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A spinal cord birth injury can occur when doctors strain a baby’s neck by pulling, twisting or using medical instruments to remove the baby from the birth canal. Undiagnosed damage to the spine before birth can also result in a spinal cord injury during delivery. Spinal cord injuries affect the baby differently depending on where the damage is. Damage to the spinal cord can result in temporary or permanent damage to the baby’s muscle function. Spinal cord injuries affecting the neck are known as cervical injuries. Severe cases of cervical injuries can result in quadriplegia.

Using ventouse and forceps to rotate or pull a baby from the birth canal can also cause spinal cord damage. Sometimes use of the medical instruments can lead to severely stretched nerves in the neck and back and in rare cases skull fractures. This can cause bleeding on the brain and pressure on the spinal cord.

Antenatally ultrasound scans are undertaken which involve checking the spinal cord of the baby. These checks can result in a diagnosis of spina bifida. Spina bifida is when the baby’s spine and spinal cord does not develop properly in the womb. A vaginal delivery can be dangerous for a baby with spina bifida because the condition causes gaps between the vertebrae that protect the spinal cord. These gaps leave the spinal cord exposed to potential injury.

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Based in Wales.

Some babies can experience profound and severe consequences following a birth injury. Sadly for some, this may mean they will have short lives.

If you have been told that your baby is unlikely to live into adulthood, we understand the deep sense of grief and uncertainty that this will bring. Tŷ Hafan provides essential support to help you navigate this uncertainty and distress. You do not have to go through this journey alone.

We can provide you and your family with practical and emotional support whenever you need it and for however long you need it, including a wide range of therapies designed to enhance your child's wellbeing. Our focus is always on what your child can do, rather than what they are unable to do, to help you make the most out of the precious time you have together.

If your baby or child becomes seriously unwell, we may be able to offer a tranquil place of care for you all. We have a Neonatal Clinical Nurse Specialist who can guide you through our services and identify how we can best support you.

    Related support.

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    Maternal birth injury

    Some women suffer from an injury during the birth process which can cause of trauma, lead to a longer recovery and can affect a women’s day to day quality of life.

    Maternal mental health

    Many women will seek help for their child who might have suffered an injury but often minimise the importance of their mental health.

    Support for families

    Witnessing a traumatic birth or living with a birth injury can have a devastating effect on partners, siblings, and other family members.

    Legal advice.

    The birth of a child should be a time of happiness, excitement and celebration. Sadly, when negligent mistakes are made by medical professionals the result is pain, heartache and frustration for parents and the wider family.

    If you believe that you have a birth injury negligence claim in relation to any wrong or mistreatment you received during birth, then please contact a member of our medical negligence specialist team today. We are dedicated to your best interests and can advise you on how to proceed. If after talking to us you decide not to take matters further you are under no obligation to do so and you will not be charged for our initial advice session.

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