A Sri Lankan refugee who could not speak English has won a legal battle against the UK (NHS) National Health Service after her child was brain damaged after hospital staff did not explain the importance of feeding a newborn, the Telegraph reported on Friday.
It said Nilujan Rajatheepan was in good condition when he was delivered by caesarean section at King George Hospital in Goodmayes, Essex in July 2009.
His parents are refugees from Sri Lanka and his mother, Sinthiya, was 21 when Nilujan was born and spoke only very few words of English.
When the community midwife visited the family at home after the birth, Nilujan was pale and lethargic, having not been fed for more than 15 hours.
His hypoglycemic state resulted in catastrophic brain injuries. Nilujan, now eight, has cerebral palsy with severely impaired physical and cognitive function.
On Friday in London, Judge McKenna ruled that Barking, Havering and Redbridge NHS Foundation Trust was liable.
He ruled midwives failed to hire an interpreter to tell her to feed her baby and the eight-year-old is now in line for multi-million-pound NHS compensation because midwives were negligent in failing to tackle the language barrier.
Judge McKenna said medics at King George's Hospital ended up "effectively ignoring" Sinthiya Rajatheepan's concerns about her crying baby.
Because she only knew a few basic words of English, she was never given proper instructions about how to feed her son.
The mother and baby were discharged home too early and, due to poor feeding, Nilujan suffered irreversible brain damage, the judge added.
Mrs Rajatheepan, 29, and her husband Sivarajah, came to Britain from Sir Lanka as refugees in 2008.
Brainmaster Saturday, 14 April 2018 23:26
Unbelievable a mother does not know that she has to feed her baby. And what an ignorant father. Thats not a matter of not knowing English. via DM Android App
Reply : 17 140
Lankanboy Sunday, 15 April 2018 10:52
Don't be ignorant. all the mothers are not same. and some are not getting milk soon after delivery. even baby sucks breast, there won't be milk.. Not all the mothers can understand that if there are no elders to advice.
Reply : 27 9
voter Sunday, 15 April 2018 13:43
@Brainmaster, I agree that mothers should know how and when to feed their babies. But the mother's age too plays a part in gaining that knowledge. Whereas here the mother was only 21 years at that time.
Reply : 36 17
afhamfrk Sunday, 15 April 2018 14:53
this is called make hay while sunshines. Its like biting the hand that feeds you. Pathetic
Reply : 6 43
JIM Sunday, 15 April 2018 19:08
Hmmm,,, wonder how she got pregnant, out of ignorance !!!
Reply : 2 23
Ravi Sunday, 15 April 2018 21:04
Those fools attacking the mother with their comments don’t know how things work in Britain.You can not do anything without the permission of the health professionals. It is a rigid and horrendous system.These truths are never filtered to Asian countries so they keep dreaming great about Britain. Common sense actions on the part of the patients is met with anger and threat .
Reply : 15 11
Pramod Fernando Sunday, 15 April 2018 09:19
This is absurd and a grave insult to the human behaviour. Even deaf and blind mothers feed their new born because it's a natural instinct. What was the father doing when the wife was not feeding the child?
Reply : 11 96
Hapu Sunday, 15 April 2018 09:21
If the instructions were written and given to the mother, the hospital or the midwives would have discharged their duties. Every hospital needs to have a Translator for every language? How did this couple seek the services of the hospital in the first place?
Reply : 14 61
moron Sunday, 15 April 2018 11:42
The victim here is the boy, not the mother. I read the most of the judgement, and agree with it. The medical evidence supported the fact that if Niljan was kept overnight at the hospital his injuries would have likely been averted. Obviously no amount of money would remedy his injuries however hopefully, it would help support lifetime treatment and care cost as well result in policy changes to post natal care.
Reply : 10 25
Suren Sunday, 15 April 2018 09:40
Lol she kept he baby without feeding for 15hours ?? Didn't she had any concern about it ....???
Reply : 2 22
Lord Wolfstein Sunday, 15 April 2018 09:40
Not the hospital, but the parents would have to be punished for stupidity.
Reply : 2 24
Prem Nath Sunday, 15 April 2018 09:41
There is something known as instinct,which even animals have and they know that the new born has to be fed.A mother does not need an interpreter for this natural gift given to a mother.
Reply : 1 25
stardust Sunday, 15 April 2018 12:07
It looks as if they wanted the baby to die off. They noticed that something is wrong (cerebral) with it. via DM Android App
Reply : 8 25
Sheri Sunday, 15 April 2018 13:49
It is a natural instinct for a new mother to feed her baby? How did this woman manage her antenatal classes, which is studiously followed in hospitals, if she cannot understand English? And, she would not have attended the hospital by herself, alone, surely? and where was the father and her close relatives in all this? Obviously, another refugee case of milking the the system!
Reply : 2 31
John J Sunday, 15 April 2018 13:49
This is a typical UK law game. The claimant gets nothing. All the money goes to the UK solicitor who built a winning case using a human as a bait. The so called victim will be lucky if she receive 1 GBP. Look at all the law firm adds around UK cities. Suing is what they call it. Exploit the system legally.
Reply : 10 18
Ranjanie Sunday, 15 April 2018 14:45
even animals know basic instincts of mothering and feeding. while I feel for the child lame excuse by the mother.swindling plan a success.
Reply : 4 27
Ranjanie Sunday, 15 April 2018 14:47
Consequences for tolerating fake refugees.
Reply : 10 34
Baby Sunday, 15 April 2018 14:52
This baby might have had cerebral palsy at birth. There could have been a distress and delayed Caesarian birth. The baby has been discharged without proper evaluation. Did the Paediatricians examine the child before being discharged ? The parents won't know about cerebral palsy. That is the reason the baby did not latch on to breast feeding. The child should have bee fed by nasogastric tube. We do not know the full facts. We only know what the journalists have written
Reply : 3 23
Angela Sunday, 15 April 2018 15:21
It's time for Sri Lanka to implement the language policy immediately.
Reply : 13 10
Lorraine Goodwin Sunday, 15 April 2018 17:45
IF this is true, I actually despair of our legal system. If we go to visit or live in another country WE have to find and pay for translators. It’s a maternal instinct to KNOW when to feed your baby. This lady is nowhere near as naive as she appears. THIS is taxpayers money!
Reply : 3 19
HE Monday, 16 April 2018 07:39
I live in your country for long time and I know how incompetent your medical staff are. There must be more to this case than being reported.Probably the usual failure of British hospitals to discharge specially non-white patients too early from the hospital.
Reply : 10 5
neville Sunday, 15 April 2018 18:09
Reply : 1 1
Maharaja Monday, 16 April 2018 07:17
In addition to Uk politicians, lawyers too are now making hay when the sun shines! Poor uk tax payers!
Reply : 1 7
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