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Injuries to Mothers

Injuries to Mothers

Medical Failures during an Assisted Vaginal Delivery - Claims

Sometimes during delivery of your baby it may be necessary for the medical team looking after you to provide assistance to help the baby along the birth canal using instruments such as (ventouse or forceps).

An assisted vaginal delivery ‘mimics’ a spontaneous delivery and is designed to minimise the risk to you and your baby. An assisted delivery might have been needed if:

  • the birth of your baby was not progressing as would normally have been expected
  • there were concerns about the your baby's wellbeing during labour and birth
  • you were not able to ‘push’ during the birth

One of two methods might have been used to assist the delivery of your baby. They are:

  • A ventouse is an instrument that uses suction. It is attached to the baby’s head and when you have a contraction the obstetrician or the midwife will gently pull to help deliver the baby
  • The forceps that are used to assist a delivery are curved and designed to fit around your baby’s head. They are positioned so that during a contraction the obstetrician or midwife can gently pull to assist the baby to be born.

In both cases more than one pull is usually needed.

There are contra-indications for the use of the ventouse and the forceps and these should have been explained to you. The attending obstetrician will tell you which method is the most appropriate method for you and your baby.

When is it medical negligence?

If either you or your baby are injured by sub-standard care or poor skill in the carrying out of an assisted delivery it is possible that there might be a claim for compensation.

Possible injuries to you include:

  • Complications from the position you were in for the birth and from failure of the carers to take reasonable preventative measures (eg pressure ulcers, deep vein thrombosis)
  • A wrongfully executed episiotomy
  • Lacerations of the vagina
  • Lacerations of the cervix
  • Unrecognised increased blood loss
  • Hematoma formation
  • Injury to your urinary bladder
  • Anal sphincter injuries resulting in faecal incontinence
  • A poorly repaired vaginal tear or episiotomy

Possible injuries to your baby include:

  • Injuries to your baby’s skull
  • Nerve damage including laryngeal nerve damage, cranial nerve damage
  • Intracranial haemorrhage or haematoma
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Damage to the nerves to the shoulder and/or arm (erbs palsy, brachial plexus damage, shoulder dystocia

How a solicitor can help

If you or your baby has suffered due to a failure to manage an assisted delivery then we can help you by securing a financial and care package that will enable you and your child to move forward. This will give you access to specialists in many different fields from treatments to rehabilitation experts.

Get In Touch or Call us on 0800 195 8467