Neonatal hypoglycaemia claims

Neonatal hypoglycaemia claims

For finding answers and getting justice

The birth of a child should be a joyous event, but this happiness can be overshadowed by fear and uncertainty if your newborn is diagnosed with a condition like hypoglycaemia. At Switalskis, we're here to see whether you’re able to claim compensation for what you've gone through.

We'll provide the necessary guidance and support to make an informed decision about pursuing a claim. Your child's wellbeing is our top priority, and we’re committed to fighting for your rights, giving you the best possible chance of securing the compensation you deserve. We're dedicated to keeping you in the loop at every stage, and making sure your whole family is properly supported.

In these moments of vulnerability and confusion, we strive to be more than just your legal representatives. We aim to be the compassionate partner you need, providing a mix of empathetic understanding and professional expertise. So, if you're dealing with the distressing aftermath of a diagnosis, we encourage you to reach out to us.

Begin your journey towards justice and compensation with a no-obligation chat today.

Call Switalskis today on 0800 1380 458, or get in touch through the website. We’re here to listen, advise and help you reclaim control of your situation.

How Switalskis can help you

When your world is upended by a diagnosis, the path forward can seem overwhelming. Switalskis will be there to shine a light through the uncertainty, providing expert guidance and compassionate support.

The Switalskis medical negligence solicitors are experts with a track record of success in handling complex claims. With our understanding of both the medical and legal elements of these cases, we are well-equipped to provide the comprehensive support you need.

Our team includes solicitors who are accredited as specialists by the Law Society and the patient charity Action against Medical Accidents (AvMA) . We’re also recognised as being among the top clinical negligence teams in England by the Legal 500 UK, the foremost legal guide for clients.

We make it our mission to demystify the process for you, breaking down complex legal jargon into clear, understandable language. We keep you informed at every step, helping you to make informed decisions about your claim. Our empathetic approach helps us to fully understand your situation, allowing us to offer tailored advice that aligns with your unique needs.

We appreciate the emotional turmoil that comes with making a diagnosis, and we offer not only professional advice but emotional support as well. You're more than just a client to us - you're an individual facing a challenging situation, and we're here to help.

At Switalskis, we’re passionate about your rights. We’ll leave no stone unturned when it comes to investigating your claim. From securing medical records and expert opinions, to tirelessly advocating for you in court, we’re committed to getting the best possible outcome for you and your family.

If you believe that your child's was due to medical negligence, please don't hesitate to reach out to us. Our compassionate team is waiting to guide you through what could otherwise be a complex process.

Read what our clients had to say about the help they received from Switalskis

What is neonatal hypoglycaemia?

is a condition that affects newborn infants, where the baby's blood sugar levels are significantly lower than normal. Glucose plays a critical role in providing energy to the body and is particularly vital for the brain, so a lack of blood sugar is a potentially serious condition, especially if it's not identified and treated promptly.

In the first few hours and days of life, maintaining the right blood glucose concentrations in the blood can be a delicate balance. Babies draw their glucose from their mothers before birth. After birth, they must begin to generate their own glucose from their body stores, and from their feed. In some cases, this process may not go as smoothly as it should and lead to hypoglycaemia.

can occur shortly after birth or may develop after a few days. It's particularly common in babies who are premature, smaller or larger than average, or in babies whose mothers have diabetes.

With prompt recognition and appropriate management, most babies will recover fully from this condition and lead a healthy life. This is why it's crucial for medical professionals to maintain a regular routine of blood glucose measurement when monitoring newborn babies, so they can quickly recognise and act on signs of hypoglycaemia.

If they fail to do this, the health consequences can be serious - and it could form the basis of a medical negligence claim.

What are the symptoms of neonatal hypoglycaemia?

Identifying the symptoms of can be challenging, as some babies may not show clear signs, while others may have more subtle symptoms. However, recognising these signs is crucial, as this allows doctors to take action when blood glucose levels fall.

Symptoms of to watch out for include:

  • Abnormal feeding behaviour, such as difficulty feeding or refusal to feed
  • Jitteriness or tremors
  • Excessive sleepiness or lethargy
  • Irritability or inconsolable crying
  • Floppiness or poor muscle tone
  • Bluish skin, particularly around the lips (also known as cyanosis)
  • Rapid breathing or pauses in breathing (also known as apnoea)
  • Low body temperature
  • Grunting or making unusual noises
  • A weak or high-pitched cry

In severe cases, can lead to seizures. This is considered a medical emergency and requires immediate treatment.

It's essential for healthcare professionals to monitor babies closely, especially those at higher risk, to keep an eye out for these potential clinical signs of hypoglycaemia. By spotting them early, they can prevent the most severe complications, which may include brain injury.

If you suspect that doctors may have missed obvious signs that your newborn baby had hypoglycaemia, you may have grounds for a medical negligence claim.

When can I make a neonatal hypoglycaemia negligence claim?

There are a number of situations in which you might be able to make a negligence claim. To do so, you need to be able to prove that the negligence of healthcare professionals has directly caused harm or injury to your baby.

Specific situations where you could potentially make a negligence claim include:

  • Failure to identify babies at risk: certain babies, such as those born prematurely, with a low birth weight, or to mothers with diabetes, are at higher risk of developing neonatal hypoglycaemia. If healthcare professionals don’t monitor these babies closely and they experience health problems as a result, you may be able to make a claim.
  • Abnormal feeding and/or behaviour: we see missed opportunities to identify babies with low blood glucose - babies who aren’t feeding effectively are sometimes missed by midwives and clinicians looking after new mothers and their babies.
  • Delay in diagnosis: neonatal hypoglycaemia needs to be diagnosed promptly to prevent severe complications. If healthcare professionals don’t spot the early signs (see below) of a baby who may be hypoglycaemic and carry out blood glucose measurements in a timely manner or misinterpret the results, it can lead to a dangerous delay in diagnosis and treatment.
  • Inadequate treatment: if doctors fail to provide the right treatment for a child suffering neonatal hypoglycaemia, or the correct processes aren’t followed and this leads to further health problems for your baby, this may be grounds for a claim.
  • Failure to communicate: if healthcare professionals don’t effectively communicate the baby's condition, treatment plan or potential risks to parents, this can be seen as a form of negligence.

These are complex claims that require expert legal support. At Switalskis, we specialise in claims and can help you understand whether you can make a claim for compensation in your circumstances.

What is the process for making a neonatal hypoglycaemia claim?

The process of making a claim can be complex, but at Switalskis, we’ll simplify it as much as we can and keep you fully informed every step of the way.

Here's a broad overview of the steps involved:

Step 1: Initial consultation

In an initial consultation, we learn about your unique situation. We’ll need to understand your child’s condition, the circumstances leading up to their diagnosis, and the impact it has had on your lives. This meeting will give us a clear picture of what we need to investigate.

Step 2: Establishing your claim

Next, we’ll meticulously investigate the circumstances surrounding the birth and medical care that led to the diagnosis. This will involve obtaining and reviewing medical records, consulting with independent medical experts, and investigating the care provided. The aim is to prove that was caused by medical negligence and start to work out the potential overall value of the claim. This early stage, given the fact we use the best medicolegal experts and counsel, can take between 18 months to two years.

Step 3: Notifying the defendant - letters of claim and response

Once we’ve enough evidence, we’ll send a letter of claim to the medical professionals involved, outlining the full details of the claim and the evidence supporting it. The defendant will need time to conduct their own investigations, which will include obtaining their own expert advice in order to decide whether to accept liability. This can take up to 12 months before they’re in a position to answer the letter of claim with a formal letter of response.

Step 4: Admission and interim payments

If the defendant admits responsibility in their letter of response, we can then obtain an interim payment by agreement with the defendant, and with the approval of the court. This initial payment means we can then engage the support of a deputy (who manages the compensation on behalf of the injured person/child) and also employ a case manager, therapists and much-needed support. All of these steps and the engagement of individuals will take place in consultation with you as parents/individuals.

Step 5: Court proceedings (where necessary)

Many claims will be settled through negotiation, and a fair settlement will be agreed upon without needing to go to trial. However, in many cases we do have to start formal court proceedings to make sure that we progress cases and make sure the defendant and their solicitors keep to strict court timetables. In rare cases we may need to take your claim to trial - should this happen with your claim, we will of course be with you every step of the way.

Step 6: Settlement and compensation

If the defendants deny responsibility and we have to issue court proceedings, we will deal with the liability part of the claim first. Once we succeed in proving liability (by negotiation or at trial), your child (or you as an individual if bringing the claim yourself as you have the capacity to do so) will receive compensation. Any award of compensation to a child or a person without capacity has to be formally approved by the court. The compensation is often life-changing, helping to cover the costs of care, therapy, equipment and adaptations to housing, making sure the best quality of life for your child.

Remember, this is a general outline and each case is unique. The length and complexity of the process can vary significantly depending on the specifics of your case. For a clearer view of the steps that might be involved in your case, simply give us a call.

What are the time limits for making a neonatal hypoglycaemia claim?

Generally, there will be a legal time limit - also known as the limitation period - within which you need to bring your claim. This is why timing is important when deciding whether to file a medical negligence claim.

The standard limitation period for medical negligence claims in England and Wales is three years. However, for cases involving children, this three-year period doesn’t start until the child's 18th birthday. This means a claim can be made at any time before the child turns 21.

In some circumstances, exceptions to these time limits can be made. For instance, in cases where the person affected by the negligence doesn’t have the mental capacity to manage their own affairs, there is no time limit to make a claim.

Whatever your circumstances, it's important to seek legal advice as soon as possible after the incident. The sooner you start the claim process, the sooner evidence can be collected, and proceedings can begin.

How much compensation could I claim for neonatal hypoglycaemia?

Families will often ask how much compensation they might expect for a medical negligence claim. However, there’s no simple answer to this question, because the value of a claim will vary significantly depending on the factors involved.

The compensation awarded for claims generally falls into two categories:

  • General damages are calculated to account for the pain, suffering and loss of amenity resulting from the negligence. In neonatal hypoglycaemia cases, these damages account for the immediate and long-term physical and psychological effects the condition may have caused. This includes impacts on the child's quality of life, life expectancy, and their ability to participate in activities typical for their age.
  • Special damages cover actual financial losses incurred as a result of the negligence. This will include costs for current and future medical treatments, specialist care, therapeutic services and home modifications if necessary. It can also cover the financial impacts on parents or caregivers, such as loss of earnings due to taking time off work to care for the child.

At Switalskis, we understand the financial strain that such situations can put on a family. That's why we fight vigorously to secure the maximum compensation possible for your claim. By getting in touch with us, we can provide an informed estimate of the potential compensation you could receive after thoroughly examining all aspects of your case.

How are neonatal hypoglycaemia claims funded?

We understand that the thought of legal costs can be daunting, especially when you're already dealing with the consequences of a case. At Switalskis, our priority is to make the process as stress-free as possible for you, including when it comes to funding your claim. The funding options available include:

  • No win, no fee agreement: also known as a conditional fee agreement (CFA), are the most common way to fund a hypoglycaemia claim. Under a no win, no fee agreement, you won’t need to pay anything if your claim is unsuccessful. Our costs are written off. If you win your case, a percentage of your compensation will be used to cover our fees. This option allows you to pursue your claim without any financial risk, and we’ll discuss all of the potential costs with you upfront to avoid any surprises.
  • Legal expenses insurance: we will begin an insurance policy to cover you for the out-of-pocket costs we experience during the investigation. We have our own insurance provider that we use. However, you may have legal expenses cover as part of your home or car insurance policy, which can also be used to fund your claim. We’ll assist you in understanding your policy and liaise with your insurer.
  • Legal aid: in very rare cases, Legal Aid may be available for clinical negligence claims, although it’s usually reserved for specific situations. Our team can guide you on whether you might be eligible.

Call us to arrange a free initial consultation, and we can take this opportunity to discuss your case without any financial obligation. It's during this consultation that we'll review the details of your case, advise you on the chances of success, and discuss the potential funding options available to you.

Contact us today and let's start your journey towards recovery together. Call us today on 0800 1380 458, or get in touch via our form.

Our neonatal hypoglycaemia claims specialists

Photo of Suzanne Munroe
Suzanne MunroeDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Sarah Walker
Sarah WalkerDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Charlotte Reeves
Charlotte ReevesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of Kay Barnes
Kay BarnesDirector and Solicitor
Photo of David Thomas
David ThomasDirector and Chartered Legal Executive
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Why Switalskis?

Navigating a compensation claim can be a complex and stressful journey. However, when you have the medical negligence specialists at Switalskis by your side, you can rest assured that you’ve got an experienced legal ally supporting you step by step.

Clarity in complexity

We understand how complicated the medical negligence claims process can seem, which is why we’re dedicated to simplifying it for you as much as possible. We’ll help translate complex legal terms into clear, easy-to-understand language, and we’ll always be there to answer your questions and clear up any points of confusion.

Empathy at every step

Every family’s situation is unique, and we’ll strive to understand your needs throughout the claims process. We listen attentively to your concerns, respect your emotions, and provide bespoke advice that's tailored to your specific situation. To us, you're more than just a client - we know you and your family are navigating a challenging period, and we'll be there to support you in all ways possible.

Expertise you can trust

However long your claim takes to resolve, you'll always be in safe hands with Switalskis. With our decades of experience and proven success in securing compensation for cases just like yours, you can have confidence in us doing all we can to achieve the best possible outcome for you and your family.

Championing your rights

Switalskis is committed to upholding your rights and making sure your voice is heard. By making a claim with us, we’ll do everything we can to not only get the compensation you deserve but also to do all we can towards lessons being learned.

We can support you in the following medical negligence situations

FAQs about neonatal hypoglycaemia

What are the risk factors for neonatal hypoglycaemia?

can occur for a variety of reasons, and some newborns may be more vulnerable than others due to certain risk factors. While these risk factors may increase the chances of a newborn experiencing low blood glucose, this does not mean that the condition will happen. In other cases, might affect newborns even without any of these risk factors present.

The most common factors associated with low blood glucose concentrations include:

  • Premature birth or low birth weight - infants born prematurely (before 37 weeks of gestation), or who are considered small for their gestational age, may have trouble maintaining their blood glucose levels. This is because they have smaller glycogen and fat stores from which to draw energy.
  • Diabetes in the mother - babies born to mothers with diabetes (either type 1, type 2, or gestational diabetes) have an increased risk of developing neonatal hypoglycaemia. These babies may produce extra insulin in response to their mother's high blood glucose levels - this leads to low blood glucose levels once they are born.
  • Stress at birth - infants who have experienced stress during birth, such as birth trauma or asphyxia, are at increased risk.
  • Poor nutritional intake - if a baby is not feeding well or is not receiving sufficient nutrition, this can lead to low blood glucose levels.
  • Infants with certain medical conditions - some medical conditions can increase a baby's risk of neonatal hypoglycaemia. These include growth hormone deficiency, hyperinsulinism, fatty acid oxidation disorders or certain metabolic issues.

Recognising these risk factors allows healthcare providers to closely monitor newborns who may be at higher risk. If your baby has suffered from and has sustained damage as a result, and you believe these risk factors weren’t properly managed, you may have grounds for a claim.

What are the potential long-term effects of neonatal hypoglycaemia?

If the condition isn’t addressed quickly, can result in serious and potentially long-term effects on a child's development and wellbeing. The brain depends on glucose for energy, so low glucose levels can affect brain function and development in various negative ways.

Some potential long-term effects of include:

  • Neurological damage - persistent or severe hypoglycaemia can lead to irreversible brain injury. This is because the brain needs a consistent supply of glucose to work properly. The brain damage can happen in various regions of the brain, leading to cognitive problems, poor hand-eye coordination or seizures. Typically, brain damage occurs in the region of the occipital lobe in the brain and so visual impairment is a common result of hypoglycaemic brain injury.
  • Developmental delays - developmental delays can happen in children who have experienced neonatal hypoglycaemia sufficiently severe to cause brain damage. This may affect speech and language development, motor skills, cognitive abilities, or social and emotional skills.
  • Learning disabilities - some children who experience neonatal hypoglycaemia may struggle academically. They could have difficulties with concentration, memory and problem-solving skills, or develop learning disabilities such as dyslexia.
  • Behavioural and psychological problems - in some cases, children who suffered from neonatal hypoglycaemia may develop behavioural issues, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or psychological conditions like anxiety or depression.
  • Epilepsy - severe and prolonged neonatal hypoglycaemia can lead to epilepsy. This dangerous condition causes seizures, unusual sensations, and sometimes loss of awareness.

The impact of these potential long-term effects can be wide-ranging, affecting the child's quality of life, educational performance and future potential. If your child is experiencing any of these long-term effects, and you believe there may have been negligence involved, you may be entitled to make a claim.

How should neonatal hypoglycaemia be treated and prevented?

is a potentially serious condition, but with the right treatment at the right time, it can be managed effectively. The primary goal of the treatment is to restore your baby's blood sugar levels to a safe range and keep them stable.

  • Frequent feeding and immediate glucose treatment: if a newborn is identified with low blood glucose levels, an initial treatment strategy will include frequent feeding to boost the infant's glucose. This could be breast milk, formula or a glucose gel applied to the inside of the baby's mouth. In some cases, intravenous glucose may be necessary if the baby's blood glucose doesn’t increase with feeding, or if the baby is too sick to feed.
  • Close monitoring: newborns with hypoglycaemia will require regular blood glucose measurement to monitor their glucose levels. This monitoring is crucial for providing effective treatment and preventing the blood glucose from dropping too low again.
  • Treating the underlying cause: if an underlying condition is causing the hypoglycaemia, such as an infection, appropriate diagnosis and treatment for that condition will be necessary. Examples include conditions such as transient neonatal hyperinsulinism.

Blood glucose problems among newborn babies can often be prevented entirely with the following steps:

  1. Early detection: identifying babies at risk due to maternal diabetes, premature birth, low birth weight or other risk factors means they can be monitored carefully.
  2. Frequent feedings: regular feeding, starting as soon as possible after birth, can help maintain blood glucose levels.
  3. Continuous monitoring: babies at high risk should have their blood glucose levels tested regularly to catch any drops in glucose levels early on.

Healthcare professionals have a responsibility to monitor newborns at risk of and to act quickly if the condition is identified. Failure to do so could be considered negligence, and you may have a case for a compensation claim.

Find out how Switalskis can help you

If your newborn baby has been left with health problems because those responsible for their care failed to manage their blood sugar level properly, Switalskis is here to help. We know how distressing it can be to deal with health concerns so soon after your child's birth. We're here to help you get the compensation and justice your family deserves.

Call Switalskis today on 0800 1380 458 , or contact us through our website to find out more about the services we provide and how we can support you.

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