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During pregnancy, although it is not necessarily deemed as essential by the NHS, many expectant parents may wish to have additional ultrasounds done with a private studio.
These are often sold as either ‘wellbeing’ or ‘reassurance’ scans, however a recent investigation by the BBC has found that a number of women are not being informed by the sonographer to the possibility of the baby having serious conditions or abnormalities.
In many cases, the longer it takes for this information to be discovered, the more serious the consequences will be for both the mother and baby. Where those consequences impact the quality of life for mother or baby there may be grounds to make a claim for birth injury compensation.
Where developmental conditions are not detected prior to birth, the opportunity for the parents to make an informed decision about the future of the pregnancy is removed. In some cases, the more serious conditions are likely to impact enormously on the quality of life for the child or result in stillbirth.
In the case of anencephaly, the condition in which the baby’s brain and skull is deformed due to the improper development of the fetal nervous system, 75% of babies are stillborn, those who are not are unlikely to live past a few days. Unfortunately, there is no cure for anencephaly, but the nature of the deformity means that it can usually be seen in ultrasounds. The early diagnosis of a birth injury to a baby could allow the parents to seek specialist medical advice on how to proceed with the pregnancy.
Sonographers are regulated differently to midwives and radiographers. Although private studios in England need to register with the Care Quality Commission, the CQC has recently faced backlash over the discovery that they do not use sample scans as part of their inspections and so in some cases, these scans may be carried out by someone with less training and experience than you might have expected.
Despite the popularity of private scans, there is increasing concern surrounding the level of false reassurance provided by such services and the serious implications of not recognising abnormalities with the pregnancy.
Making a birth injury claim is complex, due to the varied medical conditions and injuries that can happen during pregnancy and the birth process itself. The birth injury solicitors at Blackwater Law are specialists in this field, and their experience in dealing with extremely complex cases means they are in excellent position to advise you on your own unique situation. Call now for free initial advice to discuss your potential birth injury claim.