Birth Injuries Attorney
The birth of a child is a magical time that parents remember for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, some births are remembered not for the beauty of the moment, but because of the injuries the newborn – or mother – sustained during labor and delivery.
Obstetricians, midwives, and nurses have an obligation to meet a certain standard of care with respect to their patients, including both the mother and her infant. If any member of the team deviates from this standard of care and injuries result, the parties responsible should be held legally accountable for their actions.
What kind of errors can cause birth injuries?
- Failing to order a cesarean section in a timely manner
- Failing to monitor fetal distress
- Failing to detect or monitor the mother’s preeclampsia
- Cesarean section mistakes
- Anesthesia errors
- Failing to suction meconium properly
- Negligently depriving the baby of oxygen
- Failing to test for bilirubin levels in a newborn
What kind of birth injuries can result from these errors?
Birth injuries tend to manifest themselves cognitively, physically and/or developmentally. Some injuries are not necessarily evident immediately following the birth, but may be detected only when the infant is examined by a specialist or when certain development delays are noticed by the parent. Among the most common injuries are:
- Cerebral Palsy. A form of brain damage, this condition affects the motor function and development of infants. The child’s condition doesn’t generally worsen over time, though the child may need several surgeries. In many cases, the child is very dependent upon the parents or caretakers for everyday needs.
- Erb’s Palsy. Also known as Brachial Plexus Paralysis, Erb’s palsy is a condition that affects one or more of the 5 nerves that supply movement and feeling to an arm. While some infants recover on their own, others require surgery.
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy. This form of brain damage is caused by a decreased flow of oxygen or blood to an infant’s brain during labor and/or delivery. It is often caused by a blocked blood vessel, umbilical cord strangulation, and complications from anesthesia.
- Umbilical Cord Compression. When the umbilical cord gets stretched and compressed during labor and delivery, it decreases blood flow and oxygen to the infant’s brain, resulting in a drop of the fetal heart rate. If this occurs, doctors must recognize it and take the appropriate action. Otherwise, it could result in brain damage or death.
- Shoulder Dystocia. This occurs when the shoulders get stuck inside the mother’s body during a vaginal delivery. This can create serious risks of complications for both mother and baby. For the baby, complications include nerve damage in the shoulder, arm and hand, or broken arm or collarbone. For mothers, complications may include heavy bleeding after delivery, tearing of the uterus or bruising of the bladder.
Other birth injuries may include:
- Broken Bones
- Spinal Cord Injuries
When to Consult a Birth Defects/Injuries Lawyer
If you or your child has suffered an injury caused by medical errors made during labor and/or delivery, contact a qualified birth injuries lawyer without delay. Infants and mothers suffering from birth-related injuries often require extensive and highly expensive medical treatment.
An attorney experienced in handling birth injury cases can determine whether you should be entitled to compensation for these medical expenses as well as other damages, such as loss of income, emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and long-term care costs.
Peter Ventura is a medical malpractice lawyer dedicated to helping parents in the Massachusetts area recover compensation for labor/delivery errors resulting in birth injuries or the death of an infant. Contact us or Call for a free consultation today at 508-755-7535.