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Record Compensation Payout for Brain Damage

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The NHS will pay a record £24 million in compensation to a girl who suffered brain damage in the operating theatre.

Maisha Najeb, who is now 13 years old, suffered what is described as catastrophic brain damage after an operating theatre mix-up.  The medical negligence claim was against London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for an operation three years ago.

Maisha suffers from Arterio-Venous Malformation (AVM), a rare condition in which veins and arteries become entangled. About 1% of people in the UK suffer from it and the condition is serious when a bleed occurs. However, those with the disease are able to lead a normal life.

Prior to the incident there had been five bleeds that were successfully treated by the usual method of embolisation – a procedure in which an embolic agent (glue) is injected to block the bleeding blood vessels. At the same time a dye is also introduced to monitor blood flow around the head and brain.

When Maisha was admitted to GOSH for en embolisation treatment on June 2, 2010, the syringes containing the embolic agent (glue) and the contrast (dye) were not marked and were mixed up. Glue was wrongly injected into Maisha’s brain instead of the dye, resulting in permanent brain damage.

Maisha’s father instructed solicitors to file the compensation claim on behalf of his daughter. Great Ormond Street Hospital admitted negligence and responsibility for Maisha’s condition. The amount of compensation was agreed on between the two parties and approved by the Royal Court of Justice.

The compensation will be paid as a lump sum of £2.8 million and £383,000 per year until Maisha reaches the age of 19. The annual payment will then increase to £423,00o for the rest of Maisha’s life.

The £24.2 million quoted is based on a life of 64 years and will cover the costs of care and accommodation. Maisha requires assistance with daily life tasks, and is confined to a wheelchair, having lost the majority of her bodily and cognitive functions.