Brain damaged teen in £300k compensation claim against Swindon hospital trust (From Swindon Advertiser)
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Brain damaged teen in £300k compensation claim against Swindon hospital trust
9:00am Wednesday 13th February 2013 in News
A TEENAGER who suffered life-changing brain damage while being treated at Great Western Hospital is claiming more than £300,000 in damages against the NHS Foundation Trust that runs the hospital.
High Court proceedings have been launched on behalf of tetraplegic Hannah Woolford, 18, of Moredon, who suffered brain damage when she was taken to the GWH following an epileptic seizure when she was nine.
The claim, issued by her mum Yvonne, says that Hannah, who will require care for the rest of her life, did not receive adequate treatment when she was admitted to the hospital in 2003.
According to High Court papers, Hannah, who has suffered from seizures since she was four-months-old, was taken to hospital by ambulance in May 2003 after suffering a further seizure.
Hannah's blood pressure was taken upon arrival at the A & E department that evening but according to the claim form, the hospital failed to continue to monitor her blood pressure and heart rate at regular intervals.
It is also claimed that because Hannah had been fitting uncontrollably and had received three doses of epilepsy drug benzodiazepines before arriving at A & E, the hospital's emergency registrar, Dr Sue West Jones, failed to correctly assess Hannah as a complicated case needing urgent multi-disciplinary care and the paediatric crash team. This team should have consisted of a paediatric registrar and an anaesthetic registrar.
Crucially, the anaesthetic expert would have known to have anaesthetise Hannah to stop her fitting, open her airway, and for an intubation tube to be inserted to allow her to breathe.
It is claimed that as a result, Hannah suffered from hypotension which led to her blood pressure falling and her heart rate rising. Her fitting resulted in raised carbon dioxide levels because her airway wasn't secure, leading to hypoxia where her brain was starved of oxygen.
It is claimed that while she was being treated, every clinician caring for Hannah and the nursing staff failed to ensure her blood pressure and pulse rates were regularly monitored and that her airway was clear.
According to the claim form, Hannah suffered extensive brain damage following her arrival at hospital and remained critically ill for some time. She has been left with permanent and severe disability and is seekingdamages that will exceed £300,000 for her injuries and losses.
Yvonne declined to comment when contacted by the Adver yesterday. A spokesman for Great Western Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said it was not in a position to comment due to ongoing legal proceedings.