For many families, the birth of a child is a joyous, if somewhat stressful experience. You’ll spend months preparing for the worst and worrying, often to have a relatively straightforward birth. For some however, this is not always the case. Sometimes things can go wrong, and in some rare cases, a birth injury may be caused due to negligent medical care.
Complications like this can occur for a number of reasons, but they’re typically due to:
- Errors in antenatal screening and scanning
- Physical injuries to mothers during pregnancy or delivery
- Stillbirths or neonatal deaths
What is a Birth Injury?
Where a pregnancy or a delivery has gone awry, it can be emotionally devastating. If there has been a birth injury to the mother, this can be traumatic enough, but if the child has also suffered a birth injury, the consequences can be far reaching. Birth injuries to children can cause long-term conditions, disability and impaired cognitive function. We therefore recognise that the cost to patients is huge, physically, emotionally and psychologically.
These causes are very traumatic and as birth injury lawyers we work alongside families in the most sympathetic and respectful way that we can, investigating the events surrounding the labour, determining whether or not it was caused by sub-standard medical practice. Many families and mothers who have suffered due to a birthing injury often find that making a birth injury compensation claim is the last thing on their mind. Despite this, it is important that they come forward, as a successful birth injuries compensation claim may force the hospital to alter practices and procedures, preventing future incidents from affecting other families; something that many of our clients find important.
Our Birth Injury Claims Experience
When searching for a birthing injury solicitor, it’s important that you feel comfortable with them. When dealing with such a sensitive subject you need to receive the utmost support and advice; which is why our birth injury claims teams are always on hand to answer any questions and to provide guidance.
Making a claim for birth injuries compensation requires expert legal support, because cases of this kind are fiercely defended by legal and medical experts. The earlier involve an expert solicitor in your case, the greater your chances are of making a successful claim. We can investigate your case on your behalf, examining every aspects of your situation so that all the substantiating evidence can be assembled into a compelling case.
Our birth injury solicitors work at the cutting edge of clinical negligence case law; so they are able to investigate complex birth injuries compensation claims in great detail. They can assess the present and future impact of your treatment so that you are awarded birth injuries compensation that will support you now, and in future.
Instances where Medical Negligence may have taken place include:
Medical negligence may have occurred, where a clinical professional has failed to diagnose the threat, or prevalence of maternal diabetes, otherwise known as Gestational Diabetes. Where this condition has been left to develop, it has been known to cause significant distress; often leading to miscarriages or birth defects involving the brain and heart functions. If medical staff have failed to diagnose the condition, investigate suspicious symptoms, or carry out necessary screenings due to a family history of maternal diabetes, which have ultimately led to a birth injury, you may be able to make a birth injury compensation claim.
Failure to diagnose Pre Eclampsia can lead to extremely serious complications for both the mother and baby. If the condition isn’t monitored and treated promptly, the medical professionals caring for the mother can be considered to have been negligent. This condition is usually recognised through regular blood pressure checks and urine tests to sample for high protein levels. Most women do not suffer with any symptoms of having Pre Eclampsia, making it vital that medical staff remain vigilant, ensuring that the few that do, are properly monitored. Where this has not been done, Pre-Eclampsia can cause significant injury and the threat of death to both the baby and the mother. Where this is the case, you may be entitled to medical negligence compensation.
Uterine Rupture and Placental Abruption
If a mother is suffering from a uterine rupture or placental abruption, the symptoms are extremely obvious, and a doctor or midwife should take immediate action. A uterine rupture can sometimes be bought on during labour, and they become especially prevalent during a mishandled induced labour. A significant amount of blood loss will occur as the placenta detaches itself from the uterus wall; this puts both mother and baby at harm. If this isn’t dealt with in a timely manner, the mother can suffer the effects of significant blood loss, and organ damage. The baby can suffer serious brain injury and an array of neurological conditions caused by a lack of oxygen. Mishandling the care of a mother with a uterine rupture or placental abruption can put her life, and that of her child, at risk. If a medical professional has failed in their duty to act appropriately during this critical emergency, which has led to birth injuries for either mother or child, then medical negligence may have taken place.
With every pregnancy there is a risk that the baby may be born with a birth defect, leaving them with either a physical or mental impairment. Many of these conditions can be diagnosed in the early stages of a pregnancy with the use of blood tests and relevant scans. Sometimes a mother may wish to terminate the pregnancy if there is a high risk, or certainty, that the unborn child will be born with a defect. Where a doctor has failed to inform the mother of the defect, and they have continued with the pregnancy unknowingly against their wishes, the circumstances can be identified as a wrongful birth, and you may be entitled to birth injury medical claim compensation.
Cerebral palsy is a condition that can be caused during a traumatic labour when the baby’s brain is starved of oxygen causing brain damage. Where this is caused by clinical negligence, you may be entitled to make a birth injury claim for compensation.
During labour, it is a requirement for midwives to monitor the size of the baby in order to make necessary decisions about the birth. Where the baby is of a large size, anticipated or not, there are certain measures that should be taken, to ensure the baby is delivered in the safest way possible. Where a midwife has failed to recognise the size of the baby, and chosen to deliver the baby vaginally, the shoulders may become lodged. This position can have serious consequences, and in severe cases lead to the death of the baby. If the baby becomes stuck for too long, they can acquire Erb’s Palsy, resulting in nerve damage and paralysis. If your child has suffered from Erb’s Palsy because of negligent monitoring during labour, then you may be able to make a birth injury claim for medical negligence compensation.
Incorrect Forceps Use
Considered a risky undertaking, forceps deliveries pose a significant risk of complications for both mother and child. For the mother, forceps can cause genital tears, long-term urinary or fecal incontinence, and damage to the uterus or bladder. For the child, forceps can cause fractures, bleeding within the skull and facial injuries. Under severe circumstances the spinal cord may be injured, causing permanent disabilities, or even a fatality. Where the mother, or the child, have suffered avoidable complications as a direct result of a forceps delivery, a claim may be made for birth injury compensation.
Birth Injury Resources
Coping with the aftermath of birthing injuries as a result of medical negligence is often extremely traumatic and may cause a number of negative consequences in all aspects of the victim’s life. Our guide to Coping With Infant Birthing Injuries was written to help individuals come to terms with what has happened and to find the support they need.
We pride ourselves on our provision of first-class legal advice and support. Our team of specialist birth injury solicitors have a wealth of expertise and knowledge surrounding medical malpractice that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Their years of legal service make it likely that they will have dealt with a medical negligence claim like yours in the past; meaning that they can focus on the most critical case matters from the outset. This helps us to achieve the greatest possible success for your birth injury claim. There are time limits in place for claims of this kind so you should seek legal advice as quickly as possible.
You may be worried about the possible costs pursuing your birth injuries compensation claim; so we have specialist medical negligence solicitors in place to help you secure all the assistance available to you. Whatever the situation, we are likely to find a way to help.