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Birth Injury Guide – when to seek Legal Representation

The birth of a new baby should be a moment that is filled with joy, happiness and excitement for the future. But when the concerns of the mother aren’t listened to and negligence in the delivery room occurs, that’s when things can take a devastating turn. A birth injury, one either inflicted on the mother or the baby is devastating for everyone involved. It can have life changing consequences, and when this event was the fault of the medical team it’s even more distressing. Here we’ll look at some of the most common birth injuries and when to seek legal representation. 


Brain injuries

There are a wide range of birth injuries. Ranging from varying types of cerebral palsy to oxygen deprivation and trauma. Here are some of the most common brain injuries in a birth injury case.

  • A brain injury caused by an undiagnosed infection that has spread to the brain. 
  • Asphyxia – brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen. Often caused by the umbilical cord becoming tangled around the baby’s neck. 
  • Bleeding on the brain
  • A brain injury caused by trauma – possibly caused by improper use of medical equipment such as forceps/ventouse. 

You baby could make a full recovery from an injury such as these or they could have a life long disability. This is determined by the severity of the injury and the area of the brain affected. 

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy is an issue that effects the motor skills and muscle movement. And is usually happens before or during your baby’s birth. Your doctor has a duty of care towards you and your baby, which means keeping you both safe and delivering your baby safely is their number one priority. If your baby suffers one of the injuries below that results in cerebral palsy, then they could be negligent and legally accountable. 

  • A catastrophic bleed on the brain
  • Lack of oxygen
  • Fever and undiagnosed infection 
  • Negligence from the medical team
  • Heart attack/stroke

Erb’s Palsy

Sometimes a mother may need help to have her baby, especially if your baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind your pubic bone – shoulder dystocia. This is when your medical team will intervene and help your baby to be born. Often this will go ahead without issue, however if your baby’s neck is stretched too far then damage can be caused to their nerves resulting in Erb’s Palsy. Erb’s Palsy is a condition where your child’s arm, hand or shoulder is paralysed. Often they will recover, however they will need subsequent medical treatment and even physiotherapy. The common causes of Erb’s Palsy are below:

  • Excessive pulling of the baby’s neck during delivery
  • Pulling on the baby’s feet (breech position)

When to seek legal representation

Considering a legal case is a big step, which is why if you and your baby have suffered due to a negligent medical team you should speak with a lawyer first. If your case is successful then you will be able to secure financial security for your child and their ongoing medical care. It will also highlight the negligence of the team involved and hopefully stop this from happening again.