What is a Maternal Birth Injury?
A birth injury is classed as any physical trauma inflicted to either the mother or the baby during the process of giving birth. Whilst most birth injuries occur to the infant, whose body is usually very fragile, it is sadly not uncommon for the mother to experience trauma. Of these unfortunate cases, a small number may directly result from negligent medical care. Whilst maternal birth injuries may vary in severity, they frequently lead to devastating physical and emotional consequences. A birth injury compensation claim may often be made as a result.
When Birth Injuries to Mothers May Occur
There are several types of trauma or injury a mother can suffer during, or after, child labour that can be worsened by negligent treatment. These women often become reluctant to embark on further pregnancies due to the emotional distress it has caused them.
The most common types of injury that can be inflicted during birth include:
Incorrect Forceps Use
When a forceps delivery is necessary, the metal instrument is clamped around the baby’s head guiding the baby out the birth canal. If the baby is facing the wrong way, the procedure may also be used to rotate the baby.
Considered a risky undertaking, forceps deliveries pose a significant risk of complications for both mother and child.
For the mother, a forceps delivery can cause genital tears, long-term urinary or fecal incontinence, and damage to the uterus or bladder. Significant birth injuries can also be a risk for the child.
Episiotomy and Second or Third Degree Tears
During some difficult labours, a doctor will choose to perform an episiotomy where it is thought that the mother would otherwise tear without it, or if the baby is distressed and needs to be delivered with haste. In some rare occasions, a doctor can fail to perform an episiotomy where it is clear that it is required, leading to second or third degree tears. These can cause severe complications that can last years, or in some cases induce conditions that can last for the rest of the mother’s life.
In other occurrences, perianal tears can also be misdiagnosed; where a doctor fails to recognise the extent of the injury, or treat the mother for a lesser injury which can lead to serious debilitating conditions as a result. If your doctor has failed to perform an episiotomy where it is required or performed an episiotomy incorrectly then you may be entitled to compensation for the preventable suffering caused.
Incorrect Suturing (stitching)
In some instances, after an episiotomy or perianal tear, a mother will have to have the damage repaired with a number of stitches. Although many of these heal successfully, it has been known for this procedure to be carried out neglectfully, leaving lasting damage to the area. Such a lasting birth injury to the mother causes discomfort and pain, along with unsightly results, which may require a second surgery to repair the mistakes made. Other examples of poor suturing (stitching) can be those following a caesarean section or internal tearing that hasn’t been correctly rectified. If you have been affected by any lasting consequences of poor suturing after birth, you may be entitled to maternal birth injury compensation.
Placental abruption is a very serious complication that occurs when the placenta prematurely falls away from the womb. This can be extremely dangerous for both mother and baby because the nutrients and oxygen etc that travel through the placenta are unable to reach the child. The mother becomes at risk of major blood loss, organ damage and the risk of having a hysterectomy. The symptoms of placental abruption are evident from the outset and must be attended to within good time to minimise the risk of further damage. If a healthcare professional has failed to diagnose and/ or appropriately treated by hospital staff then you may be entitled to make a birth injury claim for compensation.
Pre Eclampsia affects around 10% of pregnancies in the UK and can only be properly diagnosed through blood pressure tests and urine samples- which is why your midwife has a responsibility to ensure that these are checked regularly during antenatal appointments. Pre-Eclampsia is an extremely serious condition that prevents the unborn child from receiving vital nutrients and oxygen; if doctors fail to treat this in its early stages it can be fatal for both mother and baby. If your midwife, or health care provider misdiagnosed your pre Eclampsia which has led to further injury or suffering that could have been avoided, you may be entitled to birth injury compensation.
Our Experience in Dealing with Birth Injuries To Mother Compensation Claims
When searching for a birth injury lawyer, it’s important that you feel comfortable with them. Dealing with such a sensitive subject you need to receive the utmost support and advice; which is why our birth injury medical negligence solicitors are always on hand to answer any questions and to provide guidance.
Making a medical malpractice claim for maternal birth trauma compensation requires expert legal support, because cases of this kind are fiercely defended by legal and medical experts. The earlier you involve an expert medical negligence solicitor in your case, the greater your chances are of making a successful claim. We can investigate your case on your behalf, examining every aspect 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.
We pride ourselves on our provision of first-class legal advice and support. Our team of specialist maternal birth injury solicitors have a wealth of expertise and knowledge that you will be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. Their years of legal service make it likely that they will have dealt with a clinical negligence case 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 medical negligence claims of this kind so you should seek legal advice as quickly as possible.
You may be worried about the possible costs pursuing your medical negligence compensation claim for maternal birth trauma; so we have advisory teams in place to help you secure all the assistance available to you. Whatever the situation, we are likely to find a way to help.