Birth injuries are a devastating outcome for parents who have to deal with tragedy and uncertainty when they should be experiencing the joy of new parenthood. Furthermore, seeking justice when a medical professional has erred is extraordinarily difficult. However, if you or your child suffered injuries due to birth, you may be able to seek compensation from the parties liable for your loss. Learn more about why birth injuries occur, and when you’re ready to discuss your case, call Burns, Cunningham & Mackey at 251-260-3815 to explore your legal options.
Improper Monitoring or Testing
Both during pregnancy and throughout labor, proper monitoring and testing is an essential part of securing a positive outcome. During pregnancy, there are many ways that improper monitoring can lead to negative outcomes. An expectant mother who gains a higher-than-average amount of weight during pregnancy could be suffering from gestational diabetes, a condition that often leads to a very large baby who cannot be born vaginally. Without screening for gestational diabetes, a care provider may miss this diagnosis and put the baby through substantial stress during labor.
Similarly, ignoring symptoms or waving them off as the concerns of a paranoid mother-to-be could lead to disaster. Consider a mother telling her OB/GYN about intense itching and nausea late in pregnancy. The doctor assumes that it is caused by late summer temperatures and tells her to just rest more. The woman actually suffers from cholestasis and subsequently suffers a stillbirth.
Care providers should be erring on the side of caution and testing whenever symptoms indicate a need to do so, rather than assuming that everything is fine.
Waiting Too Long to Act
Indecision can be fatal during labor and delivery. While labor goes smoothly the vast majority of the time, when it goes sideways, every second counts. An inexperienced care practitioner or one who is not up-to-date on evidence-based medicine may stall in these moments or refuse to make a decision until a more experienced practitioner is available to give advice. If a baby is in distress, they are losing oxygen. Every second that the caretaker in charge fails to act, the baby’s oxygen deprivation worsens. This can lead to lifelong disabilities and delays. A doctor who intervenes too late could be liable for birth injuries.
This is similar to waiting too long to act, and in fact, these issues often go hand-in-hand. Some healthcare practitioners prefer to allow labor and delivery proceed naturally for as long as possible, waiting to intervene until it is clear that it is 100% necessary. This may work in most cases, since birth often goes smoothly, but it can lead to disastrous outcomes for those who need intervention. A doctor who prides themselves on their low C-section rate may fail to offer a C-section to a mother in distress, leading to a child who passes away or suffers severe disabilities. A doctor may fail to intervene for several reasons, including an inability to assess risk to the mother and child, a desire to keep intervention rates low, or fear of carrying out the intervention properly.
Get Help with Your Birth Injury Case Now
Birth injuries can be extremely costly. In many cases, a child who suffers a birth injury needs lifelong care. They may need a wheelchair, expensive therapies, personalized assistance at school, and long-term nursing care once they reach adulthood. This can add up to millions of dollars, and there’s no way to know how much Medicare will cover. If your or your child’s injuries are due to a medical provider’s malpractice, you shouldn’t shoulder this financial burden alone. A medical malpractice case can help you recover compensation and get the assistance you need with your or your child’s care needs.
However, medical malpractice cases can be difficult to prove. Because of this, it’s important to choose an attorney with substantial experience in medical malpractice. Our team is here to help. We believe that medical care providers must be held to a high standard and that victims deserve justice when those standards are met. To talk about your birth injury case with one of our attorneys, reach out to Burns, Cunningham & Mackey online or call us at 251-260-3815.