Premature babies are intensely vulnerable in their first days of life and failings in their care can have lifelong consequences. In a case on point, a boy who was left blind in one eye after a window of opportunity to treat a relatively common condition was missed received seven-figure compensation.
The boy, who was delivered long before his due date, suffered from retinopathy of prematurity, a condition that causes abnormal blood vessels to develop in the retinas of some premature babies. He lost the sight in one eye and was at risk of suffering a retinal detachment in the other.
Proceedings were launched on his behalf, claiming that, had his condition been diagnosed and treated as swiftly as it should have been, the devastating outcome would have been avoided. The NHS trust that ran the relevant hospital denied liability for his injury but, following negotiations, agreed to a settlement of his claim.
Together with a £1.8 million lump sum, the boy retained the right to seek further compensation if he suffers retinal damage to his good eye in the future. In approving the settlement, the High Court praised both sides' legal teams for the responsible and fair manner in which a resolution had been achieved.