June 25, 2018
Pregnancy and child birth should be a very special and exciting time in any woman’s life. With over 696,000 births being recorded in 2016 in England and Wales, any woman would expect their local NHS to be well trained, equipped and prepared for the pregnancy and delivery of their baby.
Rising statistics can only suggest otherwise.
Obstetric or birth injury claims relate to injuries suffered by mother, baby or both during pregnancy or child birth.
Cases involving injury to the baby are often linked with failure to correctly monitor the baby and its heart rate to detect risks of oxygen starvation. Failures can have catastrophic outcomes which could include;
- Cerebral Palsy
- Erb’s Palsy
- Dislocation of baby’s hips
- Still births
Cases involving injury to the mother are often caused by failing to monitor the pregnancy correctly or labour when it begins. These failures can have devastating and life long consequences which could include;
- Vaginal tears/lacerations
- Incorrect suturing following an episiotomy or a caesarean section
- Anaesthesia complications
276,767 mistakes were reported by maternity care services in England between April 2015 and March 2017;
– 63,380 of which resulted in harm to mother or baby
– 288 resulted in a death
– Only 132 Trusts reported their mistakes
It is estimated that 1,000 cases a year involve babies dying unexpectedly or are left with severe brain injuries.
NHS England is short of around 3,000 midwives.
In 2016, £1.9billion of claims were made which was a 91% rise since 2004-2005.
What is being done about it?
In 2015, Mr Hunt revealed new plans to help the NHS learn from their mistakes and hopefully half the overall rate of stillbirths, deaths and brain injuries by 2030. The plan was amended in 2017 with a target of numbers being halved by 2030.
Can we help you
If you’ve been affected by any of the issues above, we may be able to help you.
Clinical Negligence claims are subject to a 3 year limitation period which begins when the negligence occurs or from the earliest date you became aware of any potential negligence. For children, the limitation period does not begin until the child reaches 18 years of age. Any claim brought after the limitation date would be statute barred.
Please contact our Personal Injury/Clinical Negligence team on 0800 158 4147 for a free 30 minute consultation with our Personal Injury team.
Article prepared by Sophie Hinks, Paralegal