Call today and speak to Zoe Diss, specialist birth injury solicitor. Find out if you can claim compensation.
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If your baby’s birth injury was caused during or after pregnancy due to medical negligence by a doctor or midwife, you may be entitled to claim compensation.
There are a number of situations where substandard care on the part of medical professionals, which has caused injury or illness to your baby, can mean you are entitled to make a birth injury claim. Some of them relate to well-recognised conditions or injuries, whilst others may be somewhat more obscure:
Where the mother is struggling to produce a natural or “spontaneous” birth, forceps or a ventouse device may be used to assist in the delivery of a baby. Both instruments have been carefully designed with babies’ bodies in mind and require careful, skilled application to be safe and effective. Where the wrong instrument is used, or where it is used incorrectly, perhaps by an individual with sufficient training, the results can be disastrous – with injuries to the baby’s head, arms, legs or nervous system resulting in lifelong cognitive or physical injuries.
Cerebral palsy denotes situations where the baby has sustained damage to the part of the brain that governs muscle control. Such a brain injury can occur as a result of a negligent assisted delivery, but also when staff fail to diagnose infections in the mother during pregnancy, which can in-turn have a negative effect on her baby’s development. Similar damage can also occur when internal bleeding is not promptly identified and treated, or where the oxygen supply to the baby’s brain is interrupted for any significant portion of time (birth asphyxia).
Similar to Cerebral Palsy, Erbs Palsy occurs when a baby’s shoulders become stuck during the delivery process following the emergence of the head. Staff must be very cautious about applying force in order to perform an assisted delivery, as improper care in such circumstances can again induce significant permanent or semi-permanent physical injury as a result of damage to the nervous system.
Kernicterus represents an extremely severe form of jaundice – which is actually a fairly common affliction for new-borns in milder forms. It occurs because babies’ underdeveloped livers do not initially process bilirubin and the associated breakdown of red blood cells as successfully as they should. Most babies will recover on their own from this after the first few days following birth, but in some cases the situation can deteriorate and Kernicterus can develop. Excess bilirubin can cross the blood / brain barrier and subsequently cause nerve damage, leading to physical and mental developmental difficulties, including cerebral palsy.
Wrongful birth claims:
Medical science has advanced to a stage where some of the most serious developmental issues or afflictions likely to affect a baby can be detected and diagnosed during pregnancy. Whilst it is understandably upsetting for any prospective parent to learn their child has any such condition, it does provide the opportunity for them to make an informed decision as to whether to terminate the pregnancy to prevent the child suffering. Where it can be demonstrated that such an affliction could and should have been detected by doctors during pregnancy – but it was not – and the child is born (potentially against the parent’s better judgement were they to have known), a compensation claim may be able to be made. This claim may be able to provide the financial security the family require to support the child as they grow up, as well as provide the long-term, private professional care they need.
These above circumstances do not represent an exhaustive list of all the instances in which you may be able to claim birth injury compensation. If your child has suffered unnecessary harm in any form as a result of negligent care in the build up to, during or immediately post-birth it is important that you speak to a specialist clinical negligence solicitor to discern your eligibility to make a claim.
Blackwater Law’s team of medical negligence solicitors is identified by the independent Legal 500 as being one of the best specialist teams in the south east. The reputation and experience of the team at Blackwater Law means they represent clients across Wales and England. When you contact Blackwater Law and speak to one of our expert birth injury claim solicitors, you can be sure the advice you will receive will be some of the best available.
When choosing a birth injury solicitor to advise and represent you in your claim for compensation, it is important that they have the experience and expertise necessary to give your birth injury case the best chance of success. Seeking representation and support from a specialist in claims involving injuries to babies will also ensure you receive the maximum level of compensation. It is also important your choice of solicitor agrees to represent you on a no win, no fee claim basis so that you are not put at financial risk.
Blackwater Law successfully represented the family of baby Blake in making a midwife negligence claim after the community midwife failed to notice a severe medical abnormality.
We understand that the shock of having your child sustain birth injuries can be devastating for you and your family, and that the prospects of raising your own funds to commence a birth injury compensation claim may not be possible. This should not prevent you from getting the compensation you are entitled to, however. That is why at Blackwater Law, we undertake all accepted medical negligence claims – including those for birth injuries – on a completely no win, no fee basis.
We never ask you to put your own money at risk, and if we don’t win your case you will not pay us anything at all.
Any fee we do take after winning your case will be subject to strict government regulations and be capped. Our fee will be a percentage of the compensation you are awarded and this will be agreed with you from the very beginning of your claim.
It may also be possible for you to make a compensation claim for injuries sustained by the mother in the build up to, during or immediately-post birth. Again, the circumstances can vary but in any instance where you have been exposed to substandard care and endured unnecessary suffering as a result, the solicitors at Blackwater Law can provide free initial advice and guidance, answering any questions you may have and setting our your best options.
Some of the most common causes for claims made in relation to birth injuries to mothers include:
Maternal Diabetes: Otherwise known as Gestational Diabetes, maternal diabetes can cause significant distress to the mother and can prompt miscarriages and birth defects in the heart and brain of her child if undiagnosed and allowed to develop.
Pre-Eclampsia: Milder cases can inflict swelling in the feet, ankles, face and hands due to excessive fluid retention. As the condition worsens mothers can also experience, dizziness, headaches, vision impairment and vomiting. Vigilance must be exercised by medical staff in relation to the progression to full Eclampsia where the mother can experience fits which pose a danger of death to both her and the baby. Pre-eclampsia claims may be made where medical care has failed to diagnose and or manage the condition.
Episiotomies: Where a doctor foresees a potentially difficult birth process he or she may make a small surgical incision to the opening of the vagina to ease the passing of the baby. Where doctors fail to take such preventative action, uncontrolled tearing can occur in the tissues around the vagina or the anus as a result of the strain of giving birth. This can lead to long term incontinence issues, significant pain and require corrective surgery to address. Even where sufficient episiotomies are made they must subsequently be stitched-up again to a satisfactory standard, or the mother can be exposed to infection risks or subsequent injury at the site of the incision.
C-Section claims: Where an episiotomy is not perceived to be enough to nullify the risks associated with a natural, spontaneous birth, a full C section may be conducted to extract the baby from the womb. Negligence on the part of medical staff in the build-up to, during or post-procedure, such as surgical error, can elevate the risks of infection, severe bleeding or difficulties giving birth in future pregnancies. There are also associated risks with blood clotting, which if left untreated are potentially life-threatening. C-section claims may be made where the standard of care has fallen below an acceptable level before, during or post caesarean section.
Having identified Blackwater Law as a leading firm of medical negligence, your next step is to call us on 0800 083 5500. You can speak directly with a solicitor who will listen to the circumstances of your case and about the injuries to your child, answer your questions, ask you some questions and then tell you whether you may be entitled to claim compensation.
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