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Bradley Martin successful in High Court defence in Harding v Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust [2017] EWHC 2393 (QB)

Date: December 5, 2017

Bradley Martin successfully represented the Defendant, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, in this clinical negligence claim for failure to provide timely care following the Claimant’s admission to accident and emergency with a skull fracture and developing extra-dural haematoma. The Defendant admitted that there had been a delay in providing treatment but the Claimant failed to establish that the Defendant’s negligence caused, or made a material contribution to, the Claimant’s catastrophic brain injuries.

The case is of considerable interest to clinical negligence practitioners because the Court had to rule on the hypothetical timeline (i.e. when surgery would or should have occurred had there been no negligence), on the likely benefits of common medical interventions (intubation, ventilation and mannitol) and whether there was a window of opportunity to intervene to improve the outcome after the Claimant ‘coned’ (suffered brain stem herniation).

It was held that neither earlier medical intervention nor earlier surgery would have made any material difference to the outcome. Medical intervention (intubation and mannitol) would have had no impact on the expansion of the haematoma which was the cause of the coning. Once coning had occurred, there was no window of opportunity to reverse the damage caused by coning.

Sir Alistair MacDuff’s judgment has just been reported and can be viewed here.

Bradley was instructed by Cassius Box of Capsticks for the Defendant.

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