Birth injury Claims

Group B Strep Claims

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    Our experienced solicitors are well versed in supporting people and parents with Group B Strep claims.

    Group B Streptococcus (also known as GBS) claims usually arise due to mistakes made in the care of pregnant women and young babies.

    Group B Strep can cause serious injury to babies and even death.

    We understand how traumatic it is if this happens to your family. Our specialist solicitors can find out what went wrong in your case and help you access care and support.

    No amount of money can change what has happened. Compensation can assist families to find the help they need to move forward with their lives and cover the financial costs incurred due to what has happened to them, including loss of earnings.

    If your child has been left disabled our team can support you, help create a care plan and access the additional medical help you need.

    Can I claim compensation for Group B Streptococcus?

    You may be able to pursue a Group B Strep claim if your baby came into contact with the bacteria due to medical negligence or the negligence meant the infection was more severe.

    We can help you assess if you may have a valid claim.

    Not all cases of Group B Strep (GBS) are avoidable, and sometimes the severe consequences may not have been avoidable either. Most early-onset GBS infections are preventable though, according to the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists (RCOG).

    If the correct procedures were not followed in your case, symptoms were missed or mismanaged or the care received was delayed or substandard, you may have a claim.

    If you have a valid claim, pursuing it can be an opportunity to get answers about what went wrong, highlight mistakes to prevent the same thing from happening to other people, secure an apology and a financial settlement to help you put in place support for you and your family.

    We understand how difficult this time may be for you and that pursuing a claim can feel daunting. We’re here to offer help and advice to allow you to decide what is best for you and your family.

    Contact us to discuss what happened in your case. We will ask some initial questions to help assess your best next step. Initial contact is free and there is no obligation to pursue a claim.

    A hand doing a test in a petri dish

    The birth of a child should be wonderful, but for our client who lost her son when a positive test for Group B Streptoccus (GBS) was overlooked, that was sadly not the case.

    Group B Streptococcus claim – tragic baby death

     

    We supported Carly* to get answers when her newborn baby tragically contracted Group B Strep (GBS) and died.

    Our specialist solicitors were able to assess the evidence and show that if the results of GBS tests undertaken on Carly before labour had been properly logged, it is likely her baby would have survived.

    While nothing could adequately compensate Carly for the pain of her loss, we helped her to get the answers she needed over what went wrong and negotiated a five-figure settlement to help her, and her family, move forward.

    Carly had been suffering from urinary tract infections and stomach pains throughout her pregnancy. Despite numerous tests, no group B Strep had been recorded.

    Two days before Carly went into labour, she experienced abdominal pains and went to the hospital to have them checked. During this visit, a further test for infection was done, but her records do not show that this was passed to the laboratory. She was discharged after two days in the hospital, but her waters broke soon after and she was readmitted.

    Carly’s son was born in good condition the next day and at first there was no cause for alarm. Later that day it became apparent that he was having difficulty breathing and he was transferred to Intensive Care.

    It was at this point that the results of the blood test taken two days earlier appeared and confirmed Carly had tested positive for GBS. Sadly, by the time this had been discovered her baby was so poorly the decision had to be made not to resuscitate him.

    Our legal team led by Claire Stoneman and Adele Wilde were able to successfully argue that if the sample taken before Carly went into labour had been logged properly, the results would have been chased. It would have been realised earlier that Carly was carrying GBS and it is likely her son would have survived.

    *Name changed

    What is Group B Strep?

    Group B Strep (Group B Streptococcus or GBS) is a bacteria that is very common and usually harmless to healthy adults.

    It is potentially dangerous when a pregnant woman is carrying Group B Strep because it may be passed to the baby.

    Group B Strep causes a risk, albeit low, of miscarriage.

    Babies usually make a full recovery if they get the correct treatment for Group B Strep.

    In some cases, it can be fatal or cause serious problems like sepsis, meningitis, loss of hearing or vision.

    If your baby has suffered as a result of contracting Group B Strep and you are worried correct care procedures were not followed, we may be able to help. Contact us for more information.

    How did I get Group B Strep?

    Group B Strep (GBS) is a very common bacteria that usually live in the bottom and vagina and may be passed by sexual contact or other close physical contact such as hand-holding and kissing.

    GBS is present in around one or two in every five women and is usually harmless in healthy l adults. It is not a sexual disease or a sign of bad hygiene.

    Group B Strep can be harmful if it is present during labour. It can be harmful to young babies, elderly people and people who are already very ill.

    What causes Group B Strep?

    Group B Strep (GBS) is a common bacteria that is harmless to most adults. Up to two in five women carry GBS. It is passed between people through skin-to-skin contact.

    GBS is problematic to pregnant women because it could be passed to their baby. GBS can be dangerous to young babies.

    There are tests for Group B Strep, but they are not carried out routinely on the NHS for pregnant women.

    You can find out more about Group B Streptococcus in pregnancy and newborn babies via this download.

    Were Strep B complications avoidable?

    The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists says most early-onset Strep B or GBS cases are preventable.

    If GBS is found during your pregnancy or if you have had a baby affected by GBS in the past, you should be offered antibiotics in labour to reduce the risk to your baby.

    Care teams should be aware of the risk factors for GBS infection and the signs of it. It should be treated with antibiotics straight away.

    There is an elevated risk of GBS infection if:

    • a baby is born early
    • a mother has a temperature during labour
    • a baby is not delivered within 24 hours of the waters breaking.

    Signs of GBS infection in a baby include:

    • breathing difficulties
    • being very sleepy or unresponsive
    • inconsolable crying
    • being floppy
    • feeding poorly
    • high temperature
    • blotchy skin or changes in skin colour
    • fast or slow heart rate
    • low blood pressure
    • low blood sugar

    If there were failures to identify or act upon GBS infection risk factors or symptoms in your case it could mean it was avoidable, but deciding for certain involves close inspection of each specific case.

    If you are worried you did not receive appropriate care and GBS infection may have been avoidable, you can seek answers from your care providers. We can offer support and guidance on this. Get in touch for more information.

    How much compensation will I receive for Strep B?

    Some settlements for Strep B (Group B Strep) cases are very substantial, perhaps running to hundreds of thousands or even millions of pounds.

    The level of compensation depends on the outcome in your case and the level of ongoing need created by any clinical negligence. If a child is severely disabled because of contracting Strep B the compensation can be particularly high because it is intended to meet their lifelong needs.

    Compensation is awarded as general damages and special damages. General damages are intended to compensate for loss and suffering. General damages are paid according to tight guidelines and can be easier to estimate.

    Special damages are intended to cover any costs incurred because of negligence. This can include loss of earnings, costs of ongoing care and medical equipment and house adaptations. Special damages are much more individual to each case and may far exceed the general damages awarded.

    Strep B can lead to sepsis and meningitis which can, in turn, lead to many types of complications such as amputation, kidney damage, hearing or sight loss or fatality.

    Judicial College guideline compensation amounts that may be relevant in Strep B cases include:

    • amputation of an arm (at the shoulder) – £128,710 plus special damages
    • amputation of one leg (below the knee) – up to £124,800 plus special damages
    • Serious kidney damage – up to £60,050 plus special damages
    • Brain damage, leading to serious disability and substantial dependence on others – up to £264,650 plus special damages
    • Loss of hearing – up to £91,660 plus special damages
    • Loss of sight – around £224,680 plus special damages.

    How long does a Group Streptococcus B claim take?

    Claims can take a long time to settle but help and support with day-to-day costs and difficulties may be available much sooner.

    Interim payments can often be secured in cases where negligence is accepted. These payments help families with immediate needs whilst a full and final settlement is agreed upon.

    It can be difficult to accept that a case may take a long time to settle but it is not in anyone’s best interests to rush a settlement. One of the reasons cases may take many months to settle, especially in a Strep B case involving a baby, is that there is a need to understand the long term support your child may require. This allows time for an assessment of how much help they need in the future and how much compensation they deserve to meet those needs.

    Specialist, experienced solicitors will provide support and information throughout the process to make it as stress free as possible. A good solicitor will seek to always reduce the burden on you, understanding that you already have a lot to cope with.

    Pursuing a compensation claim may feel like an added strain, but it can be one of the most effective ways to get additional support with the day-to-day pressures of caring for someone who has been affected by Strep B. By dealing with expert solicitors, you will also gain access to and information about the best health professionals and support available.

    Who we work with

    Group B Streptococcus Support (GBSS) are a charity dedicated to raising public awareness of the dangers of GBS infection in babies, and to supporting those families who have already been affected by GBS.

    Visit its website to access a wealth of resources and information about GBS, sign up for fundraising activities and access their supportive community.

    What is Clinical Negligence?

    Clinical negligence, also known as medical negligence, is when you suffer an injury (physical or psychiatric) as a result of substandard medical treatment. This treatment may be provided privately or on the NHS by a range of medical professionals, such as GPs, hospital staff, community nurses, dentists etc.

    Group B Streptococcus Claims

    If undetected, Group B Streptococcus can lead to disability, or even death. Our solicitors understand the complexities of Group B Strep claims, and will fight for you to get answers to your questions, an apology, and where possible, compensation.

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