Cork toddler who suffered burns before hospital heel prick test settles case for €70k

Baby Ren Cotter suffered the injury, his counsel Doireann O’Mahony SC told the court, when a glove with warm water was placed on his left foot to aid blood circulation. 
Cork toddler who suffered burns before hospital heel prick test settles case for €70k

A toddler, who as a newborn baby suffered burns and blistering as he was about to have a heel prick test at Cork University Maternity Hospital, has settled a High Court action for €70,000. File image of CUH Cork University Hospital and Cork University Maternity Hospital CUMH. Pic; Larry Cummins

A toddler, who as a newborn baby suffered burns and blistering as he was about to have a heel prick test at Cork University Maternity Hospital, has settled a High Court action for €70,000.

Baby Ren Cotter suffered the injury, his counsel Doireann O’Mahony SC told the court, when a glove with warm water was placed on his left foot to aid blood circulation. 

“It caused burns, blistering, redness and pain,” Counsel said.

She said the hospital apologised to the little boy’s mother Abby Cotter after the incident and liability was admitted in the case.

Baby Ren, Counsel said, had to stay in hospital for several days after the incident and had to have dressings. A plastic surgeon who had examined the toddler’s left foot earlier this year said the scarring was not particularly noticeable, Counsel added.

Ren Cotter (aged 2) from Blarney Street in Cork city had through his mother Abby Cotter sued the HSE over the care provided to him at Cork University Maternity Hospital.

Baby Ren was born at the hospital on May 22, 2020, but in the course of a general post-natal test, a warm glove was applied to his left foot to stimulate blood flow. The application of the glove, it was claimed, caused severe blistering, redness and burning to his left lower leg and foot.

It was claimed the postnatal testing was completely substandard and the glove was applied to the baby’s skin either too hot or for too long. Baby Ren was kept in hospital until May 31, 2020.

It was claimed substandard postnatal testing had been provided and little to no information had been given to the baby’s mother as to the nature of the injury while she was in hospital and in a distressed state.

The little boy has been left with altered pigmentation on his left calf and above his knee area.

Second action 

Counsel told the court that a separate action for nervous shock brought by Abby Cotter had been settled and could be struck out. The terms of that settlement are confidential.

Mr Justice Paul Coffey said he was satisfied Ren’s settlement was fair and reasonable and he approved it.

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