Birth injuries can happen when complications arise during a pregnancy or during labor and delivery. A doctor’s failure to recognize pregnancy problems or correctly assess and respond to delivery complications can lead to permanent injury to the baby.
There are laws to protect and safeguard the legal rights of the baby and the parents under these circumstances. We can help you take the proper steps to bring a claim against the responsible parties.
Why You Should Choose the Sloan Firm for Your Birth Injury Case
If your child was injured by a negligent medical error during pregnancy, labor or delivery, you need an experienced birth injury lawyer to help you.
At the Sloan Firm, what matters to you, matters to us. Client-centered representation is a key part of our law practice. We see the person behind the injury, and we know that each person is different. We strive to meet your goals. Contact us now for a free consultation and let us tell you how we can help.
Common Types of Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Errors
There are many types of injuries that could happen during pregnancy, labor or delivery, due to negligent medical errors. Some of the injuries result in permanent injury or disability.
Common birth injuries include:
- Shoulder dystocia. This type of trauma during birth is caused when an infant’s shoulder cannot pass through the birth canal. There are procedures obstetricians follow to dislodge the infant so that it does not die during the birth process because of umbilical cord compression.
- Cerebral palsy. Various types of trauma during birth can result in cerebral palsy, a motor condition that affects body movement. Cerebral palsy can develop during birth or during pregnancy.
- Brachial plexus injuries. The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that primarily affects the arms and hands. Excessive pulling during the delivery of a baby can damage the brachial plexus and cause Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy.
- Asphyxia. Fetal asphyxia – or oxygen deprivation – can be caused by umbilical cord strangulation or other factors. This is also referred to as intrauterine hypoxia.
- Anoxic birth injuries. Oxygen deprivation can lead to a variety of disorders, including cerebral palsy, seizures, or brain injuries. This can happen if medical professionals fail to monitor an infant during and immediately after birth, or if there are umbilical cord issues, such as a prolapsed cord.
- Caput succedaneum. This is an injury that usually results from improper use of the vacuum extraction tool, causing swelling of an infant’s soft tissues in the scalp.
- Cephalhematoma. This injury is cause by bleeding underneath the cranium. It usually manifests a few hours after birth as a raised bump on the infant’s head. This can be caused by tools used to assist in the delivery, such as forceps or vacuum. While it usually heals in a few months, it puts the infant at risk for other conditions, such as jaundice, anemia and sometimes meningitis.
- Fractures. The most common fracture during delivery is a clavicle fracture. This can happen if the infant is in a breech position and the delivery obstetrician pulls too hard, or if the shoulder is pulled too forcefully during a prolonged delivery.
Negligent Medical Errors That Could Make a Health Care Provider Liable for a Birth Injury
Medical mistakes made during pregnancy or during labor and delivery may result in conditions going undiagnosed or untreated, preterm labor, infections, or physical injury to the infant because of how the delivery is handled.
The standard for judging what constitutes medical malpractice is whether the medical professional caused someone harm in a way that a reasonably competent professional under the same circumstances would not.
Common types of negligence that could make a health care provider liable include:
- Negligent prenatal care. If negligent medical treatment is provided during the pregnancy, it could harm the baby and/or the mother. Negligent prenatal treatment largely includes misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of the mother or the baby. Examples include failure to diagnose the following conditions in the mother: preeclampsia, Rh incompatibility, hypoglycemia, anemia, gestational diabetes, disease that could be contagious to the baby (such as genital herpes or neonatal lupus). Negligent prenatal care could also include failure to diagnose birth defects or ectopic pregnancies.
- Negligence during childbirth. A doctor’s negligence during childbirth could cause injury to the baby and harm to the mother. This includes failing to anticipate birth complications due to the baby’s size or position, failing to respond to signs of fetal distress, failing to order a caesarean section when medically necessary, or incompetent use of forceps or a vacuum extractor, just to name a few.
- Medication errors. This includes prescribing or administering the wrong medication or dosage. The error may be caused by the person prescribing or administering, or by faulty equipment delivering too large of a dose.
- Anesthesia errors. These include failure to anticipate certain complications based on a patient’s history, administering too much anesthesia, failing to monitor the patient’s vital signs, improperly intubating patients, or using defective equipment.
Types of Compensation That May Be Available in a Birth Injury Claim
In birth injury cases, compensation may be available to help cover or defray the costs of past, current and future medical bills, therapy, home modifications, and other expenses.
Compensation may cover:
- Medical visits, treatments and bills related to the injury
- Counseling, psychological services, and special education
- Residential care
- Special equipment and facilities, necessary home alterations or adaptations
- Medically necessary travel
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Compensation for lost wages and earning potential for the child from the age of 18 to 65
- Non-economic damages like pain and suffering (subject to any caps imposed by state law)
How Our Firm Helps Families with Babies Who Were Injured During Birth
If your child was born with an injury that occurred either during pregnancy or delivery due to delivery room error or physician’s negligence, you may have the right to pursue legal action.
At the Sloan Firm, we understand the terrible pain and heartbreak that accompanies a baby’s injury during birth. Whether the injury is temporary or permanent, the pain and helplessness that go along with your child’s injury can leave you not knowing where to turn.
Our caring and knowledgeable staff can guide you every step of the way through the legal process to protect your legal rights. We are committed to seeking the best possible outcome in your case. You can count on us to take the time necessary to get to know you and the details of your baby’s injury.
We don’t just look at the injuries—we look at the people behind the injuries. Contact a Texas personal injury attorney at our law offices in Longview, Houston or Santa Fe. Let us give you peace of mind.