Every family and their medical practitioners hope that there will be a safe delivery of a healthy
baby. Unfortunately, this does not always occur and there can be a number of reasons for this.
When we advise on claims involving the delivery of a baby, we generally discuss whether the
issues relate to birth injuries or birth defects. While many people see the two as the same, they
are two different medical issues.

Birth injuries occur during or immediately after the delivery process. The injuries that a mother
and a baby suffer range from nerve damage to broken bones to brain damage. When advising on
these types of claims, we would focus on the management of the pregnancy, the labour, the
delivery of the baby and the post-natal care provided.

Birth defects occur as a baby develops during the 9-month pregnancy in the womb. Of course,
birth defects can occur naturally as a baby develops. Although, a baby could develop a defect due
to certain medications administered to a mother during her pregnancy.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy cases are one of the more complex medical negligence cases we deal with. It is
one of the more commonly known brain injuries suffered at birth. This is a disorder of motor
function which affects muscle tone movement and motor skills. It is often caused where the
baby is starved of oxygen during labour, known as hypoxia. This could cause serious damage to a
baby’s brain and a baby may have lifelong physical and intellectual disabilities.

In many cases of cerebral palsy, it could occur without negligence although it can also be caused
by the negligent management of pregnancy, labour and delivery or the post-natal care provided.
In the latter circumstances, it is often the view that the brain injury could have been avoided or
reduced if proper medical treatment was provided.

We recognise that difficult deliveries occur and complications arise for doctors on a daily basis.
An experienced medical practitioner is well placed and skilled to handle these difficulties and
complications. However, in certain cases, the care falls below the standard expected of a medical
practitioner and is inadequate.

If you would like to have a confidential discussion in relation to the delivery of your baby, please
contact us on 01 4900121 and ask to speak with our medical negligence team. You can also email
us at info@tomcollins.ie


We recently represented a mother and her son in successfully suing the Rotunda Hospital in respect of the shortcomings and failings in care provided at birth. Media coverage can be found here and here.