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Birth injury » Obstetric cholestasis

Obstetric cholestasis is a rare condition suffered in about 1 in 100 pregnancies in the UK, and is most often diagnosed through the mothers experience of itchiness, primarily on the hands and feet. It is uncomfortable for the mother, but, if missed by doctors, also carries a strong risk of leading to a birth injury claim for its effect on the expected baby.

Although its most noticeable symptom is one of the skin, it is a liver disorder, caused by bile chemicals ceasing to flow correctly. The cause of the reduced bile flow is not itself known, but is thought to be either genetically inherited or related to increased hormones during pregnancy.

As this means the liver is not functioning at its full capacity, the chemicals that are supposed to be flushed out of the body become too much for the liver to deal with, and begin to dissolve back into the bloodstream. This causes the itching in the mother, and can collect in dangerously high levels in the developing infant.

Once diagnosed, there is generally little risk, as mothers-to-be tend to be observed closely, and often have their babies delivered at 37 weeks. The research that has been done can be interpreted as suggesting that a missed case may result in an increased risk of stillbirth as a result of obstetric cholestasis, although the results present a complex picture that may be interpreted in other ways.

Other symptoms include tiredness, poor appetite, nausea or mild jaundice. Once the condition has been detected in one pregnancy, it is likely to appear in further pregnancies, and any doctors should note this. Personal injury resulting from medical personnel missing important diagnoses may make the injured party eligible to make a medical negligence claim.

Making a birth injury claim

If you are in the upsetting situation of considering a medical negligence claim following a birth injury, to yourself or your baby, you can be assured that the team here at HappyClaim will answer any questions and provide all the help you need with sensitivity.

You can also rely on our ability in the legal process, as every personal injury lawyer that we work with is an expert in their field, and all work under Solicitors Regulation Authority governance.

We understand that any situation that leads you to think about making a birth injury claim is, of course, highly distressing, and we undertake to make the process as smooth as possible for you. Find out what we can do for you with our claim form or call 01582 437070.