Clinical negligence can have serious consequences at any stage of pregnancy or birth.
During pregnancy, there are a number of conditions that can arise, which we rely on healthcare professionals to identify and treat. Maternal diabetes (also known as gestational diabetes) can develop and, if undiagnosed, can lead to miscarriage or problems with the baby, including heart and brain defects. Pre-eclampsia, which can only be identified through regular blood pressure and urine checks, is potentially fatal to both mother and baby. Placental abruption is a less common, but very serious complication that also needs to be identified and treated correctly.
During labour, uterine rupture can occur, particularly in instances when labour has been induced and is not properly monitored. A lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during the birth process can result in cerebral palsy. Interventions such as forceps delivery or venthouse delivery may be necessary, but if the wrong intervention is chosen, it can lead to scarring and even nerve damage. Even an episiotomy, if not performed correctly (or even not performed at all) can lead to second and third degree tearing of the skin and lead to ongoing complications such as incontinence.