Birth injuries can be heartbreaking reminders that medical malpractice sometimes occurs during labor and delivery. Often birth injuries involve failure of the doctor or nurses to correctly read information from the fetal monitor, failure to notify the doctor of the patient’s condition or failure to take action at the appropriate time. Unfortunately, these mistakes can cause a lifetime of heartbreak, as birth injuries usually lead to life-long problems that require multiple surgeries and/or a lifetime of therapy and home health care.
Problems During Labor and Delivery
Cerebral Palsy (CP)
Cerebral Palsy results from a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during labor and/or after delivery. It is one of the most severe injuries that can occur during the birth process. The baby gets oxygen through the umbilical cord during the nine months of pregnancy. If the umbilical cord is compressed during labor and/or delivery and the supply of oxygen is not sufficient, the baby’s brain can suffer permanent, often devastating, damage.
Cerebral Palsy is the term used to describe a motor coordination problem that results from an injury to the part of the brain that controls voluntary muscle use and coordination. It is often associated with seizures and/or some degree of mental retardation. There are several different types of Cerebral Palsy, based on the area of brain affected and the severity of the injury.
Children with cerebral palsy, or a developmental disability will require additional care and resources throughout life in order to maximize their independence. Educational programs, physical therapy, adapted equipment, home modifications—these resources can be costly. If medical malpractice played a part in your child’s disability, the financial compensation you could receive will be invaluable in helping your family afford to pay for the services that will benefit your child.
If your baby or the baby of someone you care about is suffering from developmental delay or a movement disorder, it is possible that a birth injury may have lead to Cerebral Palsy.
Mental Retardation or Development Delay As a Result of Birth Injury
Mental retardation is the legal and medical term referring to individuals with below normal brain function and is usually characterized as mild, moderate or severe. Some cases of mental retardation are the result of a genetic or developmental complication. However, others are the direct result of an injury during birth that could and should have been prevented.
Brain injury during birth is usually the result of a restriction of oxygen or blood flow to the brain. Blood or oxygen flow to the baby during birth is critical and there is no room for error. With today’s fetal monitors and highly sophisticated medical equipment, there is no reason for these injuries to occur.
If your child suffers from mental retardation you think may have been caused by a birth injury, it is important that you contact a knowledgeable and experienced medical malpractice attorney who will thoroughly review the medical records and determine where and when the injury took place and who was at fault.
Erb’s Palsy or Brachial Plexus Injury
If a baby’s head and/or neck are pulled too hard during labor or delivery, or if the head or neck is twisted or bent too far, damage to the sensitive nerves in the upper spine and neck, known as the Brachial Plexus, can lead to a condition known as Erb’s Palsy. Erb’s Palsy, also referred to as Klumke’s Palsy and Brachial Plexus Paralysis, leads to paralysis, loss of muscle control or feeling in hands and arms, facial paralysis, an inability to sit up, crawl or use the arms or hands.
If an obstetrician is properly monitoring a pregnancy, the size and position of the baby should be known to the doctor and the medical team on hand. There are several common practices to prevent Brachial Plexus and other birth injuries. Rotating the baby while it is still in-utero or performing an episiotomy or a C-section are examples of methods used to prevent this injury from occurring. Failure to respond quickly or correctly to the baby’s distress and using too much force at the wrong time can lead to a lifetime of difficulty.
Pregnancy Induced Hypertension (High Blood Pressure, Eclampsia)
High blood pressure, also known as hypertension, is a serious matter during pregnancy that can harm the mother and unborn child if left untreated. A woman experiencing high blood pressure during pregnancy is at risk of experiencing seizures, convulsions, coma, risking damage to the baby, abrupt separation of the placenta, and other high risk factors. There is no way to prevent high blood pressure caused by pregnancy, but careful monitoring and appropriate response can prevent tragic outcomes.
If Pregnancy Induced Hypertension becomes significantly worse before the mothers’ due date, it can lead to bleeding disorders, seizures, and a condition known as Eclampsia. This is a life-threatening condition that is the leading cause of death throughout the world for pregnant women and their unborn babies. In severe cases, pregnancy induced hypertension may require an early delivery of the baby to save the life of the mother, even if the baby is very premature.
A woman or infant who has been harmed physically by Eclampsia should speak with a knowledgeable attorney to review the medical records. With today’s medical technology, it is inexcusable for any hospital or doctor to fail to properly address and care for a pregnant woman with high blood pressure.
If you think you or someone you care about has suffered as the result of poorly treated pregnancy induced hypertension, we invite you to call the Law Office of Laurie D. Mitchell, P.A. at 1-352-371-9828 today.
Don’t Wait to Get Answers to Your Questions
The statute of limitations on birth injury cases in Florida is only two years. With some narrow exceptions, you must bring your claim within that time frame or risk never being able to bring a claim at all. Call the Law Office of Laurie D. Mitchell, P.A. today at 1-352-371-9828 for a free consultation. Laurie Mitchell has been a Registered Nurse for over 30 years and a respected lawyer for over 20. She has helped countless families and is waiting to help yours now.
All birth injury cases are accepted on a contingency fee basis.If we accept your case, you will pay no fees or costsuntil you receive a financial recovery for your case.If there is no recovery, you owe no fees or costs.