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Childbirth Negligence Claims

Reasons to choose Wilson Browne

If you think you have grounds for a childbirth negligence claim, you’re not alone. NHS Resolution, the legal arm of NHS reports that maternity negligence claims are costing the NHS more than any other discipline.

But there’s a good reason why there are so many of these claims. Figures show that more than 1,200 children in the UK have been left with permanent brain damage over the past decade.

When do Childbirth Negligence Claims Apply?

Expectant mothers put their trust in medical professionals before, during, and after giving birth.

If a medical professional fails to diagnose, or misdiagnoses, a condition or infection that goes on to affect the birth of a child, then they will have broken this trust.

If the resulting childbirth results in injury to the child or mother, then medical negligence may apply. This can apply too in situations where certain procedures are not carried out or are undertaken inadequately, during the childbirth process.

To make a childbirth negligence claim, you must:

  • Prove that the medical professional has broken their duty of care towards you, and
  • Prove you, or your baby has suffered physical or mental injuries you would not have experienced otherwise if the negligence had not occurred.

What Types of Childbirth Injuries are there?

There are two broad categories of injury in childbirth negligence claims:

  • Birth injuries to the mother, and
  • Birth injuries to the child.

Birth injuries to the mother can include mistakes such as tears during childbirth, episiotomies, or fissures.

Caesarean sections can cause injuries to organs, or medical professionals may fail to recognise these injuries at the time, leading to later complications. In some instances, surgical staff leave swabs inside the patient or make errors managing pre-eclampsia, or in applying anaesthetic.

Birth injuries to the child can include cerebral palsy and brain injuries. Babies may suffer fractures during birth, to the skull, limbs, shoulder or collarbone.

They may get cuts, scars, or hip dysplasia. In some cases, when the baby dies due to complications at childbirth, this is due to medical negligence.

How Do You Know if a Childbirth Injury is Negligent?

Injuries to the mother or baby during childbirth can come about for several reasons, but some of these may be negligent.

If there is a lack of screening or mistakes during screening, this may fail to identify certain conditions very early, giving parents the option to terminate a pregnancy.

Mistakes during midwifery or obstetrics such as improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors can lead to birth injuries.

If medical teams fail to manage medical complications during pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia, this may lead to injury and cause grounds for negligence.

Failure to identify maternal infections can be dangerous and damaging to unborn babies. Mothers may contract pneumonia, flu or a urinary tract infection (UTI), which, if undetected, could lead to sepsis.

Fatalities in childbirth may result from inadequate antenatal monitoring or prescribing an inappropriate medical treatment during pregnancy.

How Do You Make a Childbirth Negligence Claim?

Navigating your way through a medical or clinical negligence claim can be demanding and confusing. We can give you expert support the clarity you need. Please get in touch for more details.

Neelam Yusaf

Posted:

Neelam Yusaf

Solicitor

Neelam is a Solicitor within the Medical Negligence Team. The Team handles a wide range of Medical Negligence cases against NHS Hospital Trusts, General and Private Practitioners.