Last week, a leaked report highlighted there had been numerous instances of failures in care during pregnancy and labour which led to avoidable deaths or injuries to mothers and babies at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and at the Princess Royal Hospital in Telford.
Donna Ockenden, a senior independent midwife, and her team are now looking into over 600 instances of where babies or their mothers died or were injured, with a further 200 families having contacted the inquiry recently due to the leaked report.
Sadly, as a team with a focus on birth injuries claims, we are routinely contacted by families with similar experiences.
What is a birth injury?
The extent of the failings in care identified at Shropshire and Telford and the number of families affected is astonishing. Sadly however, hundreds more babies a year suffer birth injuries due to failings in care in other NHS Trusts across the country. Our team specialises in pursuing birth injury claims, and getting answers and financial support for families affected.
Birth injuries can happen in many ways, but some of the most common are:
- Delay in delivery – the management of labour must be closely monitored. If it is not, midwives and doctors may miss key signs which could mean a baby’s birth is delayed and the baby can suffer injuries, commonly due to a lack of oxygen
- Antenatal problems – irreversible damage can be done to a baby if warning signs are missed during pregnancy. These signs could be unusual bleeding, abnormal pains or reduced fetal movements. There are some circumstances where an early or planned delivery is necessary to avoid damage
- Infection – either undiagnosed or poorly treated maternal infection causing problems for the baby, or delay in diagnosis or treating a baby with infection after delivery, both of which can lead to brain injury and lasting problems
- Hypoxia – this is where a baby has suffered from a lack of oxygen during pregnancy or labour. This can happen in a number of ways, such as the umbilical cord being compressed, a placental abruption, cord prolapse or placenta dysfunction. Often people describe babies who have been born with hypoxia as “floppy” or “grey/blue” and who need resuscitation at birth. It’s important that delivery occurs promptly when there are signs that the baby is in distress
- Neonatal care problems – after a baby is born care must be provided properly or complications can arise, particularly for those babies born prematurely or who have suffered trauma at birth. Poor care during the neonatal period especially in a newborn already vulnerable get lead to a permanent injury for the baby.
Have I been affected?
At CL Medilaw we focus on using our specialist knowledge and legal expertise of birth injury and cerebral palsy claims to explore what went wrong and prove the outcome should have been different. With that, we have helped many families obtain financial compensation which has changed their lives for the better – even where families have investigated a claim before which has been unsuccessful.
If you think that you or your child were not given a good enough standard of care during pregnancy or birth, either at the Shropshire and Telford Hospitals, or at any other hospital across the country, contact us for a free expert review of your case.