The family of 10 year old Maisha Najeeb, never imagined that a routine stay in hospital would have resulted in their daughter being permanently brain damaged.
Maisha Najeeb went into hospital in June 2010. She was a 10-year old girl who was basically healthy but had a rare medical condition that involves veins and arteries which can get tangled so as to cause a bleed. Prior to this time, she had been the recipient of successful embolisation treatment during which glue is injected into the body to block off blood vessels which are bleeding and a harmless dye is also injected so that the flow of blood around the head and the brain can be checked.
However, on this occasion when she went to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children to receive treatment, the system in place that distinguishes between the syringe containing the glue and the one containing the dye was not in place and so the syringes got mixed up, according to solicitor Edwina Rawson, of legal firm Field Fisher Waterhouse. As a result, the glue was injected into Maisha’s brain by mistake, resulting in brain damage that was catastrophic and permanent.
Recently, Judge Birtles at High Court of London approved a settlement against Great Ormond Street Hospital NHS Trust for Children. It is multimillion-pound damages payout that includes a £2.8 million one-time sum, with £383,000 a year until Maisha is 19 and then increasing to £423,000 each year for the rest of her life, which some experts believe could be for another 50 years or more. The money will be spent to care for Maisha who is in a wheelchair and needs help with daily tasks around the clock. She has lost most of her cognitive and bodily abilities.
Liability for Maisha’s injuries was admitted by the trust and has apologized repeatedly to the family for the shortcomings in her care which led to such devastating consequences. As a result, the family has spoken in an open fashion with the trust so that the staff can learn what happened during the procedure and make the necessary improvements. The judge has also extended his admiration and sympathy to the family and hoped that the compensation would help to make the rest of the life of Maisha as comfortable as possible.
Neil Block, Queen’s Counsel, commented that as a result of the error, there are new procedures and systems in place so that such a tragic mistake cannot happen again. It is unfortunate that the clock cannot be turned back and money cannot make up for all that Maisha has lost, but he is certain that the settlement has lifted a great burden from the family.
Maisha’s parents seem to have reconciled with rehabilitation of their daughter who is now 13, Block added. However, outside of court, Maisha’s father commented that the family is devastated and their daughter’s life is ruined. He is glad that they were able to reach an agreement with Great Ormond Street Hospital so that Maisha can be cared for but hopes that by bringing this case to the public’s attention that this mistake can be avoided in the future.
The family’s lawyer agreed, saying that this injury could have been avoided if the syringes had been marked properly. If you or a loved one have suffered from medical negligence, don’t suffer in silence. You deserve to be compensated.