The Untold Stories of Stillbirths Are the Most Important Ones

July 20, 2015 | Crandall & Pera Law
The Untold Stories of Stillbirths Are the Most Important Ones

The New York Times has been publishing personal stories about the heart-wrenching experience of mothers delivering stillborn children. To the average person, such stories might seem too personal to share, the grief too deep to express properly – but to the thousands of women whose children are stillborn, bringing the topic to light could offer some relief or catharsis. The Times reports that 1 in 160 pregnancies will result in a stillbirth, which means the chances are high that someone you know and love will experience this terrible tragedy.

Potential causes for a loss

Dr. Eleni Michailidis, whose loss of her son Alexander is recounted in the article, states that approximately half of all stillbirths have no known cause. A stillbirth, referred to as fetal death in the medical field, occurs when a child dies in the womb after 20 weeks. If a child dies in the womb before 20 weeks, it is generally categorized as a miscarriage. According to the March of Dimes, the other 50% of fetal deaths may be attributed to:

  • Birth defects

  • Placental abruption

  • Physical trauma to the mother, such as a car accident

  • Undiagnosed or untreated infections

  • Chronic health conditions, including diabetes

  • The advanced age (over 35 years) of the mother

  • Obesity

  • High blood pressure in the mother

  • “Multiple gestation,” or carrying two or more babies at one time

With the exception of a car accident, which could not be anticipated, each of these scenarios can occur if a doctor fails to warn the mother of a potential problem. Many times, improper monitoring of a pregnancy – high-risk or not – may lead to the loss of the baby. In some of the most tragic experiences, however, it is the medical team’s negligence during the labor and delivery process which leads to the wrongful fetal death. Failing to discover a problem with the umbilical cord in a timely manner could deprive a child of oxygen, leading to brain damage or death. Waiting too long to perform a C-section is another cause of stillbirths, especially if the mother presents with bleeding, a sign of placental abruption.

These are delicate and challenging cases; for many families, the pain is too new and too raw to think about much else. But if a doctor’s negligence led to the stillbirth of a child, then that doctor should be held accountable for the loss. Furthermore, a mother may require additional medical procedures or treatments associated with the event. Perhaps most important, a family who has experienced the death of their child should have access to the highest levels of aftercare and counseling to help them regroup. All of these things cost money – money which insurance companies will be loath to give unless their hands are forced.

The unexpected loss of a child is almost too heart-breaking to bear; discovering that loss may have been prevented cold be even more so. At Crandall & Pera Law, we understand the challenges of these cases, and we understand how to win. Steve Crandall won the largest verdict in Miami County in a case involving a wrongful fetal death caused by a complication with the umbilical cord; Marc Pera won a verdict in Hamilton County for $2.25 million not long after, which remains one of the highest if not the highest verdict in the area for a stillbirth lawsuit. We have what it takes to help you at the moment you need help the most.

To find out more, please contact Crandall & Pera Law today, and schedule a no-obligation consultation in one of our offices in Kentucky or Ohio. You will find a safe and secure place to discuss your needs and your goals.