Congenital Hip Dysplasia Claims
In the UK we are fortunate enough to benefit from some of the best medical treatment and care in the world. However, occasionally errors occur, and this can have devastating effects on victims and their families. When medical malpractice occurs with younger patients, in particular babies, the impact can seem unbearable. Congenital hip dysplasia is a condition that affects babies and that must be diagnosed quickly in order to secure the best prognosis.
Medical negligence solicitors are experienced in processing compensation claims for all areas of medical negligence and substandard treatment. They work diligently with compassion and empathy to ensure that your case progresses as smoothly and swiftly as possible.
As well as providing the benefit and security of a no win no fee service, your solicitor will also work hard to ensure you receive the maximum amount of compensation possible for your particular set of circumstances.
What is congenital hip dysplasia?
Development hip displacement or congenital hip dysplasia is the malformation of the hip joint where the ball of the thigh bone does not fit securely in the socket. The results mean that the ligaments located within the hip joint and surrounding areas are stretched and become loose which impacts on the mobility and function of the joint.
The severity of the impact can vary on a case by case basis. In some cases, the upper end of the thigh bone may fit loosely in the socket and in others there may be complete dislocation of the hip at birth. The condition can become worse if it is not treated on time.
What causes congenital hip dysplasia?
According to the NHS, an estimated 1-2 out of every 1000 babies born may have a dislocated hip at birth. The cause of this condition is generally unknown, and it is difficult to tell which factors can result in this condition. However, there are some contributory factors including:
- If your family has a history of congenital hip dysplasia
- Women who have low levels of amniotic fluid when giving birth
- Babies who are born in the breech position (delivered feet or buttocks first) or conditions which affect their position whilst in the uterus
First born children and girls are also thought to be at a greater risk of suffering from dysplasia of the hip. There are no particular lifestyle activities that are associated with the development of the condition, and rather the focus should be on delivery and the immediate health of the child after the birth.
Medical professionals are required to perform examinations after every birth to assess whether a baby is presenting symptoms of the condition. This involves manipulating the child’s legs to feel for any abnormality in feel and movement. In some cases, a clicking or clunk sound may indicate that the hip joint is not working as it should. A doctor should also conduct a visual examination that may help to highlight an issue, such as any disparity in femur length for example.
Without exception, all babies should be checked for hip dysplasia promptly after their birth, as well as at stages during their development. Due to the rapid speed at which babies grow and develop, a delay in diagnosis or misdiagnosis can make the treatment required vastly more complicated.
A doctor who fails to provide a thorough examination or misdiagnosed dysplasia of the hip will be considered to have acted negligently, and you may subsequently be eligible to make a claim for compensation.
What are the consequences of hip dysplasia not being diagnosed?
Following birth, all babies are examined to check for congenital hip dysplasia as early diagnosis is essential in order to secure the best prognosis and effective treatment. Further checks are carried out as necessary by doctors and health visitors.
If a diagnosis is not made quickly, the child might not display symptoms of congenital hip dysplasia until they begin to walk, at which stage a limp may become apparent. If a delay in diagnosis occurs, the damage to the joint may be irreparable and lead to significant complications with mobility, agility, pain and bone-related conditions later in life. In order to relieve some of these symptoms, surgery may be necessary.
How can congenital hip dysplasia be treated?
The treatment that is offered to a baby who has been diagnosed with congenital hip dysplasia will vary depending upon the severity of the condition. The severity of the condition is also largely attributable to the promptness of a diagnosis.
In less severe cases, the baby might have a splint applied, and close and regular assessment should hopefully see great improvement in the child. In more severe instances, such as when the femur is completely dislocated, it is likely that the baby will need surgery in order to address the complaint.
Am I eligible to make a claim for compensation?
Babies who are diagnosed with hip dysplasia within 6 months of their birth have a much more positive prognosis. The prime cause of congenital hip dysplasia claims is due to medical negligence where there are delays in a diagnosis. After that, the most common cause of such claims is that the treatment offered to babies with the condition was unsuitable or inadequate.
In order to be successful in making a congenital hip dysplasia claim, the solicitor must demonstrate that the claimant or their baby suffered a level of care or treatment that fell below the accepted standard as per the regulators of all medical practitioners in the UK, the General Medical Council. The solicitor must further highlight that the substandard care that was received resulted in a negative outcome for the patient. In other words, the child suffered a degree of pain and suffering that could and should have been avoided.
How can a solicitor help me make a claim for compensation?
Medical negligence solicitors are highly experienced and knowledgeable in the area of birth injury claims, and will offer an expert service to victims who seek the settlement that is rightfully owed to them. The first rate service includes:
- A free consultation to assess if you have a valid claim. This is provided confidentially and with no obligation to proceed further
- A 100% no win, no fee service. This means there are no financial risks when making your claim. If your solicitor is unable to win your case, you won’t pay us a penny.
- Expert and experienced clinical negligence solicitors available in locations throughout the UK.
- An empathetic and patient approach. Your solicitor will understand and appreciate the emotional nature of these type of claims.
- A thorough review of all potential areas of loss, including physical, emotional and financial impacts
Your solicitor will strive to offer the most supportive service and work with professionalism and constant awareness of the potential emotional distress that your claim could have on you. Solicitors would be pleased to discuss your individual case and explain the ways in which they can overcome any concerns that you might have.
How much compensation will I be awarded?
The amount of compensation that is awarded to you will depend on a number of different factors. Personal injury compensation is broken down into two parts – general damages and special damages. General damages is an amount based on the type and severity of the injury or illness caused. Special damages are based on any financial losses you have incurred as a result of the medical negligence. This could include loss of earnings from being unable to work while looking after your child, or the cost of any medication or treatment require.
Your solicitor will offer a free initial consultation where they invite you to explain the details of your case and ask any questions that you might have about claiming. Once they have assessed your case, they will be able to provide you with a realistic estimate of the likely award that you should be entitled to.