Have you or your family suffered due to a Birth Injury?Having a child can be a wonderful and life-affirming experience, however, in rare cases things can go wrong.
There are various ways in which you and your child could suffer an injury at childbirth. These can range from severe to minor and include:
- Cerebral Palsy – Is a general term used by doctors to refer to a set of neurological conditions (which is a condition which involves the brain and nervous system) that affects a child’s movement and coordination.
- Erb’s Palsy – Is often referred to as ‘obstetric brachial plexus’(OBPi). This type of medical condition is usually caused by a trauma during birth and will affect either 1 or all of the 5 primary nerves that provide the feeling and movement to the arm.
- Perineal Tears – Is a tear along the perineum associated with childbirth. This can differ in level of severity from 1st to 4th degree tears. If the more severe tears are not treated promptly or appropriately then symptoms can include high levels of pain, incontinence of flatus(wind) and solid stool and agonisingly painful sexual intercourse.
- Retained Products Of Conception – If you have been unfortunate enough to have suffered a miscarriage you could be at risk of retained products of conception. This condition occurs when the placenta fails and the uterus contracts to expel the tissues, causing bleeding and pain. Sometimes, tissue can stay inside the uterus causing heavy bleeding and a risk of infection.
- Nervous Shock – This can arise following a particularly traumatic birth. Mothers suffering from nervous shock have symptoms ranging from psychiatric damage to a recognised mental illness, eg anxiety neurosis or reactive depression.
You are eligible to claim compensation for a birth injury if it can be shown that the standard of medical care fell below an acceptable level and that this directly caused your birth injury.
We know any kind of birth injury is a traumatic and difficult situation to go through so we are here to help you with any support or advice you need at this difficult time.
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Pregnancy can be a very unnerving and frightening experience, especially if it’s your first. Alongside the hormones during pregnancy, there are many risks and worries of which the mother goes through prior to giving birth. Therefore, midwives, doctors and nurses are expected to take extra care with pregnant women, giving reassurance and advice where necessary, and ensuring that their pregnancy runs smoothly. However mistakes do occur and it has been known for a doctor or nurse to fail to treat a patient correctly or fail to diagnose a condition they should have. This can often lead to a form of injury, and you may be able to make a claim for compensation for this.
An example of a condition you may develop during pregnancy is maternal diabetes – also known as gestational diabetes, which if not treated, can cause birth defects to the developing baby and/or difficulties with the birth. If your healthcare professional has failed to notice the signs of you having maternal diabetes, or has failed to undergo a screening test if you have a family history of the development of this condition, you may be able to make a claim for compensation, with evidence that your pregnancy or birth was affected by the failure to diagnose your condition.
Midwives, as part of their duty of care, should see their patients regularly for blood checks and urine samples to ensure that there are no signs of any threatening conditions such as pre eclampsia. Pre eclampsia is caused by a defect with the placenta, meaning that your baby’s development may be affected. This condition can be extremely severe, possibly resulting in the death of both the mother and the baby. Failing to take blood tests and urine samples could result in your midwife missing the signs of a condition such as pre eclampsia, which could be fatal for you and your baby. If you have experienced pre eclampsia, and it was not recognized by your healthcare professional soon enough, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation.
Placental abruption is another condition which can develop during pregnancy, causing the sufferer to experience heavy vaginal bleeding and/or severe pains in the back or abdomen. As with any condition, failure to diagnose placental abruption can potentially harm you and your baby and affect your pregnancy and/or birth. If your medical professional has failed to diagnose you with placental abruption, you may be entitled to claim for compensation.
Birth defects are relatively easy to diagnose with the use of scans and blood tests. There are various types of birth defects your baby could have such as spinal bifida, club feet, holes in the heart and Down’s syndrome. Failure to diagnose these defects could lead to a wrongful birth, meaning that if the mother had known about these defects prior to birth; she would have had the embryo terminated. If your baby is born with any of the previously mentioned defects without diagnosis beforehand, you may be entitled to make a claim for compensation. Compensation for wrongful birth claims contribute towards the healthcare and welfare of the disabled child.
Labour and the birth of the baby can terrify some pregnant women, especially those who are going through the process for the first time. If something goes unexpectedly wrong during the birth of your baby due to somebody else’s medical negligence, you may be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
An episiotomy is a surgical incision which is made to make the delivery of the baby easier if the baby is in distress or if it is thought that it would be harmful for the mother to deliver the baby. If your episiotomy is performed incorrectly, or you were not given one when it was obvious an episiotomy was required, you may be able to make a claim for compensation for your pain and suffering.
Congenital hip dysplasia is a condition of the hip joint, which should be checked for when the mother is 6 months pregnant, as well as after birth via screening. The condition is thought to be genetic, and if the condition is found early, it’s prognosis is good. However, if the condition is missed by your healthcare professional and is not diagnosed before your baby’s walking stage, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.