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Monday, 9 December, 2002, 15:24 GMT
3.4m for blood disorder baby
Blood being tested
Pregnant women undergo routine blood tests
A baby who suffered brain damage due to her mother's rare blood group has won more than 3.4m in compensation at London's High Court.

Hayley Cook was born nine weeks early and acutely anaemic at London's Whipps Cross Hospital in March 1996.

Doctors had failed to realise that her blood was incompatible with her mother's A Rhesus negative blood.

Hayley's mother, Deborah Cook, of Brooke Gardens, Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire, sued Whipps Cross University Hospital NHS Trust, who admitted liability and agreed to settle the case.

Lifetime care

The family's lawyers argued that if the problem been realised earlier, Hayley would have been born uninjured.

They said she was mentally retarded, has difficulty making herself understood and is incapable even of "meaningful play" with her older brothers.

As well as a cash sum of more than 730,000, the trust agreed to pay annual costs as long as she lives to cover her care at home.

The payments will grow from about 60,000 to nearly 100,000 per year. She is expected to live well into her 60s.

'Sincere regrets'

The youngster's counsel, Mr Nicholas Yell, said lawyers had received "an unusual degree of co-operation" from the NHS trust which admitted liability at an early stage.

He said the quality of care Hayley received from her parents was far superior to institutional care.

Miss Shaheen Rahman, for the trust, expressed regrets for the error and added her own tribute to the care lavished on the child by her parents.

Mrs Cook said she was delighted with the settlement.


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26 Nov 02 | England
24 Apr 02 | Health
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