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NHS to pay compensation

The NHS has awarded a five-figure sum to a family after their baby was choked to death by his own umbilical cord whilst his mother was giving birth.

The Tameside General Hospital admitted it was at fault after a lengthy battle where the hospital initially asserted that they were not to blame. The claims of negligence came after Callum Connor died two days after his birth due to irreversible brain damage.

The incident occurred on January the 14th 2009 where an alleged birthing delay meant that Callum’s brain had been starved of oxygen. When he had been born he had to be revived, but his parents Sarah Collins and David Connor agreed that he was beyond help and the life support machine should be turned off.

Following the incident, the coroner, John Pollard, came to the conclusion that Callum was unable to be saved. At the Stockport coroner’s court in November of 2009, the coroner said at his inquest that the causes of death were completely natural.

However, Callum’s parents were unhappy with this as they claimed that they saw that Callum was in difficulties during labour. As a result, they decided to launch a clinical negligence claim through a prominent Manchester law firm. The investigation acquired evidence via an independent expert.

The main claim brought forward was that medics failed to act in a sufficient amount of time after Callum’s heart rate fell; a total delay of around 17 minutes.

In the end, the NHS Litigation Authority, acting on behalf of the hospital, agreed that the hospital had been negligent. A five-figure sum was reportedly awarded in a settlement outside of court.

A statement from the authority admitted that the hospital had breached their duty of care. Furthermore, it said that if the correct care had been given there was a high chance that the child would have lived. A letter of apology was later sent to Callum’s parents.