Q&A - Could we claim against hospital for cerebral palsy caused by oxygen starvation at daughter’s birth?

Q: For 2 years I underwent gruelling IVF treatment and finally got pregnant in 2016. My pregnancy was great but I had a very traumatic birth. I was in labour for 23 hours and eventually had a forceps delivery. I gave birth to a daughter, Eve, and I could not have been happier. After we took her home, Eve was struggling with feeding and her little body was making involuntary movements. After testing we have now been told that Eve has Cerebral Palsy, caused by a lack of oxygen to her brain during birth. Eve’s Physician has been fantastic, but I am concerned about what the future holds for Eve. Should I make a claim against the hospital?

A: You should certainly consider seeking legal advice. Whilst you might have a good relationship with Eve’s medical team, caring for a child with Cerebral Palsy can be not only physically and emotionally challenging but also financially challenging. The claim would be for compensation to fund Eve’s long term care and other needs arising from her condition. In general, claims of this nature are valued in excess of £1 million. The aim is to provide Eve with the best possible quality of life. 

To be successful in a claim you need to establish that the care provided fell below an acceptable standard. Here, the focus is on whether there was an unreasonable and avoidable delay in Eve’s delivery. You also need to prove that the actions or inactions of the health care team are directly linked to the development of Eve’s condition. These issues would be addressed by different specialised medical experts.

A no-win no-fee agreement may be available and legal aid is still available for certain types of birth injury cases. You should contact a local solicitor to have a chat, face to face, to consider your options.

(Article 16/07/2018)

Claire Parfitt

Claire Parfitt

Solicitor

Solicitor within our Civil Litigation team in Wrexham and Oswestry

John Hulme

John Hulme

Partner

A Partner and Head of our Personal Injury and Clinical Negligence team in Oswestry