Kentucky Birth Injury Attorneys
Comprehensive care from birth injury lawyers in Kentucky
A birth injury, or birth trauma, is a physical injury that happens to an infant during the birth process. In the United States, approximately seven out of 1,000 babies are injured during labor and delivery. One of the first considerations is to evaluate whether a birth injury is due to negligence as opposed to a congenital birth defect that was not caused through the fault of any care provider. The highly trained and experienced Kentucky birth injury attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law can help determine the facts of your case and whether compensation for the catastrophic injuries that birth injury/birth trauma cause is warranted.
Common types of birth injury negligence and malpractice
Unfortunately there are many care providers whose negligence can lead to severe brain damage, cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injury, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and even maternal and/or fetal death. These include labor and delivery nurses who track and provide most of the care during labor and delivery, nurse midwives who monitor and even deliver a baby as well as obstetricians, residents, fellows and hospitalists who often help the obstetrician with monitoring labor and delivery. The large number of different care providers often leads to negligence due to a failure to communicate among team members as well as combined negligence that causes a catastrophic delivery. Some of the more common birth injuries occur because of:
- Prenatal negligence. Many issues that should be addressed before delivery are often missed by obstetricians resulting in injury and even death to the baby or mom. These include screening for gestational diabetes, oligohydramnios, monitoring maternal blood pressure to prevent pre-eclampsia or HELLP Syndrome, screening for material infections such as Group B Strep or Hepatitis and ensuring the fundal height and ultrasound measurements are appropriate throughout the prenatal period. These errors can doom a delivery for failure before labor and delivery even begins.
- Labor and delivery negligence. Unfortunately, many causes of medical malpractice can occur during the delivery of your child. The delivery should be monitored through many means, including Electronic Fetal Monitoring (EFM), which provides an accurate evaluation of your child’s heart rate and maternal contractions. If the nurses, midwife or physician fails to detect late decelerations, an increase in variable decelerations, fetal bradycardia, a sudden change in the fetal heart tone baseline or a dangerous increase in maternal contractions – all signs of fetal distress – severe brain damage to your baby can quickly occur. The most common treatments for fetal distress seen on EFM include changing the position of the mom, providing oxygen and especially timely delivery of the child, as a delayed C-section is a leading cause of brain injury. Healthcare providers are also responsible for the appropriate administration of drugs. Improper administration of Pitocin can lead to dangerous contraction patterns, and some antibiotics can cause maternal or fetal distress if administered incorrectly.
- Negligent use of vacuum or forceps.Tools are sometimes used by the physician or midwife to help deliver a fetus when the mother cannot push. However, these devices can cause severe injury to the fetus when not used appropriately or used too early in the birth process. Skull fractures, brachial plexus nerve damage and brain damage can result when forceps or vacuum extractors are used in a negligent manner.
- Postpartum negligence. Once a baby is born the importance of medical care for both mom and baby is critically important. Delivery is a very difficult and physically taxing process that can lead to dangerous medical conditions for both. These include postpartum high blood pressure, eclampsia, infections, seizures and strokes for mom as well as infections, seizures and nerve damage for the baby. All of these conditions can lead to severe injury, brain damage or even wrongful death. Evaluation of blood work, Apgar scores, urine samples and many forms of testing can detect and prevent postpartum injuries to both mom and baby.
Birth injuries may be evident immediately after delivery, but the symptoms may not appear for months. It is crucial that you speak with a skilled medical malpractice attorney if you feel you or your child may have been the victim of negligence; Kentucky has very strict rules about when you can file a claim. Our experienced Kentucky birth injury attorneys and registered nurses will examine and review all medical details and evidence to determine if your injury or your child’s injury could have been avoided.
Putting the best interests of our clients first
At Crandall & Pera Law, we understand how devastating a birth injury can be. Our Kentucky birth injury lawyers advocate on your family’s behalf in court or during settlement talks. To schedule a free consultation at one of our office locations, please call 877-686-8879 or fill out our contact form. We have locations in Lexington and Louisville, Kentucky.