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€320,000 settlement after newborn girl left with burn

The High Court has approved a settlement of €320,000 in the case of a seven-year-old girl who as a newborn baby suffered a chemical-type burn after a wipe was allegedly left in her incubator at a maternity hospital.

The High Court heard the wipe, which contains a preparation of 2% chlorhexidine gluconate, was allegedly not removed from her incubator and was first noted by nursing staff nine hours after her birth.

The newborn was treated with antibiotics for seven days and was later transferred to another hospital for further treatment, including dressings and a review by a plastic surgeon.

Senior Counsel Jonathan Kilfeather told the court the baby suffered scarring on her left hip and abdomen area, and she may require surgery for the scarring.

In the proceedings it was claimed these types of wipes are designed for use as wipes and not for prolonged exposure to the skin.

It was alleged the wipe had been left attached to the baby’s thigh for too long and left under her nappy.

There was, it was further claimed, an alleged failure to remove the wipe and an alleged failure to adhere to the product guidelines and advice for the use of such wipes.

The little girl, who cannot be named by order of the court, had sued The Coombe Women and Infants University Hospital, Dublin over the alleged incident in 2017.

All of the claims were denied.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey said it was a very severe case of scarring, but he was satisfied to approve the settlement which he said was fair and reasonable.

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