$40 Million Settlement Reached After Doctors Inject Glue Into Young Girl's Brain

| by Jonathan Wolfe

A heartbreaking medical mistake has left a 10 year girl with permanent brain damage.

Maisha Najeeb is described by loved ones as an energetic young girl with dreams of being a doctor when she got older. But a mistake by the medical staff at Great Ormand Street Children’s Hospital in London has robbed her of that dream and a chance at a normal life.

Young Najeeb suffers from a rare condition called arterio-venous malformation (AVM). Because of the condition, she routinely checked in to Great Ormand Street for embolisation, a procedure in which a dye is injected in her brain to find blood leaks and a special glue is used to seal off the leak.

In 2010, a tragic mistake happened during one of Najeeb’s embolisations. An operator mixed up the glue and dye containers and accidentally injected the girl’s brain with glue. The mistake permanently damaged her brain. As a result she is now confined to wheelchair, can barely move, is blind in one eye, suffers painful leg spasms and requires near-constant care.

The U.K.’s National Health Service (NHS) just reached a settlement agreement with the girl's family. Najeeb’s family will be paid over $40 million dollars over the span of her life. The payment marks the largest NHS settlement in the organization’s history.

“We are sad and devastated by what happened to our daughter,” the girl’s father said. “Her life is ruined. All her dreams have been broken.”

The father added that he hopes “lessons will have been learned to avoid this happening to other families.”

Edwina Rawson, the family’s attorney, spoke to the Guardian about the settlement.

“What is so heartbreaking about this case is that the injury was so avoidable,” Rawson said. “If the syringes had been marked up so the hospital could see which contained glue and which contained dye, then Maisha would not have suffered what is an utterly devastating brain injury. Such easily avoidable mistakes should not happen.”

Deborah Evans, chief executive of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers, says a large portion of the settlement funds will be used to pay for the round the clock care Najeeb will need for the rest of her life.

“While this is possibly the largest agreed payment we have seen, the amount is dependent on life expectancy and will never replace the life she would have led,” she said. 

Sources: Gulf News, The Guardian