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Unfortunately, sometimes things don't always happen as planned during childbirth, and some babies do suffer a brain injury during their delivery. This can have a devastating and life-changing impact on the lives of the whole family, as brain injuries are very complex, and some can have long-term consequences for the child and their development. Not every brain injury during birth is a result of clinical negligence, but sadly sometimes the medical professionals trusted with caring for mother and baby during the delivery can be negligent, and brain injuries can occur because of this.
If this has happened in your family, you might be eligible to claim compensation for the brain injury at birth that your child sustained. A successful claim can result in you being awarded a sum of money to help pay for the essential care of your child and to improve their quality of life, both now and in the future.
There are many different types of brain injury and the long-term impact on the child will depend on the severity of the injury, the treatment that the baby receives and the region of the brain that is affected. Brain injuries evolve over time, so these are not the only factors that can affect what type of consequences there are to the injury. The most common types of brain injury sustained at birth include:
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a type of brain injury that is caused by the baby being deprived of oxygen during the birth and/or the blood flow to the brain is limited. A hypoxic brain injury at birth can result in the child having cerebral palsy and in severe cases, can even be fatal. If appropriate treatment is given shortly after birth, the progression of the brain injury can often be halted to some degree, which can help to minimise or prevent permanent damage. If your baby isn't provided with the right treatment at the right time, and as a result their injury is more severe, this may be medical negligence and you might be able to seek compensation.
Anoxia refers to a lack of oxygen. When a baby is being delivered, sometimes their oxygen might be compromised, and if the child has stopped breathing for several minutes, this is likely to mean they are anoxic. As with hypoxic brain injuries, brain damage from anoxia can often be treated immediately after birth and, in many cases, this can limit the severity of the injury. Failure of the medical staff to treat appropriately might be clinical negligence if the child goes on to develop difficulties that could have potentially been avoided if the care they received wasn't negligent.
Some brain injuries won't necessarily result in any physical symptoms immediately after birth, as some types of brain damage or developmental issues can take some time to manifest. However, a severe traumatic brain injury at birth might mean that the baby displays one or more of these symptoms as a newborn:
If you believe that your child suffered birth injury brain damage because of medical negligence, you might be able to claim compensation for what has happened to help provide the care that your child needs and help the whole family to move forward.
The first step when considering whether to make a medical negligence claim for your baby's brain injury is to speak to expert solicitors with experience in this specific type of compensation claim. Clinical negligence is a complex area of law, and when taking into account the many complexities of baby brain injuries too, it's important that your legal support has a track record in this type of case.
If you are able to make a claim, Forbes Solicitors can offer all of the specialist advice and assistance required to give your claim the best chances of a positive outcome. Find out more about the birth injury claim process here.
Get in touch with our expert team to find out if you have a claim and to discuss the best next steps for your whole family.