Pregnancy & Birth Injuries

Solicitors in Essex & London


Bringing a new child into the world is special and personal to each family, so when something goes needlessly wrong, the effects can be devastating and a claim may be possible. If mistakes occur during the birth of your baby due to the negligence of a healthcare professional, such as a midwife, GP or doctor/consultant, you may be able to make a birth injury compensation claim for yourself and/or for your child. Our medical negligence solicitors in offices across Essex and London have been instrumental in bringing many pregnancy and birth injury claims to a successful resolution.

Common birth injuries include but are not limited to:

Uterine Rupture and Placental Abruption

The cause of placental abruption is unknown but has obvious symptoms. You may suffer from heavy bleeding and/or severe pain to the back and stomach.  Uterine rupture can be caused by some labours particularly where the labour has been induced without proper monitoring.

Loss of blood is a result of the placenta separating from the wall of the uterus, leading to starvation of oxygen to the unborn child. In turn, this can result in oxygen-deprived brain injury or death. In addition, you could suffer organ damage, severe blood loss and the need for emergency radical surgery.

Our clinical negligence solicitors in Essex and London have dealt with many cases relating to uterine rupture and placental abruption and are on hand to answer any of your queries.

Wrongful Birth/Missed Defects Cases

A baby can present with any number of defects, including, but not limited to, 13 th chromosome, spina bifida, hole in the heart, Down's syndrome and foetal stroke. Some of these defects are much easier to diagnose than others through scanning, tests and well-trained staff.

If a birth defect has negligently been missed when a diagnosis should have been straightforward then you may be able to make a wrongful birth claim. These issues can arise as a result of lack of staff, lack of suitably trained staff, lack of machinery and faulty machinery.

Wrongful birth means that, had the mother known about the birth defect, she would have terminated the pregnancy. Birth injury compensation can provide for the costs associated with the welfare needs of the disabled child going forward.

Our clinical negligence solicitors in Essex and London have dealt with many claims arising from the wrongful birth and missed defects during pregnancy and are on hand to answer any of your queries.

Pre-Eclampsia – Untreated and/or Undiagnosed

This condition is caused by a defect with the placenta and can only be diagnosed by having regular blood pressure checks and urine samples. Regular antenatal checks are very important as pre-eclampsia is a serious condition and, in serious cases, can lead to the death of both mother and baby.

Delivery of the baby is the only way to resolve the condition but specialist management can be implemented if the baby has not developed enough to be delivered.

If pre-eclampsia is not diagnosed as a result of negligence and causes injury to you and/or your baby, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.

Our medical negligence solicitors in Essex and London have dealt with many claims arising from untreated and/or undiagnosed cases of pre-eclampsia and are on hand to answer any of your queries.

Horner’s Syndrome

Horner’s syndrome is a condition caused by damage to the nerve pathway that leads from the brain to the eye and face on the affected side of the body. It is a rare condition, but 65% of known cases have arisen from birth injuries or trauma.

Symptoms are typically limited to the side of the affected face. The most common symptoms include different pupil sizes, a delayed time in dilation when the affected pupil is under a dimmed light, different coloured iris in each eye, sunken eyes, drooping upper eyelid, little to no sweating on the affected side of the face, no redness or flushing appearing after extreme heat or physical activity and so on.

There are some congenital disorders that lead to Horner’s syndrome, but birth traumas which may lead to this condition include;

  • Improper use of forceps during delivery
  • Pulling too hard on the infant, causing tears to the sympathetic nerves
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Delayed reaction and action to foetal distress
  • Failure to schedule and perform a cesarean section (C-section) surgery in time
  • Failure to properly detect an infant in breech position and deliver in time

 

 

A simple pupil dilation test can be conducted to assess the pupils’ response to stimulation. A physical exam may also follow, and an MRI may be carried out to establish any birth injuries causing the disorder.

Brachial plexus injury can cause the disorder. In some instances, the nerve injuries will clear up naturally, but in other cases, medication and/or surgery may be required. The prognosis will greatly depend upon the severity of the disorder as well as how quickly it’s detected and treated.

Our medical negligence solicitors in Essex and London have dealt with many claims relating to Horner’s syndrome and are on hand to answer any of your queries.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy can be caused by medical negligence when substandard care is provided during the labour or delivery of a child, causing a brain haemorrhage or lack of oxygen to the child’s brain.

It can occur if the child has been deprived of oxygen for too long, dropped, pulled out too forcefully, had an instrument-related injury (forceps injury or a ventouse injury ), or simply has endured a lengthy labour.

There are three main types of cerebral palsy:

  • Spastic cerebral palsy - tight, stiff and weak muscles making control difficult.
  • Athetoid cerebral palsy - spontaneous movements due to lack of control.
  • Ataxic cerebral palsy - problems with balance, shaky movements of hands or feet and difficulty with speech.

Those affected by cerebral palsy may be able to recover compensation to assist with much-needed therapy, specialised treatment, aids and equipment and care needs.

Cerebral palsy claims are complex and benefit from the involvement of specialist medical negligence solicitors, particularly when compensation is often high for these types of cases. Our negligence lawyers in Essex and London have dealt with many claims relating to cerebral palsy and are on hand to answer any of your queries.

Episiotomy and Tears

An episiotomy is a surgical incision undertaken so as to make the delivery of the baby easier. Usually an episiotomy is made if the baby is in distress, or if it is likely that the mother's skin would tear.

If you have had an episiotomy performed incorrectly, or you required one but it was not done, resulting in significant tears, or other complications such as incontinence, you may be able to make a claim. Our clinical negligence solicitors in Essex and London have dealt with many claims relating to labour and birthing tears and are on hand to answer any of your queries.

Erbs Palsy/Brachial Plexus

This injury occurs when the nerves in a baby’s upper arm are damaged. It is usually caused by shoulder dystocia during a difficult birth. Children with this condition usually cannot move their shoulders or upper arms. The condition can also affect the whole trunk and babies’ arms can look paralysed due to lack of nerve impulses.

Erbs palsy is brachial plexus damage to the upper nerves. If the nerves at the upper and lower ends of the brachial plexus are stretched, causing injury, then the condition becomes more serious and is known as total or global brachial plexus palsy.

Throughout pregnancy, the size of the unborn baby should be monitored. If the baby is much larger than normal, and a normal vaginal delivery is not likely, then a plan should be implemented to carry out an episiotomy or a caesarean section.

Where no action is taken and subsequently the baby’s shoulders become stuck, there can be injury such as Erbs palsy or, in rare cases, death, which could have been avoided.

Our clinical negligence solicitors in Essex and London have dealt with many claims relating to Erb’s palsy and are on hand to answer any of your queries.

Injuries During Delivery from Forceps or Ventouse

During birth, the baby may become distressed and, in some circumstances, may need assistance in being delivered. This is usually in the form of forceps or ventouse delivery and a trained medical professional should make this decision. If an error is made in the choice of method or in the procedure itself, then the baby can suffer temporary or permanent injury.  

Risks to you include tears and lacerations to the lower genital tract, incontinence, anaemia, bladder injuries and more.

Risks to the child include facial palsy and injuries, bruising and swelling of the head, skull fractures, seizures, brain damage and more.

You may be able to claim for medical negligence in these circumstances. Our expert team of solicitors in Essex and London have dealt with many claims relating to injuries as a result of the use of forceps or ventouse during delivery and are on hand to answer any of your queries.

Congenital Hip Dysplasia

This is a condition of the hip joint and is deemed genetic. Screening occurs from birth and at six months of age. If identified and treated early, the child is likely to have a good outcome but if the condition is missed and diagnosis occurs after the child starts to walk, then the outcome is not so good, leading to more complicated surgery and later life complications.

Our clinical negligence solicitors in Essex and London have dealt with many claims relating to congenital hip dysplasia and are on hand to answer any of your queries.

Neonatal Stroke

This is a medical condition that occurs when an infant’s blood supply is disturbed within the first 28 days of life. If an infant has a stroke within the first 7 days of life, it’s known as a perinatal stroke.

Both strokes are described as the brain experiencing a ‘hypoxic event’ - oxygen deprivation - leading to a blockage of the blood vessels.

One of the causes of neonatal stroke is hypoxia. The health of the mother can sometimes affect whether a child will have a neonatal stroke, especially if she has autoimmune disorders, coagulation disorders, prenatal cocaine exposure, infection, congenital heart disease, diabetes, and trauma. In these circumstances, a claim may not be possible.

Other factors include placental abruption, placental infection, and chorioamnionitis and, if these have not been identified and properly treated, a claim may be pursuable.

Our clinical negligence solicitors in Essex and London have dealt with many claims relating to neonatal strokes and are on hand to answer any of your queries.

If you or your child have suffered as a result of poor medical care during pregnancy or birth, it can be difficult to know where to turn. We have a team of experienced specialist medical negligence solicitors who understand and are able to provide the support and legal advice that you need. We have offices in Brentwood, Upminster, Hornchurch, Leigh-On-Sea and Canary Wharf and can offer home visits in certain circumstances.

After a face-to-face meeting and a review of your medical records, we will be able to advise whether we can help you with a medical negligence claim and take you through it step by step, alleviating as much of the pressure as possible. 

Book A Free Initial Medical Negligence Consultation

  

Find out more with a free Medical Negligence consultation

We offer a free initial meeting to discuss your birth and/or pregnancy injury claim, assess the merits of any action and try to give you an indication of the compensation you may be entitled to and the likely duration of your case.  We act for most of our clients on a no win no fee basis, or under a  legal expenses insurance policy .  We have disabled access to our Hornchurch, Brentwood and Upminster offices.  If more convenient, we are happy to visit our clients at home or in hospital in Essex, London or further afield.

Our Medical Negligence accreditations include:

APIL
The Law Society Member of Personal Injury
Legal 500 2017 - Leading Firm

© Pinney Talfourd Solicitors |  Disclaimer | Offices: Upminster  |  Brentwood  |  Hornchurch  |  Leigh-on-Sea  |  Canary Wharf