Why Work With SGP Law?
The birth of a child is an incredibly joyous occasion, but when something goes wrong during a pregnancy, labor or delivery, it can feel like your world is crashing down. There are things that happen that are out of a physician’s or mother’s control, but when birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice, it makes a life-altering injury or illness even more devastating. Many birth injuries can be prevented and are the result of a doctor or medical staff failing to execute proper care for the mother, child or both. When medical malpractice is at fault, call the birth injury attorneys at Skousen, Gulbrandsen & Patience PLC in Mesa.
Even though medical malpractice occurs in a small number of cases, there are still doctors, nurses or other medical professionals that may harm the patient by not providing the proper health care treatments. Just last year, the nation paid out over $3 billion just for medical malpractice. Even though a doctor made a mistake or the patient is unhappy with the outcome of any particular procedure that may not qualify the case as actual medical malpractice. The doctor must have been negligent in some kind of way. Missing treatments that could prevent serious harm or even death includes, but are not limited to:
- Misdiagnosis of a condition
- Failure to diagnose a serious disease
- Writing an incorrect dosage of a prescription
- The nurse administers the wrong amount prescribed
There are a number of injuries that can occur in childbirth, before and during the birthing procedure. In an average of 1,000 births, 7 of those births will have an incident that will result in injury. During the stages of prenatal care, the patients (fetus or the mother) could be harmed due to the doctor providing negligent care. Negligent prenatal care can include the failure to:
- Diagnose a serious medical condition of the mother (i.e. gestational diabetes)
- Diagnose a disease that could be passed on from the mother (i.e. genital herpes)
- Identify ectopic pregnancies (embryo implanting outside the uterine cavity)
- Identify birth defects
Harming the baby during childbirth could be the result of a doctor’s negligence during the birth of the baby. The baby could suffer brain injuries (cerebral palsy or seizure disorders), fractured bones or even nerve damage. This act of negligence could be the result of failing to:
- Anticipate birthing complications due to the baby’s larger size (or tangled umbilical cord)
- Respond to signs of fetal distress
- Order the necessary procedure (cesarean section)
- Incompetently using forceps or vacuum extractor
- Monitor the baby’s oxygen intake
What Are The Most Common Birthing Injuries?
Doctors must uphold all medical professional standards to ensure that both mother and child are safe during all periods of the pregnancy and delivery process. Birth injuries as a result of negligent or improper care can lead to a negatively altered quality of life for both the child and their family. Developmental delays, brain injuries, spinal injuries, birth defects, microcephaly, Erb’s Palsy, and paralysis are all long-term consequences of birth injuries that require ongoing medical treatment.
There are many types of birth injuries, but the five most common that a birth injury attorney sees on an annual basis are the following:
Brain Injury During Birth
Brain injuries occur when air doesn’t reach a baby’s lungs fast enough once he or she has been born or when serious head trauma occurs. Brain injuries result from:
- Improper use of forceps/vacuum extraction during delivery
- Cesarean section delays
- Misdiagnosis/improper diagnosis/failure to diagnose baby/mother
- Improper care of mother/baby
- Placenta abnormalities
- Failure to screen/treat infections in mother/baby and other causes
A brain injury during pregnancy, birth or in the time after birth can lead to a variety of issues that can affect speech, movement and behavior patterns. It can also cause cerebral palsy, paralysis and other debilitating conditions.
Cerebral palsy is a type of brain injury that happens when traumatic damage occurs before, during or immediately after childbirth. It can cause fine motor skill issues such as balance, movement control, learning and walking. This condition can also lead to a shortened lifespan. There are many factors that contribute to cerebral palsy including:
- Lack of oxygen to the baby when it is left too long in the birthing canal
- Failure to perform an emergency C-Section in a timely manner
- Failure to respond to a mother’s changing condition during pregnancy/birth
- Failure to respond to changes to a baby’s heart rate in utero and other factors
Cerebral palsy oftentimes leads to mental impairment, growth problems, impaired hearing and vision, seizures, and several more severe medical complications without a cure.
According to the World Health Organization, an estimated 15 million babies are born prematurely each year in the 26 to 36 week period of pregnancy. Premature deliveries can often be prevented if adequate care is given and premature labor is stopped in time. When illnesses, diseases and other issues are overlooked, a premature delivery can be the result. Unfortunately, many premature babies are born with serious illnesses, organs that are not fully formed, brain injuries, cerebral palsy, sepsis, respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and other complications that can cause a wrongful death.
When a woman is diagnosed with diabetes during her pregnancy, the likelihood increases that her baby will be more than 8.5 pounds at time of birth. Induced labor at earlier stages in the pregnancy and/or a C-Section may be necessary to deliver the baby safely and avoid any trauma to the mother’s pelvis and birth canal. The chances that a baby will be born prematurely and suffer birth injuries also increases in a mother with gestational diabetes.
Unsafe delivery methods can create serious short-term and long-term health issues for both mother and child. These oftentimes preventable, negligent practices include:
- Improperly treated infections
- Birth asphyxia/hypoxia
- Forceps/vacuum delivery injuries
- Rough handling
- Oxygen deprivation
- Natal care negligence
- Bruising/lacerations/broken bones
Understanding what went wrong in any of these types of birth injury lawsuit cases is critical when seeking the compensation you deserve to be able to provide your child with a better quality of life. Many of these conditions will require a lifetime of treatments, physical therapy, specialist doctor appointments, and medications. Hold those responsible accountable for their negligence and have the peace of mind knowing that your child will have the best chance at a long, healthy and fulfilling life by calling the birth injury lawyers at SGP Law in Mesa, Arizona.