Birth Injury Claims.
Fortunately, most births and pregnancies occur without any major problems, and nothing goes seriously wrong. In the instances in which there is something that goes wrong with a birth or pregnancy, it can of course be extremely serious.
Birth injury is a term that will be used to mean any injury suffered by a baby or mother during or because of the pregnancy or birth.
Birth injuries do not include babies that die before birth and when the mother is more than 24 weeks pregnant; this is classified as a still birth.
Birth Injury Compensation.
Any time when a mother or baby is injured or harmed because of medical negligence, it is possible that the injured party can make a claim for compensation.
Birth is a uniquely special time for everyone in the family—most of all for the parents. When something bad happens during this time, the emotional effects are often devastating.
Clinical Negligence During Pregnancy.
Pregnancy—especially first pregnancies—are typically rather overwhelming experiences in which the mother typically needs to put a lot of faith in the doctor or midwife.
Should the doctor or midwife or doctor provide poor treatment or a misdiagnosis resulting in a injury, a claim for clinical negligence is possible and compensation may be awarded.
Placental Abruption and Uterine Rupture.
We have not yet determined the cause behind placental abruption, though symptoms of this birth injury are quite evident. A pregnant woman might suffer from severe pains in her abdomen or back, or serious vaginal bleeding. Uterine rupture is sometimes caused by labour, especially in cases of artificial inducement where there is not proper monitoring.
Because of the blood loss from the placenta detaching from the uterus wall, the baby can be starved of oxygen (occasionally leading to brain damage and death) – and the mother can be at risk of damaging her organs and severe blood loss, possibly leading to emergency hysterectomy.
A claim for compensation can be made if these emergencies are not treated properly and quickly by your healthcare provider.
Gestational Diabetes or Maternal Diabetes.
Should you develop maternal diabetes (commonly referred to as gestational diabetes) and the medical professional does not see the signs of the condition as it develops, or does not provide screening test where there is a history of gestational diabetes in the family, these situations can trigger a miscarriage, birth defects to the brain defects or heart, or other types of birth injury.
In some cases the baby can grow to be very large, causing difficulties with the birth. Legal advice should be sough in any of these circumstances.
One of the most serious birth injuries that can lead to death of both mother and baby is Pre eclampsia. Pre eclampsia occurs when a defect in the placenta redirects necessary nutrients and oxygen to the developing baby. The only cure is to deliver the baby, although the baby may not have developed sufficiently for a safe delivery.
Pre eclampsia can be diagnosed only through consistent blood pressure and urine tests Because of this, it is critical that midwives and doctors provide patients with regular antenatal checks. If they do not, and your pre eclampsia is not diagnosed which leads to a birth injury, you will likely be positioned to make a claim for compensation.
Cases of Wrongful Birth.
Club feet, spina bifida, holes in the heart, and Down’s syndrome are just a few of the different birth defects a baby can suffer from. Some defects are relatively easy to spot while others may require the use of scans or blood tests.
If your healthcare professional fails to diagnose a birth defect which should have been easy to diagnose (perhaps due to a faulty scanning machine or lack of staff training) then you may be able to make a wrongful birth claim for compensation.
Wrongful birth means that had the mother known about the birth defect she would have terminated the pregnancy rather than giving birth to a child with a physical or mental disability. Birth injury compensation in situations like this often provide for the costs associated with the welfare and healthcare of the disabled child.
A complex condition whose cause can be unclear, Cerebral palsy is an injury to the brain occurring before, during, or after birth. A few recognised causes are insufficient oxygen to the brain, prematurity, infection, difficult birth, a bleed in the brain, a multiple birth, genes, and irregular brain development.
If your baby has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, legal advice should be sought.
Clinical Negligence Occurring During Child Birth.
For a number of women, and for most first-time mothers, the actual labour of the baby is often a terrifying prospect. There is plenty of reading material on the subject, but no amount of reading can truly prepare you for the real thing.
If a midwife or doctor’s negligence causes something to go wrong or a birth injury during labour, you might have an opportunity to make a birth injury compensation claim.
Second or Third Degree Tears and Episiotomy.
In order to make the delivery of the baby easier, an episiotomy, or surgical incision is sometimes performed. This will typically only have if the mother’s skin will tear, or if baby is in danger.
Should your healthcare provider perform an episiotomy incorrectly or fail to perform one when it is clearly necessary, it could lead to complications like incontinence or second or third degree tears of the skin—in which case a clinical negligence claim for birth injury compensation could be made.
Brachial Plexus Injuries and Erb’s Palsy.
If a baby is significantly bigger than usual and it is suspected to cause problems during a vaginal delivery, an episiotomy or a caesarean section should be carried out. To make adequate plans for the birth ahead of time, the growth of the unborn child should be monitored during the pregnancy.
If no action is taken and the baby is very large, the shoulders can get stuck which is extremely unsafe and can cause death. The trauma to the shoulders may trigger injury to nerves, which could lead to a paralysed hand or arm. In such cases, a birth injury claim can be made.
Ventouse Delivery or Forceps Delivery.
Help is occasionally required to pull the infant out, in which case a choice needs to be made between a ventouse delivery and a forceps delivery. Both methods should only be carried out by a trained medical professional in select circumstances.
Every now and then the wrong choice is made, and in these cases nerves can be damaged and scarring can occur to the baby’s face or head can occur. A birth injury that is a result of a ventouse delivery or forceps delivery can lead to a negligence claim.
Clinical Negligence After Birth.
After the baby has been delivered, there is usually relief that pregnancy and labour were successful; but, if you find after couple months that your baby was born with a problem which was not diagnosed immediately, you will feel extremely let down by your medical professionals caring.
Congenital Hip Dysplasia.
Every newborn is supposed to be screened for Congenital Hip Dysplasia. Congenital Hip Dysplasia is thought to be a genetic condition, and checks should be performed at six months and also as other development checkups are conducted.
When the condition is found early on, the prognosis is good, but if it’s missed and is not diagnosed before the baby starts walking, the prognosis is not as good.
More complex surgery could be needed, and there is a risk of later difficulties in early adolescence and middle-age.