Infants Born With Brain Damage – Could It Have Been Avoided?

Do you know the cause of your child’s brain damage? If it is unknown or has been described as having been caused by ‘environmental or situational factors’, it may have something to do with the way the child was treated at birth. Over 76 percent of medical malpractice claims in South Africa are for brain-damaged babies. Prenatal, natal and post-natal care is a highly precise and careful field of medical care, and even a small mistake can have lasting consequences for an infant.

How can medical negligence lead to brain damage at birth?

When the hospital staff are negligent in their duties before, during and after a birth, the health and wellbeing of the new-born child can be compromised. The most common way in which infants become brain damaged from negligent care is through insufficient blood gas regulation. Blood gases such as oxygen and carbon dioxide need to be carefully monitored and controlled after birth, and if the pressure or level of any of these gases is too high or too low, it can cause damage. This damage often leads to physical disability, blindness, or cognitive and mental disability. Cerebral Palsy, Retinopathy of Prematurity and periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) are all disabilities that can be caused by birth-related brain injury. In these cases, a case can be made against the doctor or nurse responsible, and compensation can be claimed.

What can a medical negligence claim do for you?

In a case of medical negligence, you can claim for compensation to help cover the expenses of caring for a child with birth-related brain damage. This compensation can cover the medical expenses for the birth and medical treatment during which the injury was caused, as well as all subsequent medical treatment resulting from the brain injury. The expenses for assistance with the brain injury, such as physical therapy, counselling, special equipment and remedial education, can also be covered, and so can a compensation amount for the pain, suffering, trauma and stress that can arise from such an injury. Contact Paul du Plessis Attorneys for expert legal assistance when making a claim for medical negligence.

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