Failure To Screen For Or Advise/Counsel About Birth Defects

Although most pregnancies end with the birth of a healthy baby, in some cases complications can arise during both pregnancy and delivery and these problems may result in temporary or permanent injury to the baby.  In some cases there is also injury to the mother and could be a result of medical negligence.

As a result of these complications there are a considerable number of babies who are born with a birth defect which can sometimes be life threatening. A birth defect is described as an abnormality present at birth which results in physical or mental disability. Half of all abnormalities are defects of limbs, heart and spinal cord.  The most common kinds of defects are those affecting the limbs (arms and legs). These include missing or extra fingers or toes and abnormalities such as club feet.

The next most prevalent category of defect is heart abnormalities.  Common heart defects include "holes in the heart".  The third most common kind of defect affects the spinal cord, such as Spina Bifida. Other defects commonly observed include those affecting the face such as cleft lip and palate. Downs syndrome is also classed as an abnormality.

Modern ultrasound scanning has made it a lot easier to detect a defect before delivery. The sonographer conducting the scan must perform the scan correctly. It is when a birth defect that should have been diagnosed before birth goes undetected due to perhaps an inadequate ultrasound scan, as a result of operator inaccuracy, inexperience, or incompetence,  or misreading of blood tests, that you should consider consulting a  Solicitor, as there may have been medical negligence.

These cases are pursued on the basis that had the parents been made aware of the defect, they would have terminated the pregnancy and not suffered the birth of a child with a physical or mental disability.  These cases are known as "wrongful birth" cases.

The team of specialist medical negligence solicitors at Chadwick Lawrence is led by Tony May, a specialist birth injury and cerebral palsy solicitor with particular expertise in dealing with mismanagement of infections and other birth related injury compensation cases. He has an excellent record in high value and complex cases, many resulting in multi-million pound settlements. Tony has over 20 years experience in dealing with cases in which babies have been brain damaged or sustained other injuries as a result of negligent care and management before, during or following birth. He continues to represent many cerebral palsy children and young adults in medical negligence claims and after settlement he provides ongoing support as the Court of Protection Deputy for many of his cerebral palsy and brain damaged clients.

Tony can be contacted by email on or by telephone on 01484 519999. Alternatively, you could call our team on the freephone number below.

Our dedicated team of specialist clinical negligence, birth injury and cerebral palsy solicitors deal with claims countrywide and claims for unrecognized birth defects. We are based at our Huddersfield office but can visit you in your home or in hospital if you are unable to attend at one of our West Yorkshire offices. If you believe that your child or a member of your family may have sustained a birth injury or experienced a bad experience resulting in birth defects as a result of medical negligence and/or negligence by a midwife, please contact our specialist medical negligence Legal Aid and no-win-no-fee lawyers for free legal advice.

Contact Chadwick Lawrence for free legal advice on FREE PHONE 0800 028 2969 or

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