THE Canary Islands Health Service (SCS) has been ordered to pay €1.2 million to the parents of a child who was left severely disabled due to “incomprehensible medical negligence.”
The Superior Court of Justice of the Canary Islands (TSJC) has fixed this compensation – the second highest ever awarded in Spain for medical errors – after considering an appeal by the parents.
A lower court had merely ordered the SCS to process the parents’ claim and give them an answer, dismissing the case without even studying it.
The higher court on the other hand considered it appropriate to assess the merits of the claim without returning the file to the public health system.
And it considered it proven that the “severe spastic tetraparesis cerebral palsy” which the child suffers from and that makes him dependent on aid for life, was due to the “incomprehensible negligence during the hours following his birth.”
The court heard that protocols state signs of jaundice within the first 24 hours of birth must be considered pathological, and urgently examined and treated.
In this case “the yellowish colour of the child was appreciated at the time of birth.”
However, the minor was not examined by any paediatrician at the Hospital Doctor Molina Orosa de Lanzarote until the following day and, when one did so, he simply indicated that the new born should be put in the sun.
According to the judgement, “no test was recommended to try to determine the cause of the jaundice, which prevented its subsequent evolution from being assessed.”
In addition, the presence of a cephalic hematoma (a blood clot between the brain and skull) was overlooked, which together with the jaundice, revealed a possible increase of bilirubin.
An excess of this substance can lead to brain damage and seizures.