Every mother knows her own body and knows if something does not feel right during pregnancy and birth.
Birth injury red flags may include not being listened to by medical staff when raising concerns, or not having these concerns taken seriously. Worrying signs of panic during the delivery of the baby or actions such as the baby being taken away for a period without adequate explanation are red flags that should not be ignored.
Birth injury red flags
When signs become clear as the baby develops that something may have gone wrong before, during, or just after their birth, mothers’ often question their own instincts when medical professionals advise that any permanent disabilities could not have been avoided.
Having a baby is one of the most natural things in the world, while many women worldwide give birth in less conventional out of hospital environments with no incident, things can go wrong and without adequate medical care, can lead to devastating lifelong consequences.
The careful monitoring of both mother and baby throughout a pregnancy and birth, even when this is believed to be low risk and progresses normally, is essential.
There are many unforeseen circumstances that will require timely medical intervention with significant delays or inadequately experienced staff meaning the difference between a perfectly healthy baby and a child who suffers an injury leading to catastrophic brain damage.
Birth injury as a result of untreated Group Strep B infection
Group Strep B is a symptomless infection that can be passed from mother to baby during birth for example. It is perfectly harmless if diagnosed and treated in a timely manner. When medical care falls below this standard however, the consequences are devastating as Hannah’s mother explains.
Failing to recognise that a baby is too large to be safely delivered naturally, or is in breech position meaning that a timely c-section is the only responsible option, can result in significant, irreversible injuries.
Junior doctors managing high risk or complex births that should have been escalated to more experienced staff, is another example of when things can go terribly wrong.
Most babies are delivered safe and well, and without incident, however, for the small number of families who leave a maternity unit with a severely injured baby, the trauma lasts a lifetime.
It is important for mothers in these circumstances to trust their instincts if they believe that better medical care could have avoided their child’s disabilities.
Serious incident review following a birth injury
It is essential for the medical professionals involved to not only really listen to a family’s concerns following a birth injury, but also to fulfil their duty to patient care by actioning a comprehensive review of what happened.
This helps to provide families with much needed answers to important questions – What happened to my baby? What went wrong? Why did it go wrong? Could my child’s disability have been prevented?
A thorough, and committed, internal investigation not only provides families with the answers that they need in order to best support their child, but also delivers key information to enable hospitals to identify if any changes in their practice is required.
Impact on families following a birth injury
A seriously injured baby, is a seriously injured family. The effect of a significant birth injury impacts every aspect of a child’s, and their entire family’s, lives, forever.
Coming to terms with the fact that a serious incident could have been avoided is traumatic alongside the daily challenge of meeting an injured child’s complex needs.
Compensation is available for families following avoidable birth injuries. There are time limits to starting a compensation claim, unless the child has lost mental capacity as a result of their injury, with more information explaining this on our FAQs page.
The burden is on the family to prove that the injuries could have been avoided. For many families, approaching the medical professionals involved sadly provides no answers or justice and they are forced down the legal route to access the compensation desperately needed for their child.
Diane Rostron and her team of birth injury experts offer more than 25 years’ experience in this complex area of law. We understand what leads to a preventable birth injury and work with leading independent medical experts and barristers who help us win these claims, often when other law firms have failed to secure a positive outcome.
Our experts care about families impacted by an avoidable birth injury
We care about getting to the heart of what went wrong and negotiate hard to reach £multi-million settlements to give injured children the lifelong support and care that they need.
When others have failed to hear, we are here to listen, and to help. We are a team of parents, medical professionals, and specialist legal experts committed to fighting for families in these traumatic circumstances.
For a free initial consultation, contact our empathetic team.