Pregnancy can be an exciting, yet nervous period for parents-to-be. Pregnant women, especially first-time mothers, trust in the advice and recommendations given by medical professionals to guide them through the process. If a doctor, gynaecologist, midwife or any other medical professional responsible for the care of a pregnant woman fails to provide timely and correct advice or care due to medical negligence childbirth, the impact can be physically and emotionally devastating on the lives of the mother, baby and their loved ones.
Generally, antenatal care in the UK is of the highest standard. However, there are times when medical professionals make mistakes and, when this happens, we can help. Medical Negligence Direct works with a panel of specialist birth injury claims solicitors who help victims of medical negligence willing to seek birth injury compensation.
What is Pregnancy Negligence?
This is when the quality of ante or neonatal care provided falls below the acceptable standard, resulting in an injury to a mother or her baby.
While pregnancy and birth are naturally occurring processes, they come along with risks. However, it is the duty of medical professionals caring for the mother to identify and effectively manage these risks. Ignorance or incompetence can cause the mother and baby life-changing, even fatal, harm.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury describes any type of injury to the baby before, during, or after the childbirth process. It can also refer to injury caused by substandard care to the mother during her pregnancy which causes unnecessary labour and childbirth problems.
There are a wide range of injuries that can be sustained by a mother or baby due to medical negligence childbirth. Let us discuss some of the most common injuries during pregnancy and childbirth for birth injury compensation claims:
Cerebral palsy is a condition that results in brain injury or brain damage due to a lack of oxygen. Medical negligence childbirth is one of the many causes of cerebral palsy; this may be because a doctor or midwife failed to adequately monitor the baby’s heartbeat, failed to make a decision on promptly delivering the baby, or failed to respond to a nuchal cord. The effects of cerebral palsy are permanent and range from mild lack of coordination to severe learning difficulties, lack of muscular control and difficulties with speech and hearing.
If your baby has suffered cerebral palsy due to medical negligence childbirth, you may be entitled to cerebral palsy claims for cerebral palsy compensation. Our birth injury solicitors have successfully handled a number of cerebral palsy cases, and will be happy to help you seek justice.
Erb’s palsy (also known as brachial plexus paralysis) is the partial or complete damage paralysis, characterized by weakness or loss of movement of the arm after delivery. The condition may be temporary or permanent and, in severe cases, the child could suffer lifelong paralysis. Erb’s palsy can happen if doctors or midwives apply excessive force on the baby’s shoulder, fail to use the right equipment during the childbirth, or fail to handle the baby right when trapped, or fail to refer the mother for caesarean section when there are potential complications with natural birth. If your baby has suffered erb’s palsy due to medical negligence childbirth, you may be entitled to erb’s palsy compensation claims.
During pregnancy, medical professionals conduct screening tests to check for birth defects, including genetic and hereditary defects like Down’s syndrome and cystic fibrosis birth defect. Armed with this information, parents can decide whether to proceed with the pregnancy. Some parents who receive warning that their baby will suffer a serious medical condition may decide against continuing with the pregnancy; when parents are not warned in advance, the effects can be devastating and life-changing, including having to quit work to care for their child.
A stillbirth happens when a baby that has reached over 20 weeks into the pregnancy is born dead. It is a devastating experience for a mother who has carried the baby, and can have a painful impact on the other parent and loved ones. Knowing that medical professionals could have done more to save the situation makes it even more traumatic; regular check-ups throughout the pregnancy can help medical professionals identify any abnormal signs or symptoms.
If healthcare professionals failed to conduct regular tests or action was not taken in response to an abnormal result, this may be deemed medical negligence childbirth and you may be entitled to stillbirth medical negligence claims awards.
Group B Streptococcus are bacteria found in the rectum, intestine and vagina of about 20% of healthy pregnant women in the UK. However, there is a risk that this infection can be passed to the baby; it is the duty of health professionals to ensure they prevent infections, and provide adequate treatment to the baby to ensure full recovery.
There could be increased risk of complications if medical professionals do not diagnose the problem on time or they fail to provide the acceptable standard of care. Complications can include meningitis, sepsis and lung infections, and could have long-term, even fatal consequences for a baby.
The decision to terminate a pregnancy is not taken lightly by any woman. When a woman decides to terminate a pregnancy – either through abortion, sterilization or pregnancy testing – and these methods fail due to negligence on the part of a medical professional, the parents can make a wrongful pregnancy claim and can give rise to where a woman sues NHS for not feeding baby.
This claim can cover the cost of any other operation or medical procedure as well as any income you have lost due to the extended recovery period. It can also cover the cost of pregnancy and labour if you decide to go on with the pregnancy. However, do keep in mind that there will be no financial settlement to cover the cost of raising your newborn.
Example of Childbirth Negligence Case
A teenager who suffered from poor oxygen supply at birth suffered dyskinetic athetoid cerebral palsy as a result. Following her claim, the NHS Trust (defendant in this case) issued a public apology for failing falling short of the standard of care, and causing the teenager a lifetime of disability. The compensation award for the teenager includes a lump sum of £4.5m and annual periodical payments to take care of the teenager’s lifelong medical care needs.
Making Medical negligence claims during childbirth
Have you or your baby suffered harm as a result of any type of medical negligence childbirth? Medical Negligence Direct works with a panel of specialist solicitors who have successfully handled claims on birth related injuries. We offer free, no obligation advice to help you make an informed decision, even if you are unsure whether you have legitimate grounds to pursue a claim.
Whether you experienced negligent treatment while under the care of an NHS or private health professional, the claims process is the same. The only difference is the NHS has an internal structure responsible for handling medical negligence claims. In the vast majority of claims (over 98%) made against the NHS, agreements are reached and financial settlements are made without the need to go to court. This is also similar to claims against private providers.
A compensation claim is not jackpot or reward; it is financial recognition of the negligent treatment you have suffered.
How much compensation can I expect for medical negligence childbirth?
The compensation amount you receive will depend on the nature and severity of the injury you or your loved one has suffered. The amount can run into millions, as most childbirth negligence cases are usually life-changing and could even have fatal consequences.
Medical Negligence Direct Can Help
If you believe you or your baby have suffered medical negligence childbirth, we recommend you seek legal advice as soon as possible. Keep in mind that there is a general three-year time limit for medical negligence claims; our experienced baby birth injury solicitors can advice you on your rights so you can make the best decisions for you and your loved ones.
You can trust that our panel of solicitors will do everything possible to support you through this difficult time, including seeking interim payment to cover the cost of your medical care and urgent financial needs.
Speak with us today on 0800 644 4240 to find out how we can help you obtain maximum compensation for your medical negligence childbirth claims.