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Written by Susan Brown

Boyes Turner’s neonatal brain injury claims specialists secured a liability judgment against a hospital after negligent care of a newborn baby left him brain-injured from hypoglycaemia.

Low blood sugar, or neonatal hypoglycaemia, is common in newborn babies. This is because newborn babies are often unable to maintain healthy blood sugar levels until they have settled into regular feeding. Any baby who is not feeding properly may be at risk of hypoglycaemia. Newborn babies whose birthweights are below 2.5kg are at increased risk of developing neonatal hypoglycaemia. For this reason, it is essential that their blood sugar levels are carefully monitored, because hypoglycaemia is dangerous if the baby’s blood sugar drops below safe levels. Neonatal hypoglycaemia is treatable, but if left untreated, hypoglycaemia can cause permanent brain injury and neurodevelopmental disability.

In this case, our client was born with low birthweight of 2.2kg, which meant that he was at increased risk of hypoglycaemia. However, despite his high risk, the midwives failed to monitor his blood sugar properly and he suffered permanent brain injury from hypoglycaemia.

His parents approached us and asked us to help them make a claim for compensation. We put the claim to the defendant hospital, which admitted liability. We obtained judgment and the case was stayed until the boy was old enough for his disability and long-term needs to be more accurately assessed. In the meantime, interim payments were obtained to meet the costs of a behaviour management programme, and to help the family buy a home which is more suitable for his disability.

If you are caring for a child whose disability was caused by medical negligence, you can find out more, free and confidentially, about making a claim by contacting us by email on