Waterford Regional Hospital has accepted responsibility for the injuries suffered at birth by Alex Butler in April 2005. Complications which occurred in the last 10-12 minutes of birth could have been avoided had there been sufficiently capable staff available.

The HSE admitted liability after failing to have an adequate obstetrician available to effect delivery. They failed to ensure that there was a competent obstetrician on staff to cover for the consultant obstetrician who was away on holiday at the time of Alex’s birth.

It was also claimed that the pre-operative assessment of Mrs Butler was substandard and the hospital failed to recognise the need for a Caesarian section.

Mr Khbuli, a locus obstetrician was on duty the night of Alex’s birth as the three dedicated publicly appointed obstetricians were all away on holiday. Mr Khbuli did not have the experience or capacity to successfully fulfil the role. Mrs Butler suffered from complications during labour and Alex was born tetraplegic leaving her confined to a wheelchair.

The settlement of €1.4 million is an interim payment to be revisited in two years time when an assessment of Alex’s care needs into the future will be made.

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