What can cause a birth injury?
Although healthcare professionals aim to ensure you and your baby are safe throughout delivery, there are incidents in which a lack of monitoring or failure to carry out routine procedures can lead to life-changing injuries.
What is a birth injury?
A birth injury is any form of harm to a baby or mother during birth which includes injuries that occur before, during or after delivery. Birth injuries can range in severity, from treatable infections to life-long disabilities, however, if these injuries were due to improper care during the delivery stages, you may be entitled to birth injury compensation.
What causes birth injuries?
Birth injuries are caused by a variety of complications during the stages of birth. The most common causes of birth injury to a baby are fetal oxygen deprivation, premature birth and trauma during delivery. These problems can occur due to poor monitoring of the progress and development of birth, leading to negligent care and a traumatic delivery for both mother and child. As well as affecting the baby, negligent treatment during pregnancy can also lead to injuries to the mother which impact on birth. Examples of issues during pregnancy that can lead to further complications are:
- Maternal diabetes or gestational diabetes
- Errors in managing pre-eclampsia
- Uterine rupture
- Placental abruption
- Wrongful birth cases, eg where a mother would have terminated her pregnancy had she known about a birth defect rather than give birth to a child with severe physical or mental disabilities or a failed sterilisation case .
- Failure to intervene eg by way of caesarian section or instrumental delivery when there are signs of fetal distress/ oxygen deprivation
- Inappropriate /excessive use of forceps or ventouse during delivery
- Failure to treat infection.
What type of injuries are sustained during birth?
The following are a list of injuries that a mother or child could sustain during childbirth:
- Episiotomy – second or third-degree tears
- Forceps delivery or Ventouse delivery
- Perineal tears – third and fourth degree
- Wrongly performed Episiotomies
- Mistakes in surgically suturing tears or an Episiotomy
- Mistakes in caesarean procedures (e.g. damage to organs)
- Retained swabs
- Anaesthetic errors
- Fractures to the skull, legs, arm, shoulder or collarbone of baby
- Cuts and scars to baby
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy or Brachial Plexus Injuries caused when the baby becomes stuck in the birth canal.
Can I make a birth injury claim for injuries after birth?
Yes, if there were complications during birth that go onto seriously affect you or your child, there are cases where you can make a claim. Our highly experienced are here to could help you make a claim if you have dealt with the following injuries:
- Congenital Hip Dysplasia – This is not initially indicative of negligence, however, if left undiagnosed and untreated it may affect joint health and development
- Stillbirth – Where your baby is born deceased after 24 weeks or more gestation
- Infant mortality – If a baby is born alive, but unfortunately passes away post-birth
Making a Birth Injury Claim
Our team of highly experienced medical negligence solicitors specialise in birth injury claims and will work with you to gain answers around what went wrong, demanding an apology as well as getting the assurance we need to know that the same mistakes won’t be made again.