A guide to maternity errors with Wilson Browne Solicitors

Posted 6th September 2023

Navigating the complexities of medical negligence can be overwhelming. In this article, Wilson Browne solicitors delve deep into the realm of clinical negligence in maternity care.

From the heartbreak of stillbirths to the long-term consequences of birth injuries, they underscore the importance of understanding and addressing the tragic repercussions of subpar medical care. Offering guidance on potential legal recourse, this is a must-read for those seeking clarity and justice in such grievous situations.

It seems like hardly a month goes by without another news story where people have not received the medical care and attention they needed.

Whether it’s diagnosis and treatment for cancer, or sad situations involving care during pregnancy or childbirth, it never makes for good reading, but what do we mean when we talk about Medical Negligence (aka Clinical Negligence)?

Medical negligence can occur during any interaction a patient has with a medical professional when care falls below the standard expected causing damage as a result, which otherwise would have been avoidable. In terms of maternity errors this can include any of the following (and more):
Cerebral palsy;
Injuries to mother;
Failure to advise when a caesarean section may be required;
Failure to deliver the placenta;
Delays in delivery causing birth defects;
Perineal tears.

Birth injuries can occur through harm caused to you as a mother which has led to avoidable illnesses for your child or physical damage to either of you, as well as inadequate aftercare.

Negligent care can cause brain damage to the child during birth, which can lead to cerebral palsy, affecting the child’s balance, speech and movement. This happens through a variety of errors including failure to monitor foetal development or recognising when a baby is in distress during labour, which can lead to a lack of oxygen to the baby. When this occurs, the aftercare the child receives also plays a large part in minimising the long-term damage.

Injuries can also occur to a mother during childbirth, including failure to remove all the placenta. Sometimes the placenta does not remove itself naturally and manual evacuation is required, and if not completed in full, retained placenta can lead to a lot of pain and discomfort for a mother: in some cases where a C-Section was performed, this may be negligent.

Communication between healthcare providers and patients is crucial, as negligence can occur through failure to diagnose or appropriately treat complications during pregnancy and childbirth, which causes avoidable injuries. Midwives and doctors owe a duty of care to both mother and baby, but mistakes do happen, and in these circumstances, the consequences can be grave.

As a rule, you have three years from the date of the negligence in order to bring a claim, however, if you are bringing a claim on behalf of a child you have until their 21st birthday.

Injuries to a child at birth can result in the child needing life-long care which comes with a heavy financial burden, so it is important to seek proper advice which can often be done on a no win – no fee basis.

If you or a loved one has faced complications during childbirth due to medical negligence, it’s essential to know your rights contact us for a free consultation on 0800 088 6004 or visit https://www.wilsonbrowne.co.uk