Clinic ordered to fork out €1.1 million for negligence

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A COUPLE whose daughter was born with disabilities has been awarded €1.1 million in damages by a Madrid judge.

The girl, born in August 2012, was born disabled and with impaired hearing due to a virus which the fertility clinic her parents went to for in-vitro treatment discovered during tests but did nothing about.

Medical staff put the mother’s positive result for cytomegalovirus (CMV) down to a false positive and continued as normal, which the judge believed could be considered to be behind the baby’s birth defects.

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Cytomegalovirus is a microorganism of the herpes family present in many people. Although it usually doesn’t cause problems, it can do if the carrier’s immune system is suppressed, which is why it often shows up in transplant patients and HIV sufferers.

In the case of pregnant women, the US Disease Control Centre established that in 80 per cent of babies born with a CMV infection there are no problems but others are born with serious birth defects including loss of hearing and disabilities.

The clinic’s defence argued that there was no way of proving the defects were down to the mother’s virus but admitted that no further tests were carried out during the first seven months of the pregnancy.

The medical director of the clinic declared that the management was not entirely in agreement with the sentence and was considering placing an appeal.

The director said that CMV testing is not included in guidelines and the fact that the clinic wished to offer clients a better service had turned against it as if the test had not been carried out the child would still have been born with defects, yet nobody would have blamed the clinic.

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