Childbirth Injuries

In the vast majority of cases childbirth is a natural physiological event that does not pose a risk to the health of a mother or baby. However, in recent years assisted births have become more common either by way of caesarean section, forceps delivery or other less common medical interventions.  In a significant number of cases the outcomes of such births are not positive and occasionally result in injuries to the baby or the mother.

When birth becomes a medical or surgical event the risk of injury increases.  For example, the outcomes for caesarean sections are not as favourable as those for a natural birth.

If you believe that the treatment you received during childbirth resulted in an avoidable negative outcome you may have cause to bring a case for childbirth injury.

What is a Childbirth Injury?

A childbirth injury can occur to the mother or to the baby during the course of a birth. For the mother, childbirth injuries may result in:

  • Perineal tears, which may have long term consequences for the mother’s health,
  • Shock, or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder,
  • Haemorrhage,
  • Fatality

For the baby, childbirth injuries may include:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Broken bones
  • Bruising
  • Stillbirth

These lists are far from exhaustive, and you should consult a solicitor as soon as possible if you have experienced any type of injury that you believe may have been caused by medical negligence in the birth of your child.  Here at S.T. O’Sullivan & Co Solicitors, we specialize in this type of case and will be pleased to assist you.

How Can I Proceed With My Case?

You should be aware that in order to bring a case you must prove that the injuries you have suffered would not have occurred if the treatment you received had not been substandard, as defined by law.

In order to prove medical negligence it is essential that you have all relevant medical records and documentation relating to your case.  Such records will enable your own medical expert to demonstrate the negligent manner in which you were treated.

How Are Childbirth Injury Cases Handled?

A childbirth injury case will be examined in terms of the outcome for the mother or child in question. For example, with a condition such as Cerebral Palsy, if it is determined that this was caused by asphyxiation during childbirth, the child will present with non-progressive brain damage and the extent of this damage will establish the degree to which the child’s life will be affected.

A childbirth injury will be assessed on the basis of the cost of caring for the mother or child.  Typically, these costs include day to day care, home adaptations and a range of different types of supports from various experts.

If you believe that treatment you have received during childbirth was negligent, you should consult a specialist medical negligence solicitor* to discuss your case.

Our principal Seamus O’Sullivan initially deals with all Medical Negligence cases; providing you with the experience, expert advice and support you need at a difficult time.

S.T. O’Sullivan & Co. Solicitors, 6, Bindon Street, Ennis, Co.Clare.

*In contentious business, a solicitor may not calculate fees or other charges as a percentage or a proportion of any award or settlement.


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