Thursday, March 09, 2023

High Court reporters

Tipperary University Hospital has apologised for “the deficiencies in the care” provided to a mother leading up to the birth of her son five years ago.

The apology was read in the High Court as five-year old Lennon Meaney Shanahan from Clonmel, Co Tipperary who has cerebral palsy settled his action against the HSE with a €4.58 million interim payment.

The settlement against the HSE includes a pledge of €1 million towards night nursing care for the little boy who has quadriplegic spastic cerebral palsy, cannot speak and is also visually impaired.

His counsel Bruce Antoniotti SC instructed by Jamie Hart of Agustus Cullen and Law solicitors told the High Court Lennon has the most severe level of cerebral palsy.

Counsel said it was their case that there was an alleged failure to induce labour on two occasions and if Lennon had been delivered sooner, he would have escaped injury. When he was born on May 24th, 2018, Lennon was in poor condition and had to be intubated.

Mr Antoniotti said it was their case that on May 22nd, 2018 Ms Meaney was discharged home from the Tipperary hospital and the case notes said the labour ward was busy, and the patient was happy to go home, which Counsel said suggested the reason behind the discharge was operational pressure.

Induction planned

Induction was planned for two days later. Counsel said experts on the Meaney side would say that at that stage on May 22nd, 2018 Ms Meaney should have been kept in hospital.

The HSE admitted a breach of duty in the case, but causation remained at issue.

In a letter to Lennon’s parents Paul Shanahan and Anne Marie Meaney which was read to the court , the hospital said it accepts responsibility for “these failings which should not have happened.”

The letter from the hospital general manager Maria Barry added: “The hospital sincerely regrets these failings, and we would like to take this opportunity to wish you and Lennon well for the future.”

Lennon’s case will come back before the court in five years’ time when his future care need will be assessed.

Lennon Meaney Shanahan had through his mother Anne Marie Meaney sued the HSE over the management of his mother’s pregnancy and his delivery.

It was claimed there was a failure to offer induction of labour and that the mother had been allowed to be discharged in circumstances where her blood pressure at the point of discharge was significantly elevated, warranting medication

It was also claimed there was a failure to carry out induction of labour during the mother’s admission of May 21st, May 2018 to the May 22nd, 2018.

There was it was alleged a failure to have ensured Ms Meaney remained in hospital for maternal and foetal monitoring rather than being sent home until induction was feasible from the perspective of hospital management.

The HSE admitted it was in breach of its duty of care in relation to the management of the mother’s pregnancy on different occasions in May 2018 resulting in a failure to induce labour. It further admitted it was in breach of its duty of care in relation to the management of the mother’s pregnancy following spontaneous rupture of membranes on May 24th, 2018. Causation remained at issue in the case.

Approving the settlement Mr Justice Paul Coffey said the settlement was fair and reasonable and he wished all the best to Lennon and his family.

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