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Boy gets £3.9m in hospital settlement

A family's decade-long battle for redress after an alleged medical error left their son severely brain-damaged ended yesterday when the High Court in Dublin approved a €4.7m (£3.9m) settlement.

But Marie and Diarmuid Daly's victory was tinged with the knowledge that their son Colm, now aged 10 and the youngest of six children, will never lead a normal life due to what they allege was a simple oversight that had “catastrophic” consequences.

Their solicitor, Liam Reidy SC, said the family was told that complications a month after the birth of Colm Daly, of Southbury Road, Summerstown, Glasheen, Co Cork, were “just one of those events”.

The Bon Secours Hospital in Cork has never admitted liability for the alleged error.

The court heard that Colm was a healthy baby but had a difficult birth on June 12, 2000.

The attending nurses and midwives had to clamp his umbilical cord after it ruptured before the obstetrician arrived.

However, a month later on July 14, 2000, he began vomiting, the court heard. Colm was brought back to the hospital on July 17.

It then emerged that a small blood vessel in his brain had burst, resulting in a haemorrhage.

It later emerged that his blood did not clot properly.

He was given a vitamin K injection, which is routinely given at birth to allow an infant's blood to clot.

This resulted in blood coagulation quality within eight hours, Mr Reidy said.

However, the boy — who sued the hospital for medical negligence through his mother Marie — alleged that he had never been given a vitamin K injection at birth, despite medical notes to the contrary.

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