Girl scarred when bandage left on head for 30 hours after birth

Liability admitted as child sued HSE over treatment following birth in Cork in 2011

In evidence, Jennifer Byrne said that when her daughter Abigail was born, she thought her  head was misshapen. The baby had a tiny mark from the forceps but she was reassured the damage was all on the outside of her head, Ms Byrne said.  File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

In evidence, Jennifer Byrne said that when her daughter Abigail was born, she thought her head was misshapen. The baby had a tiny mark from the forceps but she was reassured the damage was all on the outside of her head, Ms Byrne said. File photograph: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

 

A young girl has been left with a permanent scar on her forehead after an elasticated type bandage was left on her head for 30 hours after her birth at Cork University Maternity Hospital, the High Court has been told.

Abigail Byrne will have this “cross” on her forehead for the rest of her life, her counsel John O’Mahony SC said.

The scar, measuring 10cm long and 1cm wide, “mutilates Abigail’s striking natural beauty”, he added.

Options such as plastic surgery will not be available to Abigail until she is in her late teens, counsel said.

There was a deep indentation over the child’s left eye and it was their case the bandage should not have been applied and, if it was, it should have been monitored.

“It was on far too long and was too tight,” he said.

Through her mother Jennifer Byrne, Tobartae House, Ryefield West, Whitechurch, Co Cork, the child sued the HSE as a result of her treatment following her birth at Cork University Maternity Hospital.

The baby was delivered by forceps delivery on January 14th, 2011, after a difficult birth.

Stocking bandage

It was advised a stocking bandage be applied to her head, where it remained for about 30 hours until the evening of January 15th, 2011.

Among various claims, it was alleged the bandage was applied too tightly, and that excessive pressure from a crease in the bandage cut off blood supply to the skin and tissue.

Liability has been admitted and the case is before the court for assessment of damages only.

In evidence, Jennifer Byrne said that, when her daughter Abigail was born, she thought her head was misshapen.

The baby had a tiny mark from the forceps but she was reassured the damage was all on the outside of her head, Ms Byrne said.

She said a stocking bandage was recommended.

“I can only imagine it was too tight. It was either unwarranted or on for too long.”

She was reassured the mark would fade and would be gone by the end of the week, she said.

The case has been adjourned to resume in the new law term.