Babies can be victims of medical negligence even before they are born. Equally, failures in care in the early neonatal period can have devastating effects on infants. This can result in them suffering brain damage, including cerebral palsy and learning disabilities.
Brain injury around the time of birth can happen without there being any fault of health professionals, however, sometimes it is due to medical negligence. Establishing the exact cause of a child’s brain injury and whether it relates to poor care is an extremely complex process involving detailed assessment of medical records, expert analysis of MRI scans and in-depth understanding of the child’s specific disabilities.
We have vast experience of dealing with these complex cases and have achieved settlements of up to £24 million to ensure that children who have suffered a negligent brain injury receive the appropriate care, therapies, accommodation and equipment they will need for the rest of their life.
In some cases, mismanagement of pregnancy or labour can tragically result in a baby’s death. Our lawyers have assisted clients in many birth injury claims including the following:
- Hypoxic brain damage following mismanagement of labour due to misinterpretation of the fatal heart rate trace
- Brain damage from a stroke as a result of the mismanagement of labour due to the overuse of syntocinon
- Brain damage due to hypoglycaemia caused by the mismanagement of blood glucose levels in the early neonatal period
- Brain damage due to Group B Streptococcus and the mismanagement of respiratory problems in the neonatal period
- Stillbirth due to medication error
- Stillbirth due to a missed uterine rupture
One of our birth injury specialists, Michelle Armstrong, is dual qualified as a midwife and solicitor, having previously worked as a midwife in the region. She is therefore well placed to use her clinical knowledge in ensuring that all our birth injury claims are thoroughly investigated.
Birth injury claims where the child has suffered a significant brain injury are the only area of clinical negligence where legal aid is available. Burnetts has a contract with the Legal Aid Agency and are one of the few firms in the region who are able to offer legal aid funding for birth injury claims.
Following settlement of a birth injury claim, we are able to hand the management of child’s damages to our specialist Court of Protection team.