Childbirth used to be highly dangerous. In times gone by, women would often suffer injury or even death while giving birth. Thankfully, those days are over, and of the 700,000 children born in the UK each year, complications are rare. However, injury during childbirth does still happen, If a mother or child is injured in the birthing process the effects can be devastating for a family. Sometimes, injuries occur due to unforeseen complications during the birthing process. However, in other cases, birth injuries are the result of medical or clinical negligence, which means it is possible to make a claim for personal injury.
Pre natal negligence
Injuries to either the mother or child don’t just occur during the actual birthing process. If the doctors and midwives do not do their job properly, and an expectant mother is not properly looked after during her pregnancy, all sorts of things can go wrong. Failing to diagnose a potential problem with either the mother or baby, perhaps due to a screening error or faulty equipment, could be cause to make a claim for compensation.
Negligence during labour
Labour can be a very frightening and daunting experience, especially for a new mother. Expectant mothers have to put all their faith in the medical professionals around them. However, if health professionals fail to do their job correctly, injuries to both the mother and baby can occur. These can range from physical injuries due to improper use of equipment, such as forceps, to brain damage caused by failing to give a newborn infant enough oxygen.
After birth negligence
Even if the birthing process has gone well, clinical negligence can still lead to injuries and problems further down the line. Some parents discover a few months after the birth of their child that he or she has an underlying medical condition that should have been picked up by the health professionals after the birth. Some conditions, such as Hip Dysplasia, require immediate attention and all babies are screened for it just after birth. However, if the hospital has failed to spot a child has such a condition, they can be held accountable and a claim for damages made.