BIRTH DEFECTS AND INJURY
Birth defects and injuries can be caused by a number of factors including genetic factors and heredity. Poor ante-natal or intrapartum obstetric care, a failure to detect serious abnormalities and, occasionally, harm from medical instruments or anaesthetics and medications may result in birth defects or injuries with grounds for a medical negligence claim.
The lawyers at MED Attorneys are ourselves parents. While we know that financial compensation can never replace quality of life, your needs and future wellbeing are our priority and we will fight to make sure you and your family receive the best possible outcome. If a birth defect or injury has been caused by, or could have been prevented by, medical and health care practitioners and hospital staff, this circumstance requires action to be taken to remedy the harm and to prevent its recurrence.
You may feel responsible for an injury to your baby, you may be unclear about how the injury occurred or what your rights are and you may not realize that someone else may be liable. Consulting with a legal specialist can provide you with certainty and closure.
Birth Asphyxia and Cerebral Palsy
Sometimes the stress of labour and delivery causes a temporary interruption in blood flow or oxygen levels to an unborn baby. If this continues for a lengthy period of time or blood flow and oxygen are completely cut-off, then birth asphyxia and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy can occur and cause significant brain damage including Cerebral Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement and motor skills (the ability to move in coordinated and purposeful ways). The brain damage that leads to Cerebral Palsy often also leads to other health issues including vision, hearing and speech difficulties as well as learning disabilities. Unfortunately, all too commonly in South Africa, birth asphyxia and Cerebral Palsy result due to:
- the preventable failure to ensure that required, properly trained obstetricians, midwives, nurses and health care practitioners are available
- the failure to ensure that the equipment necessary for proper obstetrical care and trained staff to operate it are available as necessary
- the failure to monitor or properly interpret cardiotocography scans; or
- the failure to recognise obstetrical emergencies and to timeously and competently perform an assisted birth or Caesarean Section.
There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, but treatment, therapy, special and adapted equipment and, in some cases, surgery can assist a child living with this condition. Consulting with a specialist birth injury attorney, understanding your rights and having access to the resources to institute a claim for and obtain the necessary compensation to ease your burden and acquire these assistive therapies and devices could not be easier.