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Court Approves Interim Settlement of Compensation for Cerebral Palsy due to the Use of Syntocinon

The High Court has approved a €2.1 million interim settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to the use of Syntocinon in favour of a seven-year-old boy.

Patrick Brannigan was born in poor condition by emergency Caesarean Section at the Cavan General Hospital on 20th July 2007. Prior to his delivery a cardiotocography (CTG) trace had shown signs of foetal distress and Patrick´s mother – Niamh – had been administered Syntocinon to accelerate her labour.

However, rather than result in a healthy birth, the Syntocinon had the effect of starving Patrick of oxygen in the womb and he was born suffering from dyskinetic cerebral palsy. Now seven years of age, Patrick is confined to a wheelchair and has no means of communication.

Through his mother, Patrick claimed compensation for cerebral palsy due to the use of Syntocinon – alleging that the drug should never be administered when there are signs of foetal distress. The claim also stated that Cavan General Hospital mismanaged his birth and there was a failure to monitor the baby while labour was in progress.

Cavan General Hospital admitted that a “catalogue of errors” had resulted in Niamh and Patrick receiving a sub-standard level of healthcare. The hospital apologised to the family and an interim €2.1 million settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to the use of Syntocinon was agreed upon, subject to approval by a judge.

Consequently at the High Court in Dublin, Mr Justice Kevin Cross was told the circumstances leading up to Patrick´s birth. He also heard that Patrick is a cheerful, good humoured boy who is cared for full-time by his parents. The judge approved the interim settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to the use of Syntocinon and adjourned the hearing for three years.

In three years time, it is hoped that a periodic payment system is introduced so that awards to plaintiffs can be made more accurately and fairly. If no legislation is passed to allow for a periodic payment system, a final settlement of compensation for cerebral palsy due to the use of Syntocinon will be approved.

For more information about Syntocinon and the birth injuries it can cause when administered incorrectly, please read Syntocinon Compensation Claims.