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What is a Birth Injury?


Posted in [Medical Negligence] on Monday, September 12th, 2022

Every parent’s worst fear is their child being harmed in some way.

Injuries suffered at birth are traumatic, and can, in some circumstances, be life-altering for the parents and their new child.

 

What is a Birth Injury?

 A Birth Injury (sometimes referred to as Birth Trauma or Neonatal Trauma) can be experienced by the mother or baby before, during or immediately after the birthing process.

The injuries may be to the child (e.g. Cerebral Palsy) or to the mother (e.g. a 4th Degree Tear).

The impact of experiencing or witnessing a traumatic birth can have a devastating mental impact. While the initial injury may be physical, the injury itself, and the consequences of the injury, can lead to psychological injuries.

Fathers of the baby and husbands, wives and partners of the mother may also suffer psychological injuries arising from the Birth Injury, and its consequences.

 

Types of Birth Injury

Birth injuries vary in extremity and type. Though Birth Injury types vary, there are some that are more common than others, such as:

 

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a lifelong condition that can be, but is not always, caused by an injury at birth. It is believed that an inadequate supply of oxygen to the child’s brain during birth can lead to CP.

The symptoms and severity of Cerebral Palsy can vary from patient to patient. Most commonly, symptoms include muscle weakness and developmental delays.

 

Brachial Plexus

The most common nerve group injured at birth is the Brachial Plexus which is responsible for arm movement and feeling.

During the birthing process, this group of nerves can be damaged if the baby is pulled too hard. Severe damage can lead to paralysis. In some cases, corrective surgery is required.

Erb’s Palsy is a form of damage to the Brachial Plexus that specifically relates to the arm and shoulder.

 

Facial Injuries

During labour, the delivery team may decide to intervene with forceps to assist with the birth. On occasion, the use of forceps can lead to facial injuries. This might result in light bruising, however, the use of forceps can also cause nerve damage. In turn, this nerve damage can lead to facial paralysis which may or may not require surgical correction.

 

Fatal Injuries

Fatal Injuries do, unfortunately, sometimes occur during the birthing process. In legal terms, this too is classed as a birth injury for which a claim could be made. Stillbirths, depending on the cause, may also be classed as Birth Injuries. Maternal Death also sadly, but rarely, occurs.

For more information about Birth Injury Claims and advice see our Birth Injury Claims guide.

 

At Cantillons Solicitors our team have years of experience with Birth Injury Compensation Claims. If you are looking for a Birth or Medical Negligence Solicitor Ireland, please contact Cantillons Solicitors using the contact form below. Alternatively, call us on 021 4275673 or email us at info@cantillons.com for more information. Our offices are located at 39 South Mall, Cork. We do, however, represent clients from all over Ireland. Should you be unable to attend our offices, we are more than happy to travel to you, or conduct the meeting on Zoom.

 

* In contentious business, a Solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or proportion of any award or settlement. Many Personal Injury Solicitors portray themselves as “no win no fee Solicitors Cork”. This term can be misleading and it is essential that you discuss fees with the Personal Injury Solicitor you ultimately choose. At Cantillons Solicitors, we are entirely transparent.

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