, sued the HSE over his care at the time of his birth in November 2017.
Ms Gintale was admitted to South Tipperary University Hospital on November 8th, 2017. It was claimed that the machine monitoring the baby’s heartbeat showed some non-reassuring features and that the baby allegedly showed signs of foetal distress in the second stage of labour.
It was further claimed that in the early hours of November 9th during the second stage of labour, the cardiotocography (CTG) readings were categorised as pathological.
Medical staff decided to go ahead with an instrumental vacuum delivery, but it was claimed this was abandoned after three pulls. It was decided there would be a caesarean section.
Baby Shay was delivered after 2am on November 9th, 2017. He was limp and lifeless at delivery and required resuscitation.
It was claimed an attempt to intubate the baby two minutes after birth failed, and four minutes had passed before he was intubated. He was transferred to the hospital neo-natal unit and ventilated and also received passive cooling.
Shortly after 5am, Shay was transferred to Cork University Maternity Hospital for therapeutic hypothermia.
In the proceedings, it was claimed there was a failure to resuscitate the baby in a correct or appropriate manner and an alleged failure to intubate the baby when indicated at two minutes of life.
Mr Treacy told the court the baby had seizures in the first few days of his life and he was in hospital until November 20th, 2017.
Approving the interim settlement, which was achieved after mediation, Mr Justice Paul Coffey conveyed his very best wishes to Shay.
The case will come back to court in 2029 when general damages and Shay’s future care needs will be assessed.
by High Court reporter
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