Birth Injury Claim
Although giving birth in today’s world is much safer than even fifty years ago, with all of the medical advances and new equipment, the birth process is still risky for both mother and baby. A woman’s pregnancy, labour and the delivery of the baby all should be monitored by medical professionals to ensure that things are going well and that the appropriate medical intervention or treatment is given as soon as something goes wrong.
Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can be divided into two main types: injuries to the mother and injuries to the baby. The following is a list of birth injuries that can affect the mother or newborn:-
- Pre-eclampsia – This condition can be serious, but it can be treated and managed if it is spotted early in a simple urine test.
- Vaginal tears – Tears can cause problems if they go unnoticed or if they are not stitched properly.
- Anal fissures – These tears can cause problems like incontinence and pain if they go unnoticed or are not treated properly.
- Episiotomy – Like a tear, an episiotomy can cause problems if it is not stitched properly.
- Caesarean delivery – If a caesarean is not performed properly, a woman can suffer from excessive bleeding, contract an infection, suffer with incontinence and even require an hysterectomy.
- Infections – Infections after childbirth can be caused by poor hygiene and can lead to a woman or baby being seriously ill.
- Anaesthetic awareness – A woman may feel pain during a caesarean delivery if the anaesthetic does not work properly.
- Misdiagnosis or a delay in diagnosis of problems – Time is of the essence during pregnancy and labour. For example, a missed ectopic pregnancy can lead to all kinds of medical problems for the woman and can even cause death.
- Uterine rupture – The womb or uterus can occasionally rupture in cases where a woman has been allowed to have a vaginal delivery after a past caesarean.
- Brachial Plexus Paralysis or Erb’s Palsy – This condition is caused by damage to the baby’s C5-7 nerves when there is too much pressure on the neck and head, or when the shoulders get stuck during delivery. It can result in a loss of shoulder motion, reflex problems and even paralysis of the arm.
- Bell’s Palsy or Facial Palsy – This type of palsy can be caused by too much pressure to the baby’s facial nerve during delivery.
- Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral palsy can be caused by medical negligence if there is a lack of monitoring during labour, if medical staff do not act on warning signs of problems, if a baby is starved of oxygen during delivery or if the baby sustains a head injury.
- Fractures – Fractures can result from a traumatic birth and there may be a case for medical negligence if they have been caused by the actions of medical staff or if they have gone unnoticed and untreated.
- Complications from caesarean deliveries – There have been cases where babies have suffered lacerations from a surgeon cutting into the uterus or where caesarean deliveries have been delayed causing the baby to be starved of oxygen.
- Complications involving the umbilical cord – Sometimes, the umbilical cord can become wrapped around the baby’s neck or become squashed during delivery, starving the baby of oxygen.
- Neonatal conditions – Problems like jaundice, neonatal hypoglycaemia and hip dysplasia should all be diagnosed in a timely manner by newborn screening test and there could be a case for medical negligence if a neonatal condition is not diagnosed.
- Cephalo-pelvic Disproportion – This is when a baby’s head is too large to pass through its mother’s pelvis. Although it is a condition which is not normally picked up until labour does not progress, the lack of progress should be noticed and a caesarean delivery given to reduce the risk of injury.
Those are just some of the birth injuries and complications that can affect a mother and baby and a birth injury claim should be pursued, with the help of a no win no fee personal injury solicitor, if the birth injury is a result of medical negligence or malpractice. All medical staff have a duty of care to their patients and if they have breached this duty of care by misdiagnosing a condition, by not monitoring mother and baby properly or by not acting quickly enough when a problem has been spotted, then you should be able to claim birth injury compensation.
Making a birth injury claim
It is understood that being new parents is quite a trying time for most couples. This is further exaggerated if you have to deal with birth injuries. Filing a birth injury claim is probably the last thing on your mind � but think of how much use you could put the compensation amount too. Also, because of the no win no fee agreement, you will get to pursue the case without paying any costly upfront fees.
However, for a successful case you will need to prove that the doctor or staff were at fault. This requires you to have some preparation. It is best to bring the injury to the notice of the doctor as soon as possible so that the personal injury can be diagnosed correctly and the appropriate treatment can be administered asap. Keeping detailed reports of the injury make a lot of difference to birth injury claims.
If you think that the hospital did not provide the standard of service that it should have, make a complaint with their grievance department ASAP. Also, ensure that your medical reports throughout the pregnancy are preserved so that any possibility of complication can be ruled out. You should contact a specialist personal injury lawyer with years of knowledge and experience in dealing with birth injury claims for more information on how to proceed.