Neonatal is a term that refers to the first 28 days of a baby’s life following birth. It is crucial during this time that the baby is properly monitored, as any unusual symptoms should be identified and acted upon to prevent the development of potentially serious illness and injury.
Failure to spot and act on any such symptoms can have truly devastating consequences for the baby and their family. If this has happened, and your baby has suffered due to negligence on the part of a medical professional, you may be able to make a claim for compensation.
Sadly, neonatal medical negligence can also lead to death. Our stillbirths page contains lots more information about this area.
What Is a Neonatal Injury?
A neonatal injury is an injury or condition that arises shortly after birth and, if not managed effectively, can lead to permanent disability. It could even prove fatal. Examples of neonatal injuries and conditions include:
- Neonatal Hypoglycaemia – from time to time, newborn babies struggle to adapt to a suddenly fluctuating supply of glucose. If this difficulty is undetected, it can lead to brain damage
- Hip Dysplasia – examination of a baby’s hips is an important aspect of the neonatal screening process. If a hip dislocation (Hip Dysplasia) is missed it could lead to hospitalisation, major surgery and issues with walking
- Neonatal Jaundice (Kernicterus/Hyperbilirubinaemia) – although this condition is rare, if it is not picked up on by a doctor it can lead to brain damage and cerebral palsy
Other Neonatal Conditions
Neonatal injuries can take many forms, and in addition to those noted above, other mistakes can include:
- Adverse reactions to vaccinations
- Errors concerning premature births in intensive care units
- Errors concerning baby identification
- Post-traumatic stress disorder or postnatal depression for the mother