There are often red flags when a serious birth injury has occurred. It is important for parents to be aware of how birth injury symptoms may present as sadly, it is quite common that preventable incidents are often denied.
Parents who notice that there may be something seriously amiss with their child’s development may be told that it was ‘one of those things’. That nothing could have been done differently and any injuries could not have been avoided.
It is essential to trust instincts and to notice vital symptoms that this may not be the case and that significant injuries could have been avoided.
Suspecting clinical negligence could have caused permanent harm
Medical professionals provide good patient care in most cases however, there are well reported issues in hospitals delivering maternity care across England and Wales.
Following a traumatic birth, a child’s birth injury is often evident with noticeable birth injury symptoms such as their body being unusually floppy, grunting noises, or an abnormal colour to their skin.
Birth injury symptoms should be explained
Careful monitoring of both mother and baby should take place as the norm. This ensures that any changes or warning signs can be picked up and acted on to prevent a birth injury.
A pregnancy can progress as normal with nothing untoward happening however, the safety of both mother and baby should continue to be carefully managed before, during and just after the baby’s delivery.
How does a brain injury happen during childbirth?
There are a number of scenarios that can occur before or during a child’s birth that can cause an irreversible brain injury.
This can include missed signs that the baby is in distress, delayed emergency medical intervention, or inappropriate medical care being delivered.
This may only last a short few minutes but can lead to lifelong catastrophic outcomes such as cerebral palsy.
Signs and symptoms of a permanent brain injury
Birth injury symptoms such as a brain injury causing permanent brain damage can be obvious to families who suspect that their baby suffered serious harm before, during or just after they were born.
The signs and symptoms of a serious birth injury will remain apparent as they develop and miss key milestones. They may not behave as would be expected for their age.
The long term impact of brain damage at birth
An injury involving catastrophic brain damage means irreversible harm and wide ranging complex needs.
When brain damage has led to cerebral palsy, this will include lifelong care involving a range of frequent therapies. In most cases, a child with cerebral palsy will require 24 hour care for the rest of their lives.
Their future needs will include having access to expensive specialist equipment to aid day to day living including showering and moving around.
Meeting the needs of a child with brain damage
A few minutes of delayed, or inappropriate action as a result of medical negligence will mean the course of an entire family’s future is permanently altered.
A child that has suffered birth injuries causing brain damage that leads to cerebral palsy will have a range of ongoing complex needs.
Meeting their needs, which will involve helping with day to day care including washing, getting dressed and feeding, and also juggling attending regular medical appointments and therapies, is demanding and understandably overwhelming at times.
The future for a child after brain damage
Birth injuries that lead to catastrophic brain damage in the critical moments before, during or just after birth mean a permanently altered life for the injured child and their family.
Parents will naturally grieve for the loss of the healthy child they should have had and grapple with the guilt of not being able to parent their other children in the way they would have wished.
Birth injuries compensation – what to expect
A child with catastrophic brain damage leading to cerebral palsy will undoubtedly have complex lifelong care needs.
This may include 24 hour care, a range of regular therapies, and expensive equipment to aid every day living such as a specialist wheelchair.
A birth injury case will consider and calculate a child’s holistic needs from birth, and for the rest of their life. This provides parents with peace of mind that their child will receive the best possible care.
They can be provided with respite to allow them to be parents and not just carers, and they will have the reassurance that their child will be cared for after they are no longer able to do so.
A good solicitor will secure a substantial interim payment while legal proceedings are ongoing before a final settlement is reached.
Proving that birth injuries could have been avoided
To access birth injuries compensation families must prove that their child’s extensive injuries could have been prevented with better medical care.
Birth injuries such as cerebral palsy as a result of medical negligence are complex and difficult to prove without the right specialists on your side.
Self-care for families affected by a serious birth injury
Caring for a child with complex disabilities such as cerebral palsy can be relentless and physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting and overwhelming.
It is critical for families with a child with disabilities as a result of a birth injury to make time for self-care – this can be impossible without access to birth injury compensation to provide for respite carers.
Representation from the right birth injury law firm
Instructing a solicitor may feel like a minefield. It is critical that a birth injury specialist is instructed to improve the chance of success and to access much needed compensation as soon as possible for your child.
A personal injury or general medical negligence law firm may not have the expertise, nor the key relationships with the right independent medical experts, to succeed.
Families are advised to research the best experts in this field before instructing a law firm to avoid a lengthy process that ultimately fails to deliver a positive outcome.
Caring for a child with brain damage during the legal process
The legal process for a child living with brain damage leading to lifelong disabilities such as cerebral palsy will take a number of years to conclude.
This is due to a number of reasons including waiting times for leading independent medical specialists who play a critical role in the process.
Interim payments can be sought in the meantime to help meet the needs of a child with severe brain damage.
This will help cover the cost of care, therapies and specialist equipment providing the best quality of life possible.
Connecting with other families affected by birth injury
It helps when pursuing a birth injury case and beyond, to connect with other families who have experienced medical negligence.
Hearing the experience of other parents who have been in this position can alleviate feelings of overwhelm and trying to cope alone.
Taking the first step to making a birth injuries compensation claim
The first step to securing the compensation that your child may be entitled to is to contact a specialist solicitor with extensive experience in birth injury cases.
They will ask for brief details of what happened and when and will advise on any limitations to starting a claim and whether they believe there may be a case.
Medical records will be requested if they believe there is sufficient evidence at this stage that better medical care may have prevented the serious harm suffered.
Contact leading birth injuries expert Diane Rostron
It may be difficult to place trust in professionals when your child has been let down by the medical staff you expected to keep them safe and well.
The team at Diane Rostron have extensive experience of working with families in these difficult circumstances.
They understand that there will naturally be a range of feelings from rage to desperation.
Offering in excess of 25 years’ experience in this complex field, the team work with leading independent medical experts and barristers.
Diane Rostron and her team have a strong track record of securing the right outcome for families giving them reassurance that their child’s needs can be met for the rest of their life.