Failure by a hospital to recognise clear signs of hypoglycaemia in a newborn baby left him severely brain damaged with cerebral palsy. He was awarded:
Cases of hypoglycaemia in newborns are uncommon in the UK but as with any medical condition that affects your baby, it can be a worrying and distressing time. Complications and long-term side effects of low blood sugar is rare but where medical negligence occurs it can increase the risk of these happening.
Fortunately, in the UK most patients receive an excellent standard of care but there are those that slip through the cracks. Whether your baby’s blood sugar wasn’t properly monitored despite being low or the incorrect treatment was given, medical negligence can have devastating consequences. In rare instances, hypoglycaemia can result in lifelong disabilities and even organ failure, highlighting just how important it is for medical professionals to recognise the signs of neonatal hypoglycaemia.
If you’ve been affected by medical negligence following the birth of your baby, we can offer support. We know that compensation can’t turn back the clock and undo the damage that has been done. However, it can help you get answers as to why you were let down and provide you with financial support. In severe cases, the effects of newborn hypoglycaemia can mean making adjustments to your life and plans, this is an area that compensation can help you with.
Every medical claim made by the victims of medical negligence is subject to a three-year time limit. Failure to bring a case forward within this time period means that you will lose the opportunity to hold those responsible to account.
Three years is the maximum amount of time you have to take action but it’s typically advisable to seek professional advice as soon as possible. This ensures that your case is given the best possible chance to be successful, as well as speeding up the whole process and helping you take the next step after hypoglycaemia medical negligence.
Starting the claims process can also support you. We’ll gather evidence from a range of sources, including medical records, to build up your case and provide a strong foundation. Among the evidence used, we’ll also utilise witness statements. For many of those affected, it’s easier to recall the details of their experience the sooner they act and complete the task of making a statement. The more details you are able to provide the easier it is for our team to not only evaluate and value your case but to fight it on your behalf too.
It’s important to note when the time limit on medical negligence claims starts, rather than beginning when the negligence occurred it begins from the ‘date of knowledge’. This is the point that your first realised those responsible for the care of your baby had made mistakes. In some cases, this point occurs almost immediately but in others it can happen months down the line.
If you do not claim within the set time period, your claim will be considered ‘statute barred’ or ‘out of time’ and will unfortunately not be taken further. There are two exceptions to this rule, in the case of children and if the negligence directly led to a fatality. In these cases suing the NHS for negligence is still possible as the date on which time begins to run is the date of the child’s 18th birthday, and in the case of fatalities, from the date of death.
In complex cases, such as where there have been misdiagnosis or multiple delays, it can be a challenge to figure out when the ‘date of knowledge’ occurred. If you’re unsure, you don’t have to worry. Backed by years of experience, the team at Your Legal Friend can offer you the insights that you need.
Throughout your claim, Your Legal Friend will help you every step of the way
I am very happy and satisfied with the settlement you achieved for me and the service was excellent and thank you very much
Mrs E. Swaffield
Our medical negligence team has years of experience working on a wide variety of birth injury cases so we understand just how difficult a decision it can be to bring a hypoglycaemia case.
That’s why we are committed to guiding you through every step of the process. We ensure that your claim is handled carefully and professionally by our specialist solicitors, while working alongside medical experts, to guarantee the best results for you.
Our birth injury team is headed by Laura Morgan who has a wealth of experience in leading complicated, high value hypoglycaemia cases.
Laura is recognised within the legal profession as a leader in the field of medical negligence and serious injury compensation. Laura has acted in a wide range of cases over her 17 years of practice and has particular expertise in acting for children who have suffered brain injury due to mismanaged birth or surgical errors, and in managing claims that have resulted in the death of a loved one. Laura has achieved a number of large settlements including £5.4 million for a 7 year old and £4 million for an 11 year old child.
Laura’s expertise and dedication to her clients is recognised in the Chambers guide to the Legal Profession in which she was praised for the efficiency of her approach to case handling and described as “tenacious and detail-oriented”.
Laura has been a member of the Law Society Clinical Negligence Panel since 2005 and accredited as a Senior Litigator in the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL) since 2006. Laura is also a member of the specialist lawyers panel for Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA), the UK’s leading charity committed to patient safety and justice.
The effects of medical negligence can be devastating for the individual and their families, so securing appropriate compensation for them as quickly as possible is our top priority.
Director of Medical Negligence
Pay nothing if you lose your case, get maximum compensation if you win
Whatever the nature of your birth injury claim, we always seek the maximum level of compensation for our clients – and if your case is unsuccessful, we don’t charge you any fees. This is our guarantee for all standard birth injury claims.
With our no win, no fee guarantee, you pay nothing, unless you win your compensation claim. At that point you will only pay your insurance premium, if applicable, and the success fee, which will never be more than 25% of the amount you win.
We ask you to sign forms of authority so that we can obtain your medical records from your GP and any hospitals that have treated you.
As the medical experts we instruct need to know what happened during your treatment, we work with you to draft a detailed, accurate statement in your own words.
You are responsible for minimising the losses you have incurred as a result of the alleged medical negligence, so you need to attend any available treatments that could aid your recovery. You may also need to return to work as soon as it’s safe to do so.
You must prove that the treatment you received fell below the standard expected of a reasonably competent and skilful medical specialist of the type who treated you and that, as a result, you suffered a loss or injury. To do this, we obtain independent medical evidence from an expert in the appropriate area of medicine.
We have to establish whether the sub-standard treatment you received is likely to have led to your injury or loss. As this can be difficult to establish, you may need to see one or more medical experts who will assess your current condition and what the future holds for you.
The value of your claim comprises:
You need to keep all original financial documents safe as these will be needed when we prepare your case to go to Court. These documents include accounts, payslips, and receipts for expenses and medical treatments.
Although only a small number of cases proceed to a trial, we prepare every case for this eventuality.
The trial takes place before a Circuit or High Court judge who will make a decision based on the evidence we have prepared.
If you win your case, the amount of compensation will be decided by negotiation with the defendant or, if your case goes to trial, by the judge. The defendant will usually be ordered to pay us the costs we have incurred in preparing your case. We will also agree a date by which your compensation will be paid to us so that we can pay your compensation as quickly as possible.
It is possible to claim for hypoglycaemia if medical negligence occurred during your treatment. In many cases, neonatal hypoglycaemia isn’t avoidable but there are processes in place to ensure that babies are appropriately monitored and treated where necessary, if this didn’t occur in your case you may be able to make a claim.
A claim must be able to prove that medical negligence led to undue suffering. There are numerous ways that negligence behaviour can occur in hypoglycaemia case, including:
Across the UK, complications arising from hypoglycaemia are rare but where they have happened, they can be used to demonstrate that undue suffering was caused. Undue suffering could also include other factors, such as additional treatment being required, including surgery to remove part of the pancreas, meaning that the recovery period is extended.
If you’re unsure whether you have a potential case following newborn hypoglycaemia, we can help you. As experts in supporting victims of medical negligence, we’ll use our skills and knowledge to explain if your claim could be successful. We can also offer advice on what your next steps should be to ensure the best possible outlook for your personal case.
Compensation awarded to each victim of medical negligence considers a wide variety of areas. For this reason, we can’t say how much you claim could be worth without first discussing the experiences you have had.
When you chose to work with Your Legal Friend, we’ll take the time to listen to you. From learning how you were affected immediately following the medical negligence to the long-term issues you will need to deal with, we’ll place a value on your claim. Compensation can cover a range of areas, such as recognising the pain caused to loss of earnings due to taking additional time off work to care for your child.
While we can’t state a compensation amount for every hypoglycaemia case, NHS payouts can be significant. Every year victims of medical negligence receive millions, reflecting the suffering they have endured and the long-term effects they must live with. To find out how much compensation you could be awarded, you can get in touch with our professional team today.
If you would like to make a case after your child experienced medical negligence while their blood sugars levels were low, you have three years to make a case against those responsible.
This time limit is set on all medical claims and the timeframe starts from the ‘date of knowledge’. This legal term simply refers to the date that you first realised that mistakes has been made in the level of care your child was receiving. For some cases, those affected know instantly when this occurred. However, there are victims that may be unsure of exactly how long they have to act.
If you’re confused about your time limit, Your Legal Friend is here to offer you guidance. Our team of legal experts have experience in supporting those affected by medical negligence. Using this knowledge we’ll help you unravel the facts of your case and explain when you must bring it forward by.
While you do have three years to act, we advise those affected to seek advice sooner. This can support your case in a number of ways, including making obtaining evidence easier for our team working on your behalf. Armed with evidence and a witness statement provided by you, our team will work to deliver you the best possible outcome for your case.
Hypoglycaemia is also known as low blood sugar and it occurs when sugar levels within the blood falls below normal amounts. Symptoms range from becoming clumsy to seizures and when left untreated it’s a condition that can be life threatening. Often the signs of hypoglycaemia come on quickly, making efficient diagnosis and treatment vital.
Hypoglycaemia is often associated with diabetes but it can occur in otherwise healthy babies too.
Neonatal hypoglycaemia is the term used to refer to low blood sugar levels in the first few days following birth. The condition can’t always be prevented but the prognosis is typically very good for those that receive quick treatment. However, in more severe cases there can be long-term complications.
Low blood sugar in newborns can’t always be prevented. However, there are some factors that can increase the risk of hypoglycaemia occurring, including a mother developing diabetes during pregnancy. If this has happened, your health care team should work with you to control your blood sugar levels throughout the pregnancy and your baby’s health should be monitored closely after birth to deliver swift treatment if necessary.
There are several causes of neonatal hypoglycaemia. Blood sugar, known as glucose, is produced by the mother and delivered through the placenta during pregnancy. After birth, the baby will get glucose from milk and through producing its own. Glucose is essential for producing energy and maintaining health.
However, blood sugar levels may fall during the first few days following birth if:
While there are multiple ways that blood sugar can fall in infants, there are also risk factors. These factors indicate that a baby is more likely to become hypoglycaemia and include:
Some infants that have low blood sugar levels don’t show any of the signs associated with the condition. However, if your baby is considered to be at risk of developing hypoglycaemia, regular monitoring and tests should be conducted to flag when treatment may be needed.
For babies that have neonatal hypoglycaemia symptoms, these may include:
Noticing a combination of these signs in your newborn indicates that you should seek professional medical advice. Untreated neonatal hypoglycaemia can cause long-term complications that can severely affect your child’s quality of life. If you believe your child has been affected by medical negligence when they had hypoglycaemia, you can talk to one of our legal professionals today.
Hypoglycaemia is most commonly diagnosed through a simple blood test that will measure blood sugar levels. Every newborn should have one of these tests after birth to monitor how their glucose levels are changing. The blood test is conducted with a heel stick.
While all babies should be monitored until their glucose levels are considered normal, those that have one of the risk factors should be monitored more closely.
Other possible tests for hypoglycaemia can include blood and urine tests to screen for metabolic disorders. These tests may also provide a diagnosis if an underlying condition is causing low blood sugar.
If your baby has neonatal hypoglycaemia they will need to receive treatment and be monitored to ensure their condition doesn’t worsen.
Those babies that have blood sugar levels are only slightly below normal levels may only need extra feedings, with either breast milk or formula milk. Where glucose levels are very low or a baby is unable to eat by mouth, a sugar solution may be given intravenously, delivering the needed glucose directly into the vein.
In very rare cases, medicine can be used to increase blood sugar levels and eliminate hypoglycaemia or surgery that aims to reduce the baby’s production of insulin through removing a portion of the pancreas may be recommended.
Treatment will need to continue until glucose levels are consistently within normal levels. In some mild cases this can be achieved within a day but other infants will need treatment over a longer period of time.
Neonatal hypoglycaemia prognosis is usually very good, with babies responding well to treatment. While there is a risk of blood sugar levels falling again, this is more common in infants that have needed to be treated intravenously. Babies that have the most severe symptoms associated with hypoglycaemia, such as seizures, are more likely to experience complications that may affect their health in the long-term but this is still rare.
In the majority of cases neonatal hypoglycaemia causes only mild symptoms for the baby. While there is a risk of hypoglycaemia returning in some babies, this is a relatively uncommon occurrence, especially where the baby has initially responded well to treatment.
Most babies affected by hypoglycaemia in the UK receive quick treatment that they respond to well. However, there are also cases where complications can occur.
Glucose is vital for the brain’s function and where there is severely or prolonged levels of low blood sugar, it can causes complications. Long-term side effects and complications of hypoglycaemia may include:
You should be able to rely on those delivering the care for your baby to not only make an accurate diagnosis but to provide efficient treatment where necessary to reduce the risk of complications too. In some cases, medical negligence can cause long-term effects that can be distressing for both the child and their family. If you’ve been affected by medical negligence when your child should have been receiving treatment for hypoglycaemia, you may be able to make a claim for compensation. The team at Your Legal Friend is here to offer you support if you would like to take a case forward.
Neonatal hypoglycaemia occurs in between one to three births for every 1,000 globally. While there aren’t any UK based statistics, newborn hypoglycaemia rarely causes any complications and typically babies that are affected have a good prognosis thanks to the effective treatment options available.