Medical Negligence News

Multi-Million Compensation Settlement after Hospital Infection

Posted on: January 7th, 2011 by Medical Negligence

A young teenager, who was infected with a hospital “superbug” and birth and sustained brain damage as a result of the illness has been awarded a compensation settlement of £8 million by the Royal Court of Justice, London.

Ayesha Canning-Kishver, or Coventry in the West Midlands, was just 1lb 12 ounces when she was delivered at just over twenty-five weeks in the Birmingham City Hospital, July 1997. She was suffering from mild periventricular leukomalacia, and as such was immediately transferred to a specialist neonatal care unit. Over the next seven days in the unit, little Ayesha’s condition seemed to be improving.

Yet Ayesha was infected twice with two serious hospital infections, Staphylococcus epidermidis and klebsiella because of contaminated medical devices (such as an indwelling catheter that was administered). Ayesha almost died from the infections, and had to be resuscitated – a procedure that lead Ayesha to develop brain damage, rendering her reliant on twenty-four hour care for as long as she lives.

A medical negligence claim was brought against Sanwell and West birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust my Shahana Kishver, Ayesha’s mother, who alleges that there was a delay in diagnosing and treating her daughter’s infection, and that the hospital failed in their duty of care. The NHS Trust initially denied any liability in Ayesha’s case, claiming that her premature delivery was largely to blame for her present condition. However, when the case was heard in the High Court in 2008, Birmingham City Hospital was found liable.

The Honourable Mr Justice Neil Butterfield oversaw the proceedings in the Royal Court of Justice, where the compensation package was announced, and stated that “This should not be viewed as a ‘lottery win’ – rather it will be used to fund the lifetime of care which Ayesha will need.” The compensation package consists of an immediate lump sum of £1.3 million, followed with annual payments of £70,000 until Ayesha reaches the age of eighteen – after which they will increase to £90,000 a year.
The Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust have since commented that they regret any delays to Ayesha’s treatment.