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Antoniades v East Sussex Hospitals NHS Trust [2007] EWHC 517 (QB) (16 March 2007)


Clinical Negligence. The Claimant was born with poor respiratory ability. Despite attempts by clinicians to establish a clear airway this was not achieved until a thick plug of mucus was removed from his trachea some 30 minutes after birth. The Claimant had begun to suffer severe and permanent brain damage 17 minutes after his birth due to the lack of oxygen to his brain. The NHS Trust was liable because the paediatric registrar had failed to report the blockage that he had discovered in the first endotracheal tube inserted. This contributed to a lack of understanding in the other clinicians. A subsequent failure had been not to implement his training of using suction directly through an endotracehal tube when narrow bore suctioning failed to establish the airway. Although the obstruction was rare, the fact of it should have been obvious at the latest 12 minutes after birth.