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Childhood acquired brain injury (ABI)

As we continue with Action for Brain Injury Week, we look at childhood acquired brain injury (ABI).

When a child acquires a brain injury at birth it can have a devastating effect on the entire family.

The injury will most likely occur for reasons that are beyond the control of medical staff, such as the baby being born from a breach position or being born too early.

In other cases though, the child’s injury is an acquired brain injury (ABI) as it is the direct result of medical negligence and could have been avoided.

The injury caused by medical negligence can result in the baby suffering from cerebral palsy or Erbs Palsy – both with serious lifelong implications.

In these cases, families are often left without any support and have no idea where to turn for help.

They need to know what’s happened and how to cope.

There will be uncertain and often expensive times ahead – adaptations and equipment are not always available on the NHS.

Our team appreciates what you’re going through and will be there to help you in the most difficult of times.

How we can help

Firstly, keep in mind that you can talk to us about your options, with absolutely no obligation to take the matter any further – that will always be your choice.

If you do decide to go forward, and we think it’s something we can help with, as a first stage, we will help you get those all-important answers about why and how your child was injured.

If we can prove there was negligence, we will be able to help you get the medical and practical support you need to make life a little easier.

We will also work towards securing the financial support you need to safeguard your child’s future. As part of this, we can often negotiate interim compensation payments to help with your ongoing costs, including moving to a more suitable home, if necessary.

Families affected by childhood acquired brain injury

These are real families that we have worked with. Hopefully, these cases will help you see that whatever difficulty you are facing, however desperate you feel, you are not alone.

Child A had suffered from Athetoid, or dyskinetic cerebral palsy since birth. Her parents had always accepted her condition and so had never investigated the cause. But Child A often wondered about it and as she approached her 20th birthday, she decided that she wanted to know why she had the condition. With the help of a litigation friend, she turned to solicitors to help her investigate. Despite the incident taking place over 20 years ago, our medical negligence experts were able to establish that the likely cause of her condition was negligent failure to intubate in the early minutes of life.

Child B was born by a normal delivery at 37 weeks, following an uneventful 3rd pregnancy. At one month of age, the child was diagnosed with apnoea and hydrocephalus. Later, meningitis was diagnosis and an EVD was inserted to drain the fluid from her brain. The allegations are that the delayed diagnosis of meningitis along with the incorrect fitting of the EVD has led to permanent brain damage.

Child C was born with severe and permanent physical and mental disabilities. Allegations are that failure to interpret a pathological CTG and failure to provide any obstetric review at any time during labour resulted in a grossly prolonged labour which led to the child suffering severe brain damage and cerebral palsy.

Child D – A mismanaged caesarean delivery resulted in the child suffering major trauma to their head, including a fractured skull. As a result of the injuries the child sustained during the delivery, they now have cerebral palsy, which has grave and permanent consequences.

More cases can be found on our website 

Support Organisations

Deciding to speak to a solicitor can be a difficult decision. If you would like more information before you take that step, the following websites might help give you peace of mind:

Child Brain Injury Trust