Understanding birth injury

A well trained maternity unit should ease the process of giving birth, helping to make it as smooth and painless as possible, resulting in a healthy baby and mother. However, sadly mistakes sometimes occur and if a maternity nurse or obstetrician is negligent, this can result in injury to both mother and newborn baby.

There are a wide range of birth injuries, but some of the more common types include:

●    Cerebral Palsy – if the baby is temporarily deprived of oxygen (asphyxiation) during a complicated birth, this can cause cerebral palsy.
●    Bleeding in the brain – brain hemorrhage or intracranial hemorrhage can be caused by improper use of birth-assisting tools (eg. forceps) during delivery.
●    Fractures – infant skull fractures can be caused if the doctor tugs too harshly or uses birth-assisting tools (eg. forceps) improperly. Other bones may also be fractured.
●    Nerve damage – pressure on the facial nerve caused by forceps used to assist delivery can result in nerve damage, leading to weakness of the muscles on one side of the face.
●    Perinatal Asphyxia – injury to the fetus or the newborn around the time of birth.
●    Perineal or vaginal tears – these may occur quite naturally, as a consequence of childbirth, but failure to treat them effectively can lead to complications.
●    Organ damage – in the case of Caesarean sections, organs may be injured or injuries may not be noticed, leading to further problems.
●    Pre-eclampsia – failure of diagnoses and treatment can lead to blood clotting, hemorrhaging, kidney failure and liver damage.

Seeking compensation for birth injury

You might have a claim for compensation if you have suffered from poor obstetric treatment during birth, or if health problems in your baby at birth were not diagnosed properly. The clinical negligence team at CH Legal understands the sensitivity of any health issues related to birth injuries. To find out how we can help you, contact Rukhsana Arif or phone 0845 4786 354.