Court is told of "missed" chances for baby


A BOY born in a Dublin hospital 11 years ago was in a life threatening situation for his first 48 hours, but there was a gradual settling down because he was on a variety of medicines, the High, Court was told yesterday.

Mr Liam McKechnie SC was continuing his opening of an action by the child and his mother against the National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street, and Dr Simon McCaffrey, now living in New South Wales, Australia. It is claimed there was negligence at the time of the child's birth.

Mr McKechnie is representing Ms Margaret Naughton (46), of Rathvilley Drive, Finglas, Dublin, and her son, Ian, now aged 11, who is suing by his father, Mr Dermot Naughton. Mr Justice Budd was told Ian has cerebral palsy and is a spastic quadriplegic.

It is claimed Ms Naughton went to the hospital at 12.30 p.m. on April 5th, but it was not discovered until she had a Caesarean section between 7.45 a.m., and 8 a.m. on April 6th that the baby was in a transverse position. It is claimed she should have been "sectioned" forthwith.

It is alleged the Caesarean section was carried out when it was too late to avoid or prevent irreversible brain damage and cerebral palsy.

In its defence, the hospital denies negligence or breach of duty or that it supervised or managed the delivery negligently. Dr McCaffrey also denies negligence, and claims that if Ian suffered brain damage, it was not his fault.

Yesterday Mr McKechnie said that if the baby had been born at any time up to the point where his brain damage had been irreversible, he would have been "OK". If he had been delivered at 5.30 a.m., or perhaps later, he would not have suffered as he now suffered.

Several opportunities were "missed" by the defendants in relation to Ms Naughton and Ian from 2 p.m. on April 5th to 7.30 am. or 8 a.m. on the following morning.

The hearing before Mr Justice Budd, is continuing.