Phenylketonuria Medical Negligence with Mining Company

A serious case of phenylketonuria medical negligence happened to a family in the UK after working for  mining company.


Phenylketonuria is a very serious condition where Phenylalanine is unable to be processed by the body and can swell or build up in the blood stream and brain, causing serious side effects, such as brain dysfunction, severe brain damage and often may leave people brain dead. In the UK screening for this particular disease started in the nineteen sixties and is part of the normal doctor’s visit for an annual checkup. Screening for Phenylketonuria also happens throughout the pregnancy cycle. This is where most often than not, the early detection of this disorder is found. Diets are altered and children show reduced symptoms of Phenylketonuria.

A family, who worked for a mining company outside of the UK continent, but still in the UK territories, was given care at the hospital in the named territory when their daughter was born about twenty four years ago.  The birth of their daughter went well, but the hospital where she was born, did not test for Phenylketonuria. The hospital did not offer proper neonatal care to the mother, whilst she was waiting for her daughter to arrive. Because the family lived in an area where this was a possibility, the UK government put into place all people living in a mining town have to have a PKU test.

Unfortunately, during the months after the daughters’ birth, the classic signs of having Phenylketonuria were present; they included developmental delays, severe or mild forms of eczema and irritability, also noted some behavioral problems were similar to those on the autism spectrum. Throughout the first few months of the young girl’s life, she was never referred to a pediatric specialist nor was the proper tests completed while her mother was expecting.

A cure for Phenylketonuria in the blood stream is to put patients on a low protein diet to prevent the excessive buildup of Phenylalanine as this did not happen until the girl was over a year old. Even though the daughter went to numerous consultations and had numerous vaccinations in the mining hospital she was not tested for Phenylketonuria until she was thirteen months old.

This case was being brought before the courts earlier this year, because of litigation against the company which hosts the mining hospital; none of the above could be brought before the court system. As of now, all the suffering the daughter has gone through could have been prevented had the correct testing been done whilst her mother was expecting, or even after the baby was born. Because of the missed tests, the child has suffered with autism similar episodes and continues to battle with her learning disorders.

The family is hopeful this negligence on the doctors of the mining hospital will allow them to receive medical payments. Due to the seriousness of the company’s doctors by not following protocols whilst on another continent but still under the UK laws, this negligence case should be awarded funds. The family hopes within two days to know if they will be compensated.

Make sure that you seek expert advice if you ever suffer from medical negligence.