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Midwife Medical Negligence Solicitors - UK Compensation Claim Law


Midwives are health care professionals trained specifically in the care of expectant mothers, child labour and birth. Expectant mothers have a legal right to expect competent pre-natal and post-natal health care. Failure to provide competant care resulting in personal injury can give rise to a midwife medical negligence compensation claim.

A midwife�s duties encompass monitoring the mother and child during pregnancy for complications and, if the same arise, referring the mother for physician or obstetrician care in a timely fashion. The midwife must recognise emergency situations and contact the appropriate health care services immediately to request assistance.

Labour and childbirth is unpredictable. While most women give birth without complications, there are instances where either the mother develops complications or the baby is suddenly in distress. A midwife must be alert to these conditions and alert emergency medical services promptly.

A claim for midwife medical negligence may be legitimate if the midwife fails to care for her patient in accordance with the appropriate standards of the profession. It should be remembered, however, that not every episode of complications is a result of medical negligence. Problems can, and do, occur that are beyond the control of a midwife.

Midwifes Duties

Midwives have set duties of care. These include:

  • Adequate care of the mother and foetus.
  • Development of a shared care plan and adherence to that plan.
  • Maintaining complete medical records.
  • Preventing foreseeable harm to either the mother or infant, or both.
  • Skillful use of forceps and ventouse extraction pumps.
  • Consultation with clinical professionals if circumstances are beyond their skill, ability and knowledge.
  • Referral to appropriate health care professionals if warranted.
  • Acting only within acceptable midwife procedural boundaries.
  • Limiting actions to those permissible under legislation.
  • Due diligence with medication dosages.
  • To truthfully represent midwifery services.
  • To recommend only legitimate health care products.
  • Obtaining the mother�s informed consent after explaining all reasonably possible risks associated with midwifery services, pregnancy, labour and childbirth.

Infant Personal Injuries

Midwifery negligence actions can result in devastating and life-long disabilities for infants. Among the most common infant injuries caused by lack of oxygen are cerebral palsy and brain damage. Injuries that can result from the improper use of forceps or extraction pumps are skull fractures, intracranial brain bleeding, collection of blood under the periosteum called �cephalhaematoma� and facial bruising, lacerations and nerve palsy. Shoulder dystocia, Erb�s palsy, Lkumpke�s palsy and brachial plexus injury may occur if the child becomes lodged in the birth canal. These injuries affect the function of a child�s upper limbs. The worst possible consequence of midwifery negligence is the death of the child.

Mother Personal Injuries

The majority of injuries a mother may suffer due to midwifery negligence tend to be concentrated on the reproductive organs and loss of bladder and bowel control or function. A mother�s vagina and surrounding tissue are particularly vulnerable to injury during childbirth. The ability to conceive may be permanently impaired. If the infant or the mother is injured, the mother is susceptible to post-traumatic stress, depression and other mood disorders. Although very rare, the mother may not survive the childbirth or subsequent injuries.

Medical Negligence Compensation

There may be a legitimate claim for medical negligence compensation if a mother or child is injured by the negligent actions or inaction by a midwife. Infants, by their very nature, are especially predisposed to injury. Their bones and skull are soft and do not provide protection against forceps, extraction pumps or forcible removal from the birth canal. Therefore, an infant who suffers a childbirth injury may be permanently disabled or disfigured.

Depending on the level of disability, the child may require surgery, nursing care, therapy, medical devices and medications. All of these expenses are eligible for reimbursement in a medical negligence award. Medical negligence ompensation can also be awarded for future medical costs if it likely the child will continue to need medical equipment and services in the future or, in some cases, the rest of his or her life. Parents who must remodel their home to accommodate a disabled child are entitled to claim for repayment of renovation costs.

The mother, likewise, is entitled to claim for her own expenses and pain and suffering, in addition to mental anguish on behalf of her child or herself (i.e. infertility or sexual dysfunction). The mother may put forward a claim for loss of earnings, past, present and future, if she is injured or unable to work because she must look after her disabled child.

Midwife Negligence Solicitors

Midwife medical negligence is an extremely complex area of law. It requires expertise by solicitors who have experience in this form of personal injury. Most personal injury solicitors deal with general personal injury claims (i.e. motor vehicle accidents, slips and falls). Our solicitors are seasoned, knowledgeable medical negligence practitioners. It is essential a medical malpractice solicitor handle a midwifery negligence claim for a successful outcome.

We offer free legal advice by telephone or private consultation. After reviewing the evidence, which includes clinical records and expert reports, we can advise whether we believe your claim for midwife medical negligence compensation has merit.

If your midwifery medical negligence claim meets the standards required for an award of personal injury compensation, it is possible we will proceed on a no win no fee** basis which means that, if we do not obtain compensation for your claim, we will not collect any legal fees for pursuing your claim. We operate the no win no fee* scheme otherwise known as a conditional fee agreement. No legal charge is payable unless the legal case is won and the client obtains an award of compensation. In the event that the legal claim is lost there is no charge made to the client.

If you believe you have a legitimate midwife medical negligence compensation claim, you can either telephone us or use the convenient contact form. Do not delay, as there are strict time limitations in which specific steps must be taken or you may lose the right to pursue your claim.


*Legal Information

The author of the substantive medical writing on this website is Dr. Christine Traxler MD whose biography can be read here