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Hospital to pay millions after birth blunder; Stephen, 7, will need care for rest of his life.

Byline: By KEVIN CORE

ACHILD starved of oxygen in his mother's womb has won a large compensation pay-out from the hospital that failed him.

Seven-year-old Stephen Loraine, of Rock Ferry, needs 24-hour care after doctors atWirral's Arrowe Park hospital sent his mother home following a scan in August 2000.

If they had seen records of Pauline Loraine's previous four births, they would have realised she had a "fibroid" in her womb and endured a previous breech delivery.

But they were not shown the, and three days later, she suffered a massive bleed at home.

At the high court yesterday, a judge ruled that if the 39-year-old had been kept in hospital, 20 crucial minutes would have been shaved off Stephen's delivery time, preventing him being starved of oxygen.

He was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy and impaired sight.

The amount of the pay-out has not yet been assessed, but with a lifetime's care ahead of him, it could run into millions of pounds.

Mrs Loraine said: "This has been an eight-year struggle, but we always said as long as Stephen keeps breathing, we will keep fighting for him.

"We are so relieved. A court case is stressful enough, but when the future of your child is at stake, it is the most important thing in the world."

The former waitress gave up her job to care for Stephen, and shares round-the-clock duties with her husband Mark, 40, who works for Mersey ferries. The youngster receives care at Wirral's Claire House and attends the Lyndale school in Eastham.

Mrs Loraine said: "We have moved into the dining room to fit in Stephen's hospital bed, but the room is too small to get a hoist or even his wheelchair in.

"He is nearly eight and he is getting bigger. His muscles can get very stiff and this makes him difficult for me to carry.

"There is a lot of medical equipment involved. He cannot eat and I have to prepare a tube for his stomach and a milk and fibre solution.

"I am just thinking about adapting a room and getting a bathroom on the same floor.

At the moment, it is upstairs and it is very hard work.

"I only hope the hospital respects the judge's verdict and does not drag us through an appeal.

"Despite everything, Stephen is a happy boy and we are lucky to have him."

Mr Justice Plender refused Wirral university teaching hospital NHS foundation trust permission to appeal against his judgement, although it can approach the court of appeal.

A trust spokesman said: "We acknowledge the high court judgement.

"It would be inappropriate to comment before it has considered its implications in full, especially as an appeal is being contemplated."

Strike at hospitals

NON-medical staff at two Merseyside hospitals have voted to strike.

They will walk out of Arrowe Park and Clatter bridge in Wirral next Friday over a row about pay.

Members of the Unite union are angry after Wirral university hospital NHS foundation trust made their salaries monthly, rather than weekly.

The union, which claims talks aimed at resolving the dispute have been delayed, wants the decision reversed because it says workers are already struggling with soaring living costs.

Unite's industrial organiser Brian Nelson said: "Many of our members cannot afford this."

kevin.core@liverpool.com

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COSTLY CARE: Stephen Loraine, of Rock Ferry, will need round-the-clock care for the rest of his life
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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jul 19, 2008
Words:572
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