An infant injured at birth faces a lifetime of challenges and disabilities requiring special education, physical therapy, adult dependency and special provisions like ramps and mobility aids. In addition to the heartbreak and pain to the parents, the expenses can be astronomical well into adulthood. In many cases birth injuries could have been avoided if risks were recognized and proper steps were taken. Families of children injured at birth may file claims against the delivering doctor or other medical professionals if they feel that the injury was the result of negligence.
Medical negligence is defined by a performance that falls below the expected standard of care within the medical community. To prove negligence existed requires a professional birth injury attorney that has the experience to show that there was no fetal injury prior to the mother going into labor. The monitor in the delivery room can determine the health of the infant leading up to and though delivery.
Medical negligence that can lead to birth injuries includes:
- Caesarian Section Delay – If there is fetal distress, an emergency C-section may be ordered. This distress may occur from placental bleeding from abruption, a sudden drop in the fetal heart rate, cord prolapse, slowed labor, uterine rupture or several other issues. Failure to order a C-section on time can lead to fetal injury. If the delivery personnel failed to recognize the signs, and delayed in ordering the C-section, they could be liable if injuries occurred.
- Hypoxia – When an infant’s brain is not receiving enough oxygen, hypoxia occurs. It can be the result of a tangled umbilical cord, or placental infection or damage. Labor room professionals are trained in the detection of hypoxia and the proper action to take to prevent further harm. If a doctor or other trained labor room team member fails to notice hypoxia and does not act quickly, that person could be liable for damages. Hypoxia can result in lifelong mental and physical disabilities.
- Vacuum Injuries – When there are delivery issues, and the infant has difficult passing through the birth canal, a vacuum may be employed to help guide it. Placed on the baby’s head or shoulder, it is a safe method to assist in the childbirth. Improperly used it may cause serious harm to the baby and to the mother.
- Forceps Injury – Doctors may use forceps when the mother is having trouble pushing the delivery or the baby is positioned improperly within the womb. Forceps may prevent or alleviate oxygen deprivation that can lead to cerebral palsy and other injuries. When used improperly nerve damage can occur to the child’s neck, chest or head.
Other areas of negligence may also lead to birth injuries such as neglecting pre-natal testing, failure to treat infections, failure to recognize umbilical entrapment and failure to induce labor with drugs when needed. In addition nurses and technicians may be held liable for failure to notify a physician when a problem is detected.
Recognizing and Proving Malpractice
A trained and experienced birth injury attorney will use medical records, including diagnostics, delivery flow sheets, fetal monitoring strips and records of any birthing tools utilized, to determine if any of the many possible birth injury scenarios occurred. The attorney will have medical experts available to consult in every aspect of the investigation. If it is determined that negligence played a part in the child’s birth injury the attorney will move aggressively to pursue compensation for the family of the infant.
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The lifetime expenses incurred by the family of a birth-injured child can be astronomical. Add to that the pain and suffering, the loss of joy of life and the mental anguish. Medical malpractice insurance companies know the potential for huge jury awards and try to settle these cases quickly, for much less than the true value. There are many law firms out there that are satisfied with a quick settlement to avoid the cost and time of a courtroom trial. Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA is not one of those settlement mills. We have and will wage a tenacious battle to win the maximum amount possible in cases of birth injury. We do it with absolutely no out-of-pocket expenses to our clients.
If you have a child that you believe was injured due to neglect during birth, you owe it to your child and yourself to reach out to a birth injury attorney at Dolman Law Group Accident Injury Lawyers, PA. Contact us today for a free evaluation of your case.