Medical Negligence at Birth Leads to $700k Compensation
RMB Compensation division explains a case of medical negligence at childbirth:
Our client commenced a claim for damages against a hospital for negligent delivery causing her daughter to develop a brachial plexus injury during birth.
The brachial plexus is a large network of nerves travelling from the back of the neck to the arm. These nerves are responsible for providing function and feeling to the arm and hand. A common type of brachial plexus palsy is known as Erb's Palsy.
An Erb's Palsy injury can occur during childbirth after the baby's head has been delivered and the shoulders become trapped inside the mother's pelvis. Although there are measures that medical professionals can take to free the shoulders without damaging the brachial plexus nerves, proper procedures are not always followed. Some medical professionals apply too much force when attempting to complete the delivery.
We obtained expert medical evidence from a leading Professor of Obstetrics in England that supported the view that the hospital had failed to follow proper procedures which would have prevented our client's daughter sustaining a permanent and debilitating Erb's Palsy injury.
When the mother was admitted to hospital, the medical team failed to assess the size of the baby and as such, did not carry out alternative birthing methods (such as a Caesarian). Further, when the baby became stuck in the mother's pelvis, the doctor applied fundal pressure to the mother's abdomen and pulled on the baby's head in an attempt to hasten delivery. As a result, our client suffered an Erb's Palsy injury secondary to shoulder dystocia (prolonged or difficult childbirth).
We claimed damages for non-economic loss, economic loss, medical and treatment-related expenses and domestic assistance. The matter resolved at mediation for $700,000. This gave our client certainty and meant that she was not put through a lengthy hearing.
Personal injury claims involving medical negligence and Erb’s Palsy are occurring regularly. If you or your child has suffered an injury to the brachial plexus nerves during birth you may have a claim for damages if the medical practitioners involved in the birth were negligent.
Even if the condition appears to be mild, babies who suffer Erb's Palsy require significant medical treatment and rehabilitation. For this reason it is important that parents investigate their legal options for compensation.
If you have concerns about a medical professional's negligence, contact our contact team of personal injury specialists to arrange a free consultation. We'll be able to help you via a quick phone call, or ask us a question via email.