Stillbirth & Neonatal Deaths Claims
If your baby died due to hospital negligence then you will have many unanswered questions as to what caused the death of your baby.
Compensation for the death of a baby
Unfortunately, stillbirth and neonatal deaths do occur despite advances in medicine.
Some unavoidable stillbirths or neonatal deaths can arise in certain circumstances, such as where there may be:
There are, however, tragic cases where negligence causes the baby to be stillborn or where a death occurs following the baby’s delivery (neonatal death).
What is a stillbirth?
Where a baby is born dead after 24 weeks of a pregnancy, either before or during the delivery, it is known as a stillbirth.
Examples of a stillbirth which occurs because of a mistake by a midwife or doctor:
- Failure to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and identify reduced fetal movement
- Not providing regular check-ups during pregnancy
- Failing to refer a pregnant woman to a consultant where appropriate
- Failure to identify and act upon signs of placental abruption or uterine rupture
- Failure to identify symptoms of pre-eclampsia or gestational diabetes
- Failure to monitor the fetal heartbeat and identify fetal distress
- Delay in delivering baby by emergency caesarean section
What is a neonatal death?
A neonatal death is when a baby is born alive but dies within 28 days following birth.
Whilst a neonatal death may be preventable, some still occur as a result of medical negligence.
Examples of neonatal death medical negligence claims are:
- A failure to monitor the baby’s heartbeat and fetal distress during labour
- A failure to perform an emergency caesarean section within an appropriate time
- Failing to arrange for a baby deprived of oxygen at birth to receive active or passive cooling
- Failing to monitor the baby for infection or Group B Strep post-delivery
It is common for a post-mortem to take place following a neonatal death which will assist in identifying the cause of death. A post-mortem can only take place with the parents’ consent. Where the cause of a neonatal death is unexplained, an inquest should be held to determine the reason why the baby died. An inquest should also take place where the Coroner can review whether recommendations need to be made to avoid a similar death in the future.
Féileacáin, which is a charitable organisation, provide support to bereaved parents following a neonatal death.
What happens after a stillbirth/neonatal death?
A post-mortem can only occur with written consent.
Hospitals will assist in providing a cold cot for the family to stay with the baby for as long as possible before the funeral takes place. They will also arrange to take photographs or mementos, such as a handprint or footprint of the baby.
Féileacáin (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death Association of Ireland) was formed in 2009 and is a charitable organisation. It was formed by a group of bereaved parents to offer support to anyone affected by the death of a baby around the time of birth. Féileacáin provides bereaved parents with memory boxes which allow parents to create precious memories in the short time that they have with their baby. They also offer beautiful handknit baby clothing for the parents of tiny infants. They provide regular support meetings which allow bereaved parents space and time to remember their baby and they offer a support helpline to anyone affected by the death of a baby.
Stillborn and neonatal death compensation
In addition, we seek compensation for expenses incurred such as funeral expenses, therapy and counselling costs, travel costs, childcare costs, loss of earnings, inquest fees and any other costs associated with the death.
It may also be possible to include a claim for wrongful death pursuant to Part IV of the Civil Liability Act 1961 as amended.
Why choose Rachael Liston Solicitors?
Rachael Liston represented Mark and Roisin Molloy in relation to the death of their son, baby Mark, at Portlaoise Hospital. She appeared on Prime Time Investigates in relation to the scandal relating to maternity services at Portlaoise Hospital.
Rachael was also involved in exposing problems with maternity services at Portiuncula Hospital and represented Warren and Lorraine Riley regarding the death of their daughters’ baby Asha and baby Amber. She appeared live on RTE’s Six One News to discuss the Review into the maternity services at Portiuncula Hospital.
Rachael Liston has particular expertise in representing families, throughout Ireland, who have lost babies as a result of a stillbirth or a neonatal death. She regularly represents families at inquests into the cause of a baby’s death. She leaves no stone unturned in relation to her investigations as to the cause of death and she seeks answers and apologies for bereaved parents following the death of their precious baby.
Our medical negligence team are extremely experienced and knowledgeable in pursuing stillborn and neonatal death claims.
Types of Medical Negligence Claims
Brain Injury Claims
Brain injuries can have a devastating effect on an individual and their family, particularly if the injuries are as a result of medical negligence. Brain injuries can be catastrophic and result in traumatic and life-changing injuries.
Stroke Misdiagnosis Claims
A stroke can occur when the blood supply to part of the brain is cut off or reduced, preventing the brain tissue getting the oxygen it needs. Strokes are a medical emergency and urgent treatment is essential.
Birth Injury to Mother Claims
Unfortunately, when something goes wrong or where negligence occurs, before, during or after childbirth, it can result in very serious physical and psychological injuries.
Birth Injury to Baby Claims
Stillbirth & Neonatal Death Claims
Gynaecologists are doctors who specialise in investigating, diagnosing, and treating disorders of the female reproductive system.
Misdiagnosis occurs when a doctor or medical professional fails to accurately diagnose a patient. It can arise when there has been a incorrect or delayed diagnosis of a medical condition such as cancer, meningitis, diabetes, heart disease or head injuries.
A&E Negligence Claims
A&E departments deal with many different types of medical emergencies. These departments are highly pressurised and emergency care can sometimes go wrong and cause serious injury to the patient. Accident and emergency claims can arise where negligent delay or incorrect medical treatment results in the patient suffering from illness or injury, which would not have occurred but for the negligent care.
Dental Negligence Claims
If your dentist has made a mistake or an error whilst treating or diagnosing a dental issue then you may have a claim for dental negligence.
Cauda Equina Claims
Cauda Equina Syndrome is a medical emergency and needs to be treated urgently to avoid long-term irreparable neurological damage. If your doctor has failed to recognise the symptoms of Cauda Equina Syndrome and failed to refer you for emergency treatment, then it is possible that you have a claim for medical negligence.
Surgical Injury Claims
Surgical negligence claims arise when mistakes occur during surgery which result in the patient being injured.
Spinal Injury Claims
Defective Medical Device Claims
Despite strict standards and rigorous testing of medical devices, sometimes products are defective and can cause serious personal injury. This may require a patient having to undergo further surgery to remove and replace the defective medical device.
Nursing Home Claims
Some of the most vulnerable in society reside in care homes and nursing homes and whilst most people who reside there receive an excellent level of care. There are exceptions, however, where failings in care by the staff who are responsible for caring for the vulnerable and elderly results in poor care and medical treatment which leads to injury and can tragically lead to death. This can result in a claim for medical negligence.
Covid 19 Claims
If you have suffered from unnecessary illness or harm because of a delay in accessing the required medical care, then you may have a claim for medical negligence.
GP’s play an important role in ensuring that patients are assessed appropriately, prescribed the correct treatment, and referred on for specialist care without delay.
If a GP makes a mistake which causes a patient to suffer unnecessary pain and financial loss, it may be possible to pursue a claim for medical negligence.