Ohio Birth Injury
Working With Families Traumatized By A Serious Birth Injury
Our Ohio Attorneys Provide Compassionate Legal Counsel To Families Affect By Birth Injuries
The birth of your child should be the most joyous day of you and your partner’s lives. Tragically, however, trauma during the birthing process can result in numerous issues including cerebral palsy, developmental delay, hypoxic-ischemic brain damage (“HIE”), brachial plexus injuries and even maternal or fetal wrongful death. If your child suffered a serious birth injury, seek experienced legal advice on how to investigate further. In some cases, the injury may have been caused by doctor, nurse, or hospital negligence – meaning it could have been prevented.
Through diligent review of the medical records, films, placental pathology results, and input from independent expert witnesses, our birth injury lawyers may be able to make a case for medical negligence. The birth injury lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law can and will provide this analysis to help you and your family. We serve clients throughout Ohio, from our offices in Cincinnati, Chagrin Falls, Columbus, Chesterland, and Cleveland.
Common Birth Injuries In Ohio
Not every birth injury is the result of negligence. Many birth injuries are congenital in nature, meaning the baby was simply formed this way through no fault of the care provider. After something goes wrong during delivery, the next step is to determine whether a birth injury is due to negligence or congenital in nature.
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 provide care 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. Both Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy are brachial plexus palsies.
- Kernicterus. After delivery some babies are not able to clear bilirubin from their body appropriately. This can lead to brain damage caused by excessive bilirubin 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. High blood pressure that is not properly monitored can cause seizures and other serious effects to the mother after delivery has occurred. If signs and symptoms of various conditions are not properly monitored, this can lead to 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. This can lead to brain swelling and bleeding in the brain directly due to the negligent trauma to the fetus. 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.
- Kernicterus. 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 the delivery of a baby preterm.
- Complications from delayed or negligent Caesarean section (C-section). A C-Section may be necessary when normal delivery poses a risk to the mother or baby, such as prolonged labor, fetal distress, or because the baby is presenting in an abnormal position. However, an improperly performed C-section can cause significant complications, disability or death.
- Complications from failure to diagnose and respond to preeclampsia. 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, such as:
- Forceps Injuries. If the forceps blades are not properly positioned, or if excessive force is applied, there may be bruising, facial nerve palsy, or depression fracture of the skull.
- Skull Fractures. During birth, contraction forces may cause pressure on an oversized fetal head, fracturing skull bones.
- Vacuum Extractor Injuries. Misuse of vacuum extractor equipment can cause cranial malformation and skull fracture.
- Post-Partum Negligence. Insufficient monitoring of mother and/or baby, resulting in complications such as untreated infection, excessive bleeding or respiratory distress.
Crandall & Pera Law strives to help families who have suffered a traumatic and negligent birth leading to brain damage or other birth injury. Our Cincinnati and Cleveland birth injury attorneys helped people throughout Ohio in complex malpractice cases involving negligent prenatal care, the wrongful administration of antibiotics or Pitocin, labor and delivery negligence as well as postpartum malpractice. We look out for our clients’ best interests and provide practical advice about what we can to help.
Contact Us With Your Questions Regarding Birth Injuries Caused By Negligent Medical Care
Birth injuries may not be evident until months after the baby is born. At Crandall & Pera Law, we offer a free case evaluation to families who suspect their children may have suffered birth trauma caused by negligence. Please call 877-686-8879 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment with a skilled birth injury lawyer. We have five Ohio law offices conveniently located in Cleveland, Chesterland, Columbus, Cincinnati and Chagrin Falls.