Erb's palsy claims solicitors
If you or your child suffer from Erb's palsy you may find that you can claim compensation against the responsible individual. The Stephensons clinical negligence team have a history of achievement in the field and are recognised by national authorities as a leading centre of excellence.
Erb's palsy is a condition caused by traumatic damage to the nerves which run from the spine through the shoulder and down the arm. The results can vary from a loss of sensation in the arm or hand to total paralysis of all the muscles of the arm below the shoulder. Over 5,000 children a year are born with the condition.
Erb's palsy is caused when a nerve called the ‘brachial plexus’, which is found in the armpit region, is damaged by some sort of trauma. Although this can occur through a fall or sudden jarring injury it is most commonly caused during childbirth. Excessive pulling or sudden tugs could cause the child’s shoulder to twist awkwardly. This in turn could cause a tear in the nerve, or even a complete separation from the spine.
Treatment for Erb's palsy can often improve the condition since the growth rate of newborns means that the nerve can repair itself with some encouragement. Physical therapy will generally be conducted and surgery may be considered if the damage is serious. Parents will most likely have to conduct physical exercises with their child two or three times a day. However, it is likely that any symptoms which remain by the age of two will be permanent.
Ensuring safe childbirth can be challenging, but the responsible medical professional will have received sufficient training to ensure that they can deliver the baby without unnecessary injuries. This skill means that the medical professional will be held to a higher standard of care than the average person, and they must therefore avoid mistakes such as:
- Failure to properly compensate for the weight of the baby
- Failure to carry out a caesarean section, or failure to properly inform the mother of the risks if she insists upon a vaginal delivery
- Use of excessive or improper force during delivery
Failing to meet the high standards which are expected of medical professionals may mean that the responsible professional has failed in their duties towards their patient. As a result they may be liable to pay compensation for the resulting medical condition.
To enquire about an Erb's palsy claim or for free initial no obligation advice call 0203 817 9430 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.
Maternal injuries during pregnancy
During pregnancy, there are a number of conditions that need to be considered to ensure that both mother and baby are safe. It is therefore the duty of treating obstetricians and the midwives to look after the health of the mother and their unborn child.
Steps should be put in place to check for any maternal problems that could arise during pregnancy and action taken to rectify them.
If you have suffered from any maternal injuries during pregnancy and do not feel you were treated appropriately you may be entitled to compensation.
At Stephensons we have had a lot of success in this area and have helped many families in dealing with these types of cases across the UK. At Stephensons a legal advisor can provide free initial no obligation advice and a highly skilled and an experienced clinical negligence solicitor is ready and waiting to take your case.
Below are some examples of maternal injuries that can occur:
Gestational diabetes - It is first diagnosed during pregnancy and is classed as a temporary form of diabetes. It means that a woman’s body finds it difficult to produce enough insulin and the level of glucose in the blood rises. Gestational diabetes can be easily diagnosed by a simple screening test.
It is important to be tested for gestational diabetes as failure to diagnose this condition can lead to an increased chance in both mother and baby developing type 2 diabetes, complications during labour, birth defects, miscarriage or a still birth.
Pre-eclampsia - This condition occurs when the placenta is not working correctly and as such women suffer from high blood pressure and protein in their urine. Other signs and symptoms can include headaches and the swelling of parts of the body. Therefore, during pregnancy it is important to monitor your blood pressure and this can be done by the GP or at antenatal appointments.
Women diagnosed with pre-eclampsia should be monitored closely and it may become necessary for total bed-rest, hospitalisation or early delivery. Should pre-eclampsia not be resolved there is a risk that both mother and baby can be harmed by the mother developing fits, known as eclampsia, which can be fatal.
Trauma - During the first part of pregnancy should a minor trauma occur to the mother, the baby will often be protected by the uterus within the pelvis. However, trauma occurring later on in pregnancy can have a different outcome where even a moderately minor trauma can have considerable adverse effects on the baby.
There is the possibility that trauma can cause direct injury to the baby, placental abruption, uterine rupture, premature rupture of the membranes or premature birth. As such, any trauma should be assessed by medical professionals and they can evaluate whether any harm has been caused.
Pregnancy is supposed to be an exciting time for families but this could be destroyed if maternal injuries during pregnancy are not taken seriously and treated appropriately. You and your baby could be left with serious ongoing complications.
To enquire about a maternal injuries claim or for free initial no obligation advice call 0203 817 9430 or complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly.
Perineal tears - compensation claims
If you have suffered a perineal tear during birth and do not feel you were treated appropriately you may be entitled to compensation. At Stephensons a legal adviser can provide free initial no obligation advice and a highly skilled and experienced medical negligence solicitor is ready and waiting to take your case.
The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has estimated that 85 per cent of women who give birth vaginally will suffer some degree of trauma to the perineum (the area between the vagina and anus).
The extent of this trauma can often not be predicted or prevented but once it occurs it is important that correct procedures are followed to ensure that no long-term harm is caused.
Perineal tears are classified into four categories:
- First degree tears involve the tissue of the vagina and the perineum, but no muscles are torn. These tears are often small and can heal naturally.
- Second degree tears involve the tissue of the vagina and the perineum and the perineal muscles. These tears will often need to be repaired with stitches, usually done by the midwife, but should heal fully over time.
- Third degree tears are more serious and involve the tissue of the vagina and the perineum and the perineal muscle extending to the anus.
- Fourth degree tears are the same as third degree tears, but extend through the anal canal and the tissue underneath it.
Third and fourth degree injuries more commonly give rise to clinical negligence claims, either because they were not diagnosed at the time of the birth and/or they were not repaired appropriately.
The identification of a tear is done by clinical examination. A midwife should be able to identify the degree of tear that has been suffered, but if they are in any doubt, medical assistance (i.e. an obstetrician) should be obtained.
The repair of third and fourth degree tears should then be carried out by an appropriately trained obstetrician. The RCOG recommend that formal training in anal sphincter repair techniques is an essential component of obstetric training.
The repair should be performed in theatre under local or general anaesthetic.
Post-operative care and follow-up treatment are also important after third and fourth degree tears. Any continuing problems should be identified quickly and further investigations or treatment performed.
The first few months of a baby’s life are very precious and could be ruined if tears are not diagnosed and/or treated appropriately. You could be left in pain and with serious ongoing complications.
To enquire about a claim of your own, call us on 0203 817 9430 for free initial no obligation advice, alternatively complete our online enquiry form and a member of the team will contact you directly. You could be entitled to compensation and our highly skilled medical negligence solicitors are ready to act on your behalf.