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Birth injury » Birth injury and IVF


One of the most common reasons for birth injury compensation becoming payable is when a baby suffers cerebral palsy as a result of oxygen starvation after not being delivered quickly enough, and its seems children conceived through IVF are more at risk of this developing than those from natural means.

In vitro fertilisation, or IVF, was first used successfully by British doctors Patrick Steptoe and Robert Edwards in 1977 to produce the worlds first test tube baby, Louise Brown, and since then, thanks to the technique, thousands of children have been born to couples who otherwise would have remained childless.

A study by Danish researchers, published in November 2010, showed that babies born through IVF or the associated procedure ICSI may have a small increased risk of cerebral palsy but British experts warned that further research was needed to find out whether this could be due to the technique itself, the implanting more than one embryo, or other factors related to fertility.

In the UK, approximately one in 400 children are born with a brain injury which can be described as a cerebral palsy, affecting movement, co-ordination and communication problems.

This damage to the nervous system can occur before, during or soon after birth and, although many of the reasons for the condition occurring are not entirely understood, a number of general causes have been defined. These include:

  • infection in early pregnancy
  • a difficult or premature birth
  • bleeding in the babys brain
  • abnormal brain development in the baby

Nearly half of all children who are born prematurely may develop cerebral palsy, partly because of their low birth weight and underdeveloped bodies. It is not certain in these children if the condition result from lack of oxygen during birth or whether brain damage suffered when in the mothers womb contributes to premature delivery.

Maternal infections while pregnant are one of the highest risk factors for the foetus being injured and about 10% of cases are as a result of oxygen starvation during birth.

Cerebral palsy can be caused shortly after birth if the baby is affected with severe jaundice, lead poisoning, encephalitis, meningitis or physical brain injury.

As with many medical problems, often no human intervention could have prevented the onset of the abnormality

Because of the degree of disability associated with cerebral palsy, all medical staff involved in the care of pregnant mothers and births should be fully aware of the potential for the condition either to be caused or develop and suitable safeguards put in place to reduce the likelihood of this type of injury occurring due to clinical negligence.

HappyClaim solicitors for birth injury compensation

When a child is born with or develops a medical condition which prevents them from leading a normal active life in future, it is a traumatic event for parents and other family members and, depending on the circumstances, a diagnosis of cerebral palsy may lead to a case for birth injury compensation.

Sympathetic yet professional advice from the experienced personal injury lawyers of HappyClaim will enable you to make a sensible judgement on whether to proceed with a justified claim on behalf of a child with brain damage.

Wherever you live in the UK, you can access the services of HappyClaims legal experts, who are all supervised by the Solicitors Regulation Authority and you can rest assured all costs will be kept to a minimum.

To make an initial free inquiry about HappyClaims services for birth injury compensation cases, you can call now to speak to one of our legal advisers on 01582 437070 or complete our online claim form for an advisor to call you back.