Childbirth Injury Lawyers
Childbirth is a special and unforgettable moment for families. It is a time that often accompanies celebration of a new family member, happy tears, and hope. Because the process of childbirth is naturally painful for mothers, medical professionals are supposed to adhere to strict protocols to prevent unnecessary childbirth injuries to both the infant and the mother. Unfortunately, 28,000 infants are born each year with an injury as a result of medical accidents and medical malpractice. This means that at least 3 babies may experience a childbirth injury within every hour.
In the event that your family experiences a childbirth injury, you are entitled to rights and benefits to assist you with the medical costs and lifetime of pain and suffering.
Childbirth Injury Attorneys in Gainesville
Types of Childbirth Injuries
There are many types of childbirth injuries. The most popular types include brain and soft tissue injuries, peripheral nerve injuries, cranial nerve and spinal cord injuries, bone birth injuries, and intra-abdominal injuries.
- Brain Injuries, Soft Tissue Injuries, Hemorrhages: Injuries to the brain or other soft tissue during childbirth procedures can result in hemorrhages (internal bleeding) and other forms of stroke. During hemorrhages, arteries burst resulting in swelling of blood. The bleeding can spread easily throughout different areas of the brain and trigger destruction of nearby brain cells. Common symptoms include sudden weakness in the face, arm and leg; sleepiness/loss of consciousness; loss of balance/dizziness; vomiting; headaches; difficulty with language and speech development; difficulty in vision development; and difficulty swallowing.
- Peripheral Nerve Injury: Injuries to the peripheral nerve during childbirth procedures make it difficult for the brain to receive and send messages to the muscles of the body, such as arms and legs. Symptoms include tingling and sudden stiffness of muscles. Infants are often unable to properly move, rotate, flex, and lift their arms due to peripheral nerve injuries.
- Cranial Nerve & Spinal Cord Birth Injury: Cranial nerve and spinal cord birth injury often result in the destruction of sensory functions (the ability to feel) and motor functions (the ability to move). Spasms, loss of movement and the ability to control movements and bodily directions often occur among infants who have experiences this injury. It is usually the result of excessive pulling during childbirth.
- Bone Birth Injury: Injuries to the collarbone, legs, ankles, feet, hips, back, arms, wrists and skull are often the result of medical error such as misuse of medical instruments. If a large infant is not positioned correctly, he/she may develop a bone fracture, tearing, or separation. Signs of these injuries often do not show in the infant until years later and can only be detected with medical technology (i.e. X-rays).
- Intra-Abdominal Birth Injury: Intra-Abdominal birth injuries occur mostly among infants who are premature, lack oxygen during childbirth, or have abnormal weights. Symptoms include rib and pelvic fractures, discoloration of skin (pale, purple, blue), skin bruising and lesions, and anemia. Infants who experience intra-abdominal birth injuries have a heightened risk of loss of blood (hemorrhages) and other life-threatening illnesses. Through proper screening, doctors can indicate the risk of an infant’s development of intra-abdominal birth injuries and take active measures to prevent the injury from occurring.
Other dreadful effects of childbirth injuries include intellectual disabilities and developmental/behavioral disorders, physical and/or facial disfigurement, and even death.
Injuries to the Mother
Mothers may also experience injury during childbirth. Common injuries include abnormal vaginal bleeding; bleeding within the placenta (the area that lines the uterus and provides for nourishment of the fetus through the umbilical cord); uterine rupture (usually a result of scars developed after cesarean sections or excessive pushing on the stomach); cervical cancer, and even death.
What Qualifies as Medical Malpractice
Childbirth injuries to both infants and mothers are often the result of intended and accidental medical strategies. Medical malpractice occurs when medical professionals perform their duties in a way that results in harm to patients. Medical malpractice can include or be defined as any of the following:
- Misdiagnosis: Medical professionals are trained to ask thorough questions, collect detailed information, and run accurate and reliable test studies. If a doctor fails to indicate a risk of an injury during childbirth in a timely manner (i.e. abnormal size, umbilical cord tangling), the infant and mother may face severe health risks that could have been detected, prevented and/or effectively treated otherwise. In addition, a misdiagnosis of a risk or illness may result in unnecessary treatment or medication that may provoke unintended health risks.
- Failure to Adapt: Often, unexpected emergencies occur during childbirth that require prompt adjustments such as surgery and medication. If a doctor fails to respond to such emergencies quickly and effectively, a childbirth injury may occur.
- Forfeiting Information: No matter how severe or devastating the risks or problems associated with childbirth may be, it is considered medical malpractice if doctors fail to notify the patient and/or the patient’s family.
- Improper Treatment: Excessive squeezing, shaking, stretching, pulling, pushing, lifting, hitting, or other unnecessary force during childbirth is considered medical malpractice and can result in many severe injuries.
- Improper Use of Tools (or defective equipment): Medical tools used to assist with the delivery of an infant such as vacuum extraction tool can be used inappropriately by medical professionals, resulting in unnecessary childbirth injuries.
What to Do if You Are Injured During Childbirth
If you suspect that you or your infant is a victim of a childbirth injury, you may be eligible for compensation. Begin by gathering any applicable data and documentation:
- Contact information of all medical professionals and businesses who operated or treated you during the full course of your pregnancy
- Medical treatment plans, prescriptions (i.e. drugs, medicine, vitamins)
- Sequence of events
- Medical procedures (i.e. surgeries) and copies of lab results (i.e. ultrasound x-rays)
- Any and all concerns
After obtaining the appropriate documentation, you should visit a personal injury lawyer. Do not endure the suffering of a childbirth injury or death due to medical malpractice alone. Let our personal injury attorneys at Warner Sechrest & Butts assist you with gaining your well-deserved benefits today.