Over the past 28 years our Medical Negligence Solicitors have successfully represented hundreds of patients and their families in birth injury cases.
Our Solicitors who are experienced in the area of Birth Injuries deal with these issues regularly and successfully achieve compensation for the injured child. We will focus entirely on your needs by providing vigorous expert representation to ensure that you receive maximum damages for your birth injury claim. Our award winning solicitors are able to deal with a wide range of birth injuries.
What is a birth injury?
Birth injuries in infants can be divided into hypoxic injuries and non-hypoxic injuries. Hypoxic injuries involve the foetus or infant not having enough oxygen. Non-hypoxic injuries involve injuries unrelated to oxygen.
A foetus (an unborn child) can have several things happen that can lead to hypoxia. There can be serious bleeding from the placenta partially detaching in a condition called placental abruption. The lack of blood going to the foetus and sudden loss of blood pressure in the umbilical cord can result in poor oxygenation of the foetus. The foetal brain suffers the most from this condition and things like brain damage, low intellect, and cerebral palsy can happen.
Other causes of hypoxia in a foetus include having a knot in the umbilical cord that tightens as the baby is descending the birth canal or low fluid volume in the uterus that causes the umbilical cord to be compressed by the foetus lying on it.
As a result of the hypoxia, the foetal heart rate will begin to drop. Heart rates less than 90 bpm should indicate to the doctor that something is wrong. Should the heart rate be unable to increase by doing things like changing the maternal position, the doctor needs to decide whether or not to proceed with an imminent delivery or to take the mother to the operating room for an emergency caesarean section. The longer the foetus goes with having a low heart beat/hypoxia, the greater the risk of permanent brain damage.
If the infant needs some kind of resuscitation, this is a sign that the hypoxia has been significant. Resuscitation can involve only breathing for the baby for a time with 100 percent oxygen to allow their brain and heart to recover. It can also be more invasive with the need for externally pumping the heart and breathing for the baby with a tube in the baby’s lungs. This is called cardiopulmonary resuscitation or CPR. In very serious cases, medications like epinephrine are given to increase the heart beat or to start the heart beating if the heart has stopped.
In the resuscitation process, the infant may recover and appear normal. Unfortunately, months or years later there can be cerebral palsy or cognitive delay that just doesn’t show up when the infant is a new born.
Non-hypoxic injuries include injuries to the foetal head and scull because of misuse of forceps. Forceps deliveries happen when the foetus does not fit well through the birth canal and something needs to be done to ease the foetal head out of the canal. A forceps device is a metal device that is inserted into the birth canal on either side of the foetal head. Then the foetus is gently pulled out of the birth canal when the mother is pushing. Incorrectly placed, the forceps can fracture the infant’s skull or result in scratches or bruises on the foetal head.
Another injury is called Erb’s palsy. It is a paralysis of the arm of a baby and growing child as a result of pulling too hard on the foetal head when the shoulders get stuck in the birth canal. The head is pulled laterally, stretching and breaking nerve fibres in the brachial plexus in the shoulder area of the infant. Physical therapy can help in many cases but some infants need surgery to reconnect nerves and some infants just do not recover the function of their hand or arm.
If you or a loved one suffered personal injury caused by a birth injury, please contact us to speak with one of our specialist solicitors who can evaluate your case to determine your legal rights and options.
We offer initial consultations to find out whether you have a case and will explain how to go about claiming and the process involved. We will give you clear unequivocal advice about your chances of success and the anticipated value of your claim. If after talking to us you decide not to take your birth injury compensation claim further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged anything at all.
For more information or to arrange a meeting phone 1800 303 556 or email [email protected]
*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. This statement is made in compliance with RE.8 of SI 518 of 2002.
“I would sincerely recommend Lavelle solicitors ( especially Avril Scally ) for the professional and caring way they handled my daughter’s case from the first phone call to the extremely successful settlement at the end, which was much more than expected.
This will help my daughter no end .I cannot recommend them enough. I had rang a few solicitors before contacting Lavelle and they had even given me false information . Lavelle’s knew exactly what to do and were very efficient. They have years of experience and everybody that they put us in contact with were only full of praise for them.
I am Delighted we chose Lavelle solicitors couldn’t have made a better choice”.