Preventable birth injuries thankfully rarely occur with most babies delivered safe and well. For the small minority who are affected by an avoidable incident however, the physical and psychological effects are lifelong and impact every area of a family’s life.
Taking place before, during or just after birth, a significant birth injury can lead to devastating disabilities impacting the baby both mentally and physically. These incidents are avoidable if the appropriate level of medical care is provided to both mother and baby.
It is heartbreaking when we talk to clients who face completely altered hopes and dreams for their family and who have to live with an uncertain future following a serious birth injury. Often, the full implications of an injury suffered before, during or just after birth, may not be known until a child is aged four or five.
The stress can easily be all encompassing as affected families start to consider what their new future may look like and how they will cope on a practical, financial and emotional level. We have represented families where grandparents who witnessed the traumatic birth of their grandchild have suffered with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which included anxiety and flashbacks.
The effects are far reaching and last a lifetime. The families who have sadly experienced a birth injury need to consider their child’s lifelong care needs including therapies, specialist equipment, home adaptations, educational needs and for some, the financial burden of their child potentially never being able work due to their disabilities.
Representing families who have suffered a significant birth injury due to medical negligence for more than 20 years, we see the same recurring failings which include medical staff not monitoring the baby’s heart rate adequately or failing to recognise that the baby is in distress.
The mother may have had a perfectly healthy pregnancy, but something will change during labour and timely emergency medical intervention such as a caesarean section may be needed.
Delays in diagnosis and treatment of just a few minutes can mean the difference between a healthy baby being delivered and one that is devastatingly, and permanently, injured. The profound effect on the whole family cannot be underestimated as they suffer the consequences for the rest of their lives.
If you believe that your family has suffered a preventable birth injury, contact our friendly team of specialists for a free confidential consultation on 01253 766 559.