Leeds mum given hope in fight for NHS compensation more than a decade after ‘contaminated’ epidural jab

Picture: PA
Picture: PA
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A Leeds mum, who claims her life has been ruined by a contaminated epidural jab she was given during labour, has won the right to claim massive damages from the NHS.

Kara Rayner, 36, went into Kent’s Medway Maritime Hospital in 2004 for what should have been the routine birth of her third child.

But she was given an epidural to relieve her pain, which she claims left her without sensation in her legs and with agonising pain rushing up her spine and into her head.

Ms Rayner, who was 24 at the time, successfully gave birth but was readmitted to hospital three weeks later suffering from hydrocephalus – water on the brain – and underwent emergency surgery to drain the fluid.

She has since suffered with an inflammation affecting the brain and spinal cord that her lawyers blame on the epidural.

Speaking about the jab this week, she told the High Court: “I immediately knew that something was wrong and began to panic.”

Despite her symptoms, it was not until August last year that she issued a damages claim against Medway NHS Foundation Trust as it was only in 2012 that an expert first suggested that the probable cause of her disabilities was the contamination of the epidural with an antiseptic called chlorexidine.

The trust argued she had left it too late to sue – the normal time limit in medical negligence cases is three years.

But High Court judge Mr Justice Wilkie said she had been “assiduous” in pursuing her claim and it would be wrong to stop her case. No date was set for the full hearing.