Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

UK hospital's apology over brain damaged blind baby

Little Xavier Cutillo, who was left blind in one eye and brain-damaged when hospital medical staff made a catalogue of errors

A UK healthcare trust has apologised to a family after a baby was left brain-damaged and blind in one eye following a catalogue of errors during a routine birth.

Xavier Cutillo's eyeball was detached from its socket and his skull fractured by the misuse of forceps during his delivery at Scunthorpe General Hospital in England last December.

The youngster will never get the sight back in his left eye and his parents, 22-year-old Emma Portogallo and Daniel Cutillo (23), will have to wait years to see what effect the damage will have on his development.

A spokesman for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospital Trust said a full investigation had been carried out and staff also met the family shortly after the birth to discuss the delivery.

"We are extremely sorry for the distress caused to the family and would reiterate that our priority remains the safety of all women and babies at Scunthorpe General Hospital's Maternity Services."

Ms Portogallo was admitted to hospital on December 21, 2009.

She had a long labour and staff made an attempt to deliver the baby by ventouse suction cup.

When the first attempt did not work the doctor treating her tried a further seven times, despite advice that no more than three attempts should be made using this method.

When the method failed again, Ms Portogallo was taken to the operating theatre but staff did not tell her what was happening.

According to her lawyers, Ms Portogallo felt "severe tugging" as doctors tried to deliver her baby using forceps.

When her son was finally delivered his eyeball was hanging out of its socket and resting on his cheek.

Lawyers said the couple are seeking compensation so they can cover any future medical costs Xavier may need.

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