Resources For Birth Injury Victims
Birth injuries are often the last thing on the mind of expectant parents. While they anticipate the birth of their child and the joys that accompany that time, the idea that something could go wrong during delivery is frequently not considered as even a remote possibility.
But, birth injuries should not be ignored. They are serious matters that can come with lifelong complications, pain and suffering. If a baby is injured or hurt during delivery, the legal term birth injury applies. In fact, birth injuries occur in six to eight of every 1,000 births. While there are many risk factors, causes and injuries (which could occur naturally or be caused by preventable medical mistakes made by a doctor, nurse or midwife), swift action on the part of the parent is paramount for a positive long-term outcome.
Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries fall on a large spectrum ranging from mild bruising and lacerations to severe, irreversible brain and/or nerve damage.
A few preventable birth injuries include:
- Hypoxia, anoxia and ischemia
- Brain injury
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Neurologic disorders
- Rh-ABO incompatibility
- Uterine rupture
- Other permanently disabling conditions that can require life-long care
Causes of Birth Injuries
There are many causes of birth injuries. But, a few are listed below:
- Cephalo-pelvic disproportion
- Quick and rapid delivery
- Delayed and prolonged delivery
- Abnormal birthing position
- Asynclitic birth or asinklitismus
- Abnormal fetal attitude
- Acceleration and stimulation of the birth
- Forceps and/or vacuum delivery among other things
Additionally, there are some scenarios that make a birth injury more likely. Those include:
- A large size. A baby weighing more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces is more likely to be injured during the delivery process.
- Premature delivery. Babies born prior to 37 weeks gestation are more susceptible to injury.
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion. If a mother’s pelvis is abnormally shaped or sized, birth injuries may be more likely.
- Dystocia. Difficult, prolonged labor may lead to a birth injury.
- Breech Presentation. When a baby’s buttocks or legs are presented prior to the head, in a “downward” position, injuries are more common.
- Complications during a prior birth. If a mother has experienced complications during a previous delivery, subsequent births are more likely to be complicated or high risk.
Medical Errors Leading to Birth Injuries
It is important to note that not all birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice or medical error. However, in some cases this proves to be true. This is where the importance of having an experienced lawyer examine the case cannot be understated.
Following are a few medical errors that could potentially lead to birth injuries:
- Failing to properly monitor and evaluate fetal monitoring strips
- Failing to anticipate birth complications
- Failing to recognize and treat fetal distress
- Failing to respond appropriately to bleeding
- Failing to diagnose fetal growth problems
- Failing to observe or respond to umbilical cord entrapment
- Failing to diagnose preeclampsia or pregnancy-induced hypertension
- Failing to promptly deliver by caesarean section when necessary
- Improperly using of forceps or the excessive use of vacuum extraction during delivery
- Misdiagnosing gestational diabetes
- Inappropriately administering Pitocin or other drugs to induce or augment labor, and more
If your child has been injured during the delivery process, or you suspect this is the case, there are many steps that are crucial to a positive outcome.
Collect Hospital Records
Reach out to your hospital’s records department for a copy of all medical records (for yourself and your child) pertaining to the delivery. Do the same for the doctor or practice who provided care during the pregnancy. Having accurate records is important for building a case, if applicable.
Obtain a Diagnosis
It is critical that you get to the bottom of your child’s injuries by obtaining an accurate diagnosis. Start with a pediatrician and don’t be afraid to visit multiple doctors for second and third opinions. Having the advice of medical doctors and specialists is important to be sure your child receives the care necessary for proper treatment.
Keep accurate records of all doctor appointments and specialist visits. Save receipts and insurance information. By keeping track of all appointments, missed work, conversations and expenses, your attorney will be able to provide guidance in how to better proceed through the legal process.
Contact an Experienced Birth Injury Attorney
In certain situations, families of children injured by medical error during delivery may be entitled to compensation. This cannot be obtained without proper representation from an experienced birth injury lawyer.
Choose a law firm with attorneys who have medical experience and knowledge (like those at NOW Law) and set up a consultation. During the consultation, make sure you feel comfortable and understand the possible steps for your family.
A birth injury attorney will review the medical records you have obtained and may obtain the expert advice of a physician. From there, they will provide guidance in navigating the legal process and in building a case to ensure the best possible outcome.
If your child has been injured as a result of a birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation. It’s important that you waste no time reaching out to an experienced birth injury law firm with a track record of success. Contact the birth injury attorneys at NOW Law today to set up a free consultation by calling 215-854-6326 . There is no attorney’s fee unless they recover compensation for you.