Working With Families Traumatized By A Serious Birth Injury
The birth of your child should be the most joyous day of your and your partner’s lives. Tragically, however, trauma during the birthing process can result in numerous issues and even maternal or fetal death. In some cases, the injury may have been caused by doctor’s, nurse’s or hospital negligence – meaning it could have been prevented.
After something goes wrong during delivery, the next step is to determine whether a birth injury was likely avoidable. The birth injury lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law can provide analysis to help you and your family. Through diligent review of the medical records, films, placental pathology results and input from independent expert witnesses, we may be able to make a case for medical negligence.
Some of the regional hospitals that we have been up against include:
Cleveland: The Cleveland Clinic Foundation, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Rainbow and Babies Children’s Hospital, Lake Health Hospital, TriPoint Medical Center, Ahuja Medical Center, Southwest General Hospital and Metro Health Center.
Toledo: ProMedica, Toledo Medical Center, Toledo Clinic, Mercy Children’s Hospital and St. Vincent’s Mercy Medical Center.
Lexington: University of Kentucky Medical Center, UK Good Samaritan Hospital, Baptist Health, Kentucky One Hospital and Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center.
Common Birth Injuries
Common birth injuries and complications that can result from malpractice or negligence include:
- Cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is the most common disability, and can be caused by injury to the brain before, during or shortly after birth.
- Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). If the fetus cannot receive normal oxygen to the brain during delivery, eventually severe damage to the brain will occur. If the care provider does not detect fetal distress and impending hypoxia, the brain cells begin to die through the process of ischemia. This leads to severe developmental delays and an inability for the baby to eat or take care of themselves throughout his or her lifetime.
- Ischemic brain damage due to trauma. Contraction forces that are too severe or an arrest of descent of labor can cause tremendous pressure on the fetal head. This can lead to decreased blood flow to the brain, and consequently brain damage occurs. This damage is due to the forces of labor being too extreme rather than a lack of oxygen as occurs in HIE.
- Ischemic brain damage due to Pitocin administration. While Pitocin and other drugs can help labor progress, they can also cause dangerous contraction patterns that lead to several forms of fetal brain damage. Contractions that are too frequent or too powerful, or both, can lead to a lack of oxygen to the fetus.
- Brachial plexus injuries. When the fetus becomes trapped in the birth canal at delivery, many maneuvers are available to attempt delivery. Injury to the nerves in the neck and upper chest that supply feeling and control to the shoulders and arms can cause inability to raise the arms and decreased movement of the elbows and hands.
- Kernicterus. After delivery some babies are not able to clear bilirubin from their body appropriately, and is usually detected by signs of jaundice and lethargy in the baby. If these signs are not discovered and the excessive bilirubin not treated, this negligence will lead to severe developmental delays and lifelong brain damage.
- Pregnancy-Induced Hypertension/HELLP Syndrome/Postpartum Cerebral Angiopathy. Many medical conditions can result after delivery. If the parent is not properly monitored, they may suffer severe stroke, brain damage and even maternal death in the immediate postpartum period.
- Bleeding in the Brain and Swelling. Excessive contractions or CPD can cause direct and severe trauma to the fetal head. If excessive labor forces are not diagnosed and the baby delivered in a timely manner, brain damage can result in severe developmental delays, stroke-like deficits and Cerebral Palsy.
- Stillbirths. The most tragic of all birth traumas, stillbirths may occur if the mother and/or child does not receive the proper care during pregnancy, during labor or in the postpartum period.
- Infection worsened by failure to administer antibiotics. Some maternal parasitic and bacterial infections affect the membranes around the fetus, and if untreated can lead to fetal respiratory conditions, meningitis, brain damage, sepsis and even death. It may necessitate early delivery of a baby.
- Complications from delayed or negligent Caesarean section (C-section). An improperly performed C-section can cause significant complications, disability or death.
- Complications from failure to diagnose and respond to pre-eclampsia. This disorder is characterized by dangerously high blood pressure and kidney involvement, and is among the most common causes of pregnancy-related death.
Other birth injuries can occur because of negligence during and after delivery, include forceps injuries, skull fractures, vacuum extractor injuries and postpartum negligence. Our birth injury attorneys help people throughout Ohio and Kentucky in complex malpractice cases. We look out for our clients’ best interests and provide practical advice about what we can do to help.
Contact Us With Your Questions Regarding Birth Injuries
Birth injuries may not be evident until months after the baby is born. At Crandall & Pera Law, we always offer a free case evaluation to families who suspect their children may have suffered birth trauma caused by negligence during delivery or a hospital stay.
Please call 855-444-6651 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment with a skilled birth injury lawyer. We have several law offices conveniently located in Ohio and northern Kentucky, including in Cleveland, Cincinnati and Lexington.