Pregnancy and Birth Injuries

Having a baby, for most parents, is a joyful time but sadly things can and do go wrong during the pregnancy, labour, delivery and even after a baby has been born. Things can go wrong with either the baby or with the mother.

So if you or your baby or a member of your family has been harmed because of shortcomings in the care provided by your healthcare professional – be that a doctor or a midwife or a nurse, then contact us and we will advise you if it is possible to bring a claim for Clinical Negligence.

 

Case Study

Brain Damage & Death of Baby – clip from BBC News

 

Birth Injuries – Injury to Baby

Brain damage – Cerebral Palsy

This is usually caused by a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain and can leave a baby to grow up having difficulties walking and talking, sitting, using or controlling muscles, swallowing, eating and drinking, dressing, caring for him/herself, learning etc. A baby maybe left so severely damaged that s/he may need 24 hour care throughout life.

If it can be proved that the brain damage was caused because of negligence then bringing a claim may make a huge difference to the quality of the baby’s life when s/he grows into a child/adult. It can also make a huge difference to your life if you are the carer for the child.

Erb’s Palsy or Brachial Plexus Injury

This is an injury which can occur when a baby is born and his or her shoulders become stuck and whilst being pulled out s/he suffers an injury to the nerves leaving the arm or the hand paralysed.

Wrongful Birth

This is where a baby has a congenital condition which could and should have been detected before the baby was born but wasn’t, thus depriving the parents of the opportunity to have counselling and to make a decision as to their future and whether the pregnancy should continue. Common congenital conditions would include chromosal defects such as Noonan’s syndrome, Leopard’s Syndrome, Turner’s Syndrome, heart abnormalities such as a hole in the heart, congenital ventricular septal defects, and other abnormalities such as spina bifida. These are just an example.

Other examples of situations where a claim may be brought are:

  • Still birth
  • Scarring to the baby during a forceps or ventouse delivery
  • Failure to diagnose congenital hip dysplasia

 

Birth Injuries – Injury to Mother

Unnecessary Caesarean Section

For example one of our clients was given the wrong drug during her pregnancy which meant that she had to be rushed to theatre and have her baby by emergency caesarean section instead of by normal vaginal delivery. She recovered compensation for having to have an unnecessary caesarean section.

Perineal Tears

This is where a cut (episiotomy) is made in the perineum (the area between the front and back passages) to help deliver a baby quickly.

Sometimes the cut can lead to complications because the cut is made through the anal sphincter and not repaired or badly repaired leading to incontinence and bowel problems. A badly repaired episiotomy may also lead to sexual problems.

Uterine Rupture

Uterine rupture in pregnancy is a rare and often catastrophic complication with a high incidence of foetal and maternal death.

Diagnosis of uterine rupture can be difficult because the initial signs and symptoms of uterine rupture are usually nonspecific. Speedy action, in the form of a caesarean section, needs to be taken because doctors have, from the time of diagnosis to delivery, only 10-37 minutes before it becomes almost inevitable that the baby will suffer catastrophic haemorrhage, brain damage, or both.

Placental/Uterine Abruption

This happens when the placenta comes away from the uterine wall before the baby is born and can put the mother and baby in danger. It can lead to the mother and baby being deprived of oxygen, serious brain injury and even death.

Failed Sterilisation / Failed Vasectomy

If you or your partner have fallen pregnant after having one of these procedures then you may be able to bring a claim for having to go through a pregnancy and delivery or termination if you can prove that the reason for the failure was negligently performed surgery.

Retained Products of conception

If the afterbirth is not fully delivered it can lead to infections such as septicaemia.

 

Time Limits

Children

  • have until they are 21 or
  • if they have a mental disability there is no time limit.

Adults

  • Have 3 years from the date of injury or date they found out about the injury

At Moosa – Duke Solicitors we deal with a wide range of medical negligence claims from external injuries to brain damage and syndromes.

To find out more about making a claim, call us on 0800 952 0010 or 0116 254 7456 or email:enquiries@moosaduke.com. You can also enquire online by clicking here.