Trust apologises over botched birth

An NHS trust apologised to a family today after a baby was left blind in one eye and brain-damaged when hospital medical staff made a catalogue of errors during a routine birth.

Xavier Cutillo's eyeball was detached from its socket and his skull fractured by the misuse of forceps during his delivery at Scunthorpe General Hospital in December last year.



The youngster will never get his sight back in his left eye and his parents, 22-year-old Emma Portogallo and Daniel Cutillo, 23, will have to wait years to see what effect the damage done to his brain will have on his development, according to the family's lawyers, Russell Jones and Walker.



A spokesman for Northern Lincolnshire and Goole Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust said a full investigation and review had been carried out into the incident which led to Xavier's injuries and staff also met the family shortly after the birth to discuss the delivery.



He added: "A number of changes to policy and practice have been implemented to ensure any risk of the circumstances being repeated are minimised. In particular, staff training has been extended and increased in frequency.



"We are extremely sorry for the distress caused to the family and would reiterate that our priority remains the safety of all women and babies at Scunthorpe General Hospital's Maternity Services."



Miss Portogallo was admitted to hospital on December 21, 2009.



She had a long labour and staff made an attempt to deliver the baby by ventouse suction cup. When the first attempt did not work the doctor treating her tried a further seven times to deliver the baby the same way despite advice that no more than three attempts should be made using this method.



When the ventouse method failed again Miss Portogallo was taken from the delivery suite to the operating theatre and given an epidural, but staff did not tell her about what was happening or about any of the associated risks of the procedure.



According to Russell Jones and Walker, Miss Portogallo felt "severe tugging" as doctors tried to deliver her baby using forceps.



When her son was finally delivered his eyeball was hanging out of its socket and resting on his cheek.



Later that day Xavier, who is now nine months old, was admitted to Sheffield Children's Hospital Foundation NHS Trust so emergency surgery could be performed on his eye, where he was also diagnosed with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.



Describing her experience, Miss Portogallo said: "My son will have to live with the consequences of this for the rest of his life.



"The whole experience has been extremely traumatic for both me and Xavier's father Daniel; we've been left physically and emotionally traumatised.



"We don't know yet if he will ever be able to see out of his left eye and he could also be brain damaged. We have to wait and see.



"Having a baby is meant to be one of the happiest days of your life but for us it was a complete nightmare."



James Bell, a partner at Russell Jones and Walker, said the couple is seeking compensation so they can cover any future medical costs Xavier may need.



He added: "The doctors failed to inform Emma of their treatment plan and failed to obtain consent for a forceps delivery.



"Emma was made to sign a consent form agreeing to a forceps delivery after the birth whilst she was in the recovery room in a state of shock. This is completely unacceptable practice.



"My clients were treated appallingly by the NHS trust concerned who have still not said what steps are being taken to discipline or re-educate the doctor who delivered Xavier.



"Such action has to be taken if the public are going to have confidence in NHS maternity services.



"It's no good just closing ranks and hoping that it won't happen again."

Suggested Topics
News
news
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
New Articles
tvChristmas special reviewed
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jenna Coleman as Clara Oswald in the Doctor Who Christmas special
tvForget the rumours that Clara Oswald would be quitting the Tardis
Arts and Entertainment
Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi showing a small mascot shaped like a vagina
art
Life and Style
fashion
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: Stanley Tucci, Sophie Grabol and Christopher Eccleston in ‘Fortitude’
tvSo Sky Atlantic arrived in Iceland to film their new and supposedly snow-bound series 'Fortitude'...
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
The Queen delivers her Christmas message
newsTwitter reacts to Her Majesty's Christmas Message
Sport
sport
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

    £70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

    £24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all