12 Jun 2015

Clinical Negligence

Caesarean Section – Injury to Baby?

Caesarean sections are increasingly common, approximately 1 in 3 babies are delivered that way in the UK.  Some are planned, or “elective” for good medical reasons such as breech presentation, placenta previa etc.  The other caesarean sections are done on an emergency basis, because the baby is in distress or labour is failing to progress or because it transpires during labour that mum is unable to deliver the child vaginally.

Sometimes when the surgeon cuts into mum’s uterus to remove the baby during the caesarean section procedure, he accidentally injures the baby with the sharp scalpel.  This can leave the baby scarred for life before he/she is even born.  Foetal laceration is avoidable except in absolutely exceptional circumstances.  There is absolutely no need for a sharp dissection to be used during a caesarean section, and there are various techniques which can be employed during the baby’s delivery which could and should avoid injury to the baby.

If your baby was injured during a caesarean delivery, he or she may well have a valid claim.  I have experience of such claims for compensation – which can involve a lump sum award for damages to be held on Trust until baby reaches 18 years of age.

I have also recently secured a settlement which involves a lump sum now and an indemnity by the NHS Trust involved to pay for private cosmetic surgery and laser treatment to minimise the appearance of the scar if the child decides he wishes to go down that route when he is old enough to make that decision himself.

The compensation amount varies and is dependent on the size of the scar, where on the body the scar is, whether the baby is male or female etc.  The child has up until their 21st birthday to make a claim themselves.  Alternatively mum or dad can make a claim on their behalf whilst the baby is still young.

If you or your baby were injured in this way during a caesarean section, please contact me, I would be happy to look into your potential claim.

For further information please contact Debra King on 01633 244233 or email kingd@hevans.com

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