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Thankfully we see various Medical Bodies taken on board the lessons to be learned from Medical Negligence and one can only hope that this will ultimately lead to better outcomes for all.

The Medical Protection Organisation recently reported on a case involving a baby born by Caesaran Section at 27 weeks who had to be intubated and ventilated.   Medical Records from the time showed that the baby’s oxygen saturation was recorded as ranging between 90% to 97% indicating over-ventilation.   This excessive level was unfortunately administered to the baby for 204 hours.

The matter was compounded when the baby was not referred at the age of 4 to 6 weeks for Retinopathy which would be a standard screening for a premature baby.   The baby was not seen by an Ophthalmologist until seven months old when diagnosed with inoperable Grade 5 ROP causing blindness.   What was accepted in this case was that there was negligence on the part of the Pediatrician and Nursing Staff in allowing the baby to be exposed to unnecessarily oxygen levels and for not referring the baby at the appropriate time for eye examination.   As substantial settlement ensued.     Sadly the child was left with permanent blindness as a result of the negligence on this occasion.

It is somewhat reassuring to see that the Medical Profession Agency has extracted the relevant learning point from this case and advised it to its members.   Hopefully this will minimise the recurrence of such incidences.

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