A Comprehensive Guide – Everything You Need to Know About Birth Injury Claims

All any expectant mother wants is to have a safe delivery with no complications. In some cases, however, difficulties during childbirth do arise and sadly what should be a joyful time becomes a traumatic experience for the mother and her newborn. 

Health professionals have a duty of care to their patients, and delivering this care to the highest standards is imperative. 

What is a birth injury?

A birth injury is a physical injury experienced by either the mother or the baby during pregnancy, labour, delivery or after delivery. This can be a result of substandard medical care, where doctors, midwives and other health care professionals are negligent during any of these stages. 

You may have a case to make where a birth injury could have been prevented in certain circumstances, some of which would include:

  • A problem during pregnancy was not treated 
  • A failure to monitor the baby’s heart rate 
  • A pregnant mother’s concerns over the health of her baby are ignored by medical experts 
  • Medical professionals fail to spot signs of distress in the baby before delivery
  • A delay in taking urgent action during a difficult delivery 
  • A delay in seeking medical assistance from senior doctors during a complicated delivery 

Injury to the baby

A Birth Injury can include many things from bruising to a broken bone to infant brain damage.  Oxygen deprivation is the leading cause of infant brain damage during pregnancy and childbirth. There are two forms of oxygen deprivation: hypoxia and anoxia. 

Hypoxia happens when the oxygen supply to the infant is severely restricted while anoxia happens when the oxygen supply to the baby is completely cut off. 

Injury to the mother 

Birth injuries to the mother range from vaginal tearing to damage to the pelvic floor.   While these injuries are physical, many mothers can experience emotional or psychological distress before during or after the birth.

What is the timeframe to make a birth injury claim?

In this country, medical negligence claims (inclusive of birth injury claims) action must be taken within two years of the event which caused the injury. 

The time limit is different however when it comes to the baby. A mother injured at birth will have to make a claim within that two-year timeframe whereas a baby injured at birth can wait until they turn 18 and then have 2 years from their 18th birthday until their 20th birthday to make a claim unless their parents bring proceedings for them before they reach the age of 18.

Contact us 

If you or your baby has suffered a birth injury you will have many questions you will want to ask our qualified legal team.

At Whelan Law, we have years of experience in dealing with birth injury claims and we also have access to medical professionals in this field who will help us investigate your claim. 

Call us at +353 (0) 62 61110 today, or submit your request here to arrange a private consultation and we will guide you through the birth injury claims process.