For Sufferers Of Cerebral Palsy And Other Birth Injuries
Cases that involve injuries suffered by a child during labor and delivery or the prenatal period are known as birth injuries. They are among the most complex and emotional types of cases that arise. We are proud to have been entrusted with such cases by parents seeking justice on behalf of their children.
If you are concerned about whether you received negligent obstetrical care, please schedule an appointment with our birth injury lawyers. We promise to take the time to listen and truly understand your case.
Types Of Birth Injuries
A birth injury can turn what should be one of the happiest days of a parent’s life into a tragedy. Birth injuries differ from birth defects in that birth injuries are often preventable and can occur if a medical professional fails to provide reasonable care. Here are just some of the types of birth injuries that can occur when doctors and hospital staff provide inadequate medical care:
- Untimely delivery. If left in the womb without oxygen and blood flow, a child can suffer hypoxia (lack of oxygen) or ischemia (lack of blood flow) or both. These conditions can cause injury to the brain and other organs, and, in some cases, death of the baby. Failure by nurses or doctors to detect signs of danger, like bradycardia (low heart rate) or late decelerations in the fetal heart rate, can have catastrophic consequences for both mother and child. Failure to move quickly enough to perform an emergency delivery once a problem has been identified can lead to permanent, disabling injuries.
- Umbilical cord trauma. The umbilical cord can be compressed by uterine contractions during labor, which can squeeze the cord between the uterine wall and the baby. Another possible problem is a prolapsed cord, which occurs when the cord slips into the birth canal ahead of the baby and is squeezed. If a doctor or another health care provider fails to identify a problem or does not move quickly enough, cord trauma can cause neurological damage, asphyxia and wrongful death.
- Infection. A type of bacteria known as Group B streptococcus (GBS) is the most common cause of serious infection in newborn children. Doctors are able to test a woman for the presence of GBS weeks before she gives birth, and, if those tests come back positive, administer antibiotics during labor. Failure to properly test a mother for GBS or failure to treat her or her child with antibiotics should symptoms arise, however, can allow the bacteria to spread unchecked, increasing the risk of severe infection, neurological damage or even death.
- Preeclampsia. The classic signs of preeclampsia are high blood pressure and abnormal amounts of protein in the mother’s urine. Preeclampsia can increase the risk of placental abruption, a condition in which the placenta becomes detached from the uterus, cutting off oxygen to the baby and often causing heavy bleeding. If a doctor fails to recognize the symptoms of preeclampsia and treat it, or fails to induce labor or perform a C-section quickly enough to prevent complications from preeclampsia, both mother and child run the risk of serious injury or death.
- Kernicterus. Kernicterus is a type of brain damage caused by abnormally high levels of bilirubin. High levels of bilirubin cause a baby to look yellow or jaundiced. Although jaundice in newborns is not uncommon, bilirubin levels need to be monitored to prevent kernicterus. Kernicterus can damage a child’s vision and hearing and learning capabilities for the rest of his or her life.
If you believe your child suffered a birth-related injury due to the negligence of a doctor or health care provider, please contact the experienced birth injury attorneys at Abramson & O'Connell, LLC, serving Columbus, Ohio, and surrounding areas. Call 614-461-3101, or send an email inquiry.