The birth of a child is one of the most critical moments in any parent’s life, but it can also be among the most traumatic. When complications occur during childbirth, serious injuries may result.
- Medical Malpractice and Negligence
- Types of Birth Injuries
- Evaluating Medical Malpractice Cases
- Brain Damage
- Medical Negligence and Birth Injury Cases
- Risk Factors for Injury During Childbirth
- The Common Symptoms of Birth Injuries
- How a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help
- What You Need to Know About Birth Injury Cases
- Statute of Limitations
- Hiring a Medical Malpractice Law Firm to Resolve a Birth Injury Case
- Buffalo Grove Birth Injury Lawyers Resources:
Has your child suffered from a birth injury in Buffalo Grove or its surrounding suburbs?
If so, immediately contact our experienced personal injury attorneys at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC. Our law firm has helped numerous families obtain compensation for their child’s birth trauma so they can focus on healing without worrying about paying off medical bills.
Call our Buffalo Grove birth injury lawyers at (888) 424-5757 (toll-free phone number) or use the contact form today for immediate legal advice and schedule a free consultation. All confidential or sensitive information you share with our legal team remains private through an attorney-client relationship.
Not all medical malpractice lawsuits are created equal. If you have been injured or lost someone close to you due to negligence from a healthcare provider, don’t jump into litigation without consulting with an attorney with experience handling birth injury cases. You could lose your chance at compensation if you do not take this step.
Patients must understand their rights and options when faced with negligent care from doctors and other healthcare providers. Families must retain experienced legal counsel to protect these rights before pursuing financial damages through a lawsuit.
All personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits involving birth injuries are filed against those responsible for causing harm while caring for them during labor and delivery or related procedures such as C-sections or epidurals/episiotomies).
Medical Malpractice and Negligence
When a medical professional is negligent in providing safe and competent care, it can result in life-altering injuries.
Birth injuries are one type of injury that can occur when a doctor or other medical professional fails to take the necessary precautions during labor and delivery.
These birth injuries may be complex for parents to know about immediately, but they must pursue legal action if they want justice for their child.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDCP), there are more than 4 million births annually in the U.S., with at least 3,500 infants injured during labor or delivery.
Birth injuries can range from minor scrapes and bruises to severe brain damage due to a lack of oxygen.
These incidents are called “birth traumas.” There’s no one answer about why birth injuries occur. However, medical negligence is often a contributing factor.
A birth injury caused by negligence typically is where patients have little recourse because they’re not fully informed about their options under the law. Cases like these come with incredible emotional pain, physical setbacks, and financial difficulties for families.
Birth injuries result from medical professionals failing to uphold their professional responsibility in patient care.
Physicians, nurses, midwives, and hospital staff may be guilty of malpractice injuries or wrongful death if they treat someone with complete disregard for their safety or well-being while failing to provide the level of medical care that other people would receive during similar procedures or treatments.
Types of Birth Injuries
Most birth traumas are caused by medical malpractice during labor and delivery, but they can also happen to women who have already given birth.
For example, if the fetus or newborn does not receive enough oxygen during either pregnancy or labor, it may lack oxygen to the organs, tissues, brain cells, and muscles.
Injuries from lack of oxygen range from mild to severe and may include:
- Temporary issues include brain damage, seizures, paralysis, coma, or death
- Permanent disability such as loss of a limb or sight
- Loss of IQ function
- Speech and language problems
- Problems with memory and learning skills There are several causes of birth injuries. Some of the most common situations include:
- Unexpected C-section births when a baby is in breech position (bottom down) can create an increased risk that the umbilical cord will become compressed or wrapped around the baby’s neck, leading to severe brain damage or death
- Prolonged labor leads to birth traumas if there is a lack of oxygen in the brain
- Placenta issues that may be a result of a retained placenta or a torn one during labor, which can cause hemorrhaging
- Birth injuries during a regular vaginal birth may also be caused by the doctor causing too much or too little pressure on the baby’s head, leading to a fractured skull or bruising
When a baby is not correctly positioned during labor and delivery due to the doctor’s negligence, it can cause injury to the baby’s brain, face, neck, spine, arms, or legs.
A lack of oxygen during labor and delivery may lead to an extended stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), which is physically taxing on the mother and emotionally exhausting.
Evaluating Medical Malpractice Cases
Medical malpractice cases are typically evaluated on a set of factors, including the severity of injuries, the level of suffering experienced by medical negligence victims, and financial costs incurred before insurance even considers covering the damages.
It’s not uncommon for cases to take several years to resolve because they are so complex. In addition, victims may have trouble paying their bills while dealing with one injury after another throughout the process.
Monetary compensation may be available to cover costs such as:
- Medical expenses for treatment and surgeries
- Hospital bills associated with multiple extended NICU stay
- Permanent disabilities or loss of vision due to birth injuries that require multiple medical treatments and therapies
- The death of a child that was born with severe brain damage and other health complications that led to their early death
Parents who are the victims of medical malpractice in labor and delivery must prove in court that the doctors were reckless or negligent when they caused these birth injuries.
If successful, the survivors may receive compensation for medical bills, lost wages, future loss of income if someone can no longer work, and pain and suffering.
There are many possible causes for birth injuries due to a lack of oxygen during labor and delivery, including:
- Maternal anesthetics: Anesthesia can cause a lack of oxygen if administered incorrectly.
- Fetal distress: When a fetus does not get enough oxygen, it can result in severe brain damage. Many signs may indicate fetal distress, but sometimes healthcare providers fail to recognize them.
- Umbilical cord issues: If the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the neck or other parts of the body, it can result in a lack of oxygen to the baby
- Placental abruption: Occurs when the placenta separates from either the uterus wall or another organ surrounding it. It is often related to maternal trauma or blood clotting, but it can also lead to a lack of oxygen in the baby.
- Macrosomia occurs when the baby is too large for the mother’s birth canal. It raises the risk of vaginal tearing or other types of injury that may lead to a lack of oxygen during delivery.
- Forceps & vacuum-assisted birth: When these birthing tools are misused, they can lead to injuries that cause a lack of oxygen. For example, using forceps or vacuum extraction without an epidural may cause the mother to experience extreme pain, resulting in increased anxiety and hyperventilation.
- Shoulder dystocia occurs when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck during delivery. There may be a lack of oxygen to the infant, resulting in injuries such as Erb’s Palsy or other damage caused by the extended position of the baby’s head.
Many signs indicate if your newborn suffered an injury because of a lack of oxygen during labor and delivery. These include:
- Rapid breathing or heart rate, especially after feeding
- Breathing difficulties, including wheezing or grunting
- Jaundice (yellowing of the skin) -Bloody stools
- Respiratory distress (difficulty breathing)
Medical Negligence and Birth Injury Cases
There are many types of medical negligence during labor and delivery, but the most common is delayed diagnosis and treatment.
In addition, there may be a lack of communication between healthcare providers or staff members, which can lead to errors such as:
- Mistakes in assessing and monitoring fetal heart tones and contractions: Sometimes, medical professionals fail to follow up with the patient or make incorrect assessments after examinations.
- Failure to diagnose: If the medical staff fails to use the proper equipment, tests, examination procedures, or skills needed in diagnosing an injury, it may result in delayed diagnosis and treatment.
- Failure to monitor fetal heart tone between contractions: A lack of monitoring can lead to undetected fetal distress, resulting in insufficient organ and tissue oxygen.
- Emergency C-section occurs when a cesarean section is performed before it is medically necessary or during labor, leading to complications such as excessive bleeding for the mother.
- Failure to perform an episiotomy: During delivery, an episiotomy is a surgical procedure performed to widen the opening of the vagina and help prevent injuries to other delicate tissues. If it is not performed, the risk of severe tears and other damage increases.
- Failure to perform necessary tests: When proper tests are not performed, it may indicate an underlying condition that has yet to be discovered. If the mother suffers from a lack of oxygen during labor and delivery because of this negligence, it can result in further complications.
- Anesthesia issues can include failing to monitor anesthesia levels or administering too much, which can cause an oxygen deficiency for your baby.
- Maternal fatigue: This can occur because of blood loss, dehydration, pain medication, or other factors that increase exhaustion during labor and delivery. In addition, it increases the risk of developing postpartum hemorrhage (excessive bleeding).
- Emergency Cesarean Delivery: This procedure may be necessary to prevent the infant from experiencing a lack of oxygen. However, it can also cause further injury if done inappropriately or quickly.
- Vacuum & Forceps-assisted Births: If these types of births are performed improperly, they may lead to injuries that result in a lack of oxygen. Forceps can result in bruising and other types of injuries, such as fractures or nerve damage. In addition, vacuum extraction may lead to a broken collarbone, which increases the infant’s risk for paralysis and injury.
- Delayed C-Sections: A delay in performing a C-section can cause further distress to the baby, increasing the risk of an injury that results in a lack of oxygen.
- Lack Of Oxygen To Baby During Birth: When a fetus does not get enough oxygen, it can result in severe brain damage. Many signs may indicate if your baby suffered an injury because of a lack of oxygen during labor and delivery.
Risk Factors for Injury During Childbirth
Many risk factors increase the likelihood of suffering injuries when you give birth. These include:
- Prior C-section: A prior C-section can increase the risk of uterine rupture during future deliveries, which can cause severe bleeding and other complications.
- Prior vaginal delivery: If you previously gave birth vaginally without experiencing any complications, it increases the likelihood that all systems are in place for safe vaginal delivery.
- Childbirth complications: If you experience significant bleeding or tearing during labor, it can increase the risk of experiencing injuries during childbirth.
- Small pelvis: A small pelvis size can affect the baby’s ability to fit through your birth canal. An infant’s head is usually the biggest part of their body, and if your pelvis is too small, it can increase the risk of injury during childbirth.
- Diabetes: This metabolic disorder affects the body’s ability to use and store glucose (a form of sugar). If you have uncontrolled diabetes and do not control it during pregnancy, it increases the likelihood that your baby will experience a lack of oxygen during delivery.
- Obesity: Being significantly overweight can lead to the baby not receiving enough oxygen due to compression of the lungs or other complications. It can also increase your risk of injury throughout labor and delivery because of the increased strain on your body.
- High blood pressure: If you have uncontrolled high blood pressure, it can increase your risk of experiencing a lack of oxygen because of the pressure on the placenta.
- Medical Conditions: Some medical conditions like anemia (reduced number of red blood cells) or preeclampsia (high blood pressure and protein in your urine) can make you more susceptible to experiencing injuries during childbirth.
- Cigarette smoking increases your risk of suffering injuries during childbirth due to a lack of oxygen. It can also increase the likelihood that you will experience a stillbirth (the death of a baby before or during delivery).
- Infections: Infections such as chlamydia, syphilis, and genital herpes may further increase the risk of injuries during childbirth.
- HIV: The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) affects the immune system and may increase your risk of injury because you lack oxygen during labor and delivery.
- Receiving general anesthesia: This increases your risk of injury to your baby due to a possible lack of oxygen.
The Common Symptoms of Birth Injuries
Most injuries that result from a lack of oxygen during childbirth are not immediately apparent. Babies who have suffered injury usually do not show symptoms immediately, which may take days or weeks to develop. If your baby is born healthy but does not seem well in the days after delivery, it may be a sign that they have suffered an injury during birth.
Symptoms to look out for if you think that your baby has suffered an injury may include:
- Changes In Crying: Babies deprived of oxygen during childbirth often cry differently from those with other medical conditions. If you notice any changes in the type of cry, it can signify that your baby has suffered an injury during birth.
- Difficulty Breathing: If your baby has difficulty breathing or shows signs of shallow breaths, it may indicate that they have been deprived of oxygen during birth.
- Changes In Skin Color: The type of skin color you notice on your baby after giving birth can be a sign of injury. If they are pale, it can indicate that they have been deprived of oxygen; if they become blue or purple, it may indicate that the lack of oxygen was prolonged and more serious.
- Changes In Reflexes: Babies who have experienced birth injuries may not respond to stimuli like touch in the same way that healthy babies do. As a result, they may fail to react or overreact to sensations by startling or crying more than expected.
- Changes In Muscle Tone: A baby who has suffered an injury during birth often does not have the muscle tone they normally should after delivery. If you notice their arms and legs are limp, their muscles were deprived of oxygen, and they may need medical intervention.
- Problems With Sleeping: Babies deprived of oxygen during birth often do not sleep, and those who do not experience such deprivation. It can take them longer to fall asleep, and they may wake up more frequently than usual. If your baby seems to have trouble sleeping, it can indicate injury.
- Breathing Problems: Babies who have suffered birth injuries may experience difficulty breathing even when not crying. Suppose your baby struggles to breathe normally or seems to take shallow breaths. In that case, this can indicate that their airways are obstructed because of the birth injury they experienced during delivery.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your baby after delivery, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately. An injury not apparent right after delivery can worsen if left untreated.
Your pediatrician will be able to determine the extent of the injury and whether or not your baby needs further treatment.
How a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help
A Buffalo Grove, Illinois, birth injury lawyer will review your case and discuss the scenarios that could have led to an injury. If you believe that a lack of oxygen during childbirth caused or exacerbated an injury to your baby, a lawyer can help you file a claim.
A birth injury lawyer will work with medical professionals who can prove that your baby was deprived of oxygen for an extended period.
A personal injury lawyer will also hire experts who can testify that the lack of oxygen caused your baby’s injury during childbirth. They may work with other professionals, such as mechanical engineers, to help prove that the machinery used for delivery could have contributed to or exacerbated your baby’s injuries.
The accident often happened because of a medical error caused by someone else’s negligence during the birthing process that led to catastrophic problems, including spinal cord injuries, brain trauma, or a lack of oxygen, leading to cerebral palsy.
What You Need to Know About Birth Injury Cases
Before hiring a Buffalo Grove birth injury lawyer to open a medical malpractice case, you must understand what your case entails.
A birth injury is not always easy to prove. For example, it may be difficult to provide evidence that your baby suffered oxygen deprivation during delivery because medical professionals can deny it or claim it was due to other factors.
Statute of Limitations
The time limits on filing claims are strict. You may only have two years to file after the birth of your baby, so you must quickly act if you believe this was the cause of your child’s injury.
For more information on birth injuries, talk to a lawyer. A lawyer can help you determine if your baby suffered oxygen deprivation during childbirth and whether or not you have a legal case that meets the criteria for filing.
If they are pale, it can indicate that they have been deprived of oxygen; if they become blue or purple, it may indicate that the lack of oxygen was prolonged and more serious.
- Changes In Reflexes: Babies who have experienced birth injuries may not respond as expected to stimuli such as light or sound. For example, they may fail to startle when expected and not blink when an object approaches their eyes.
- Problems With Feeding: Babies who have experienced birth injuries often do not eat properly right after delivery. It can take them longer to eat, even if you limit the time between feedings and ensure they are properly latched on. It can make it difficult for them to eat enough food to meet their nutritional needs, and if you see signs of insufficient intakes, such as slowed growth or low weight, it can indicate a problem.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your baby after delivery, it is vital to seek medical attention immediately. A lack of oxygen during childbirth can cause severe brain damage that interferes with your baby’s nervous system’s development and worsens without treatment.
The sooner you act after delivery, the more likely your child can recover from injuries due to a lack of oxygen during labor and delivery.
A birth injury lawyer can help you understand what happened to your child and whether or not you have a legal case that meets the criteria for filing.
They will work with medical professionals and other experts who can provide testimony and evidence about the lack of oxygen during labor and delivery. In addition, they may be able to prove that this factor caused your child’s injury.
Do you believe an error or delay in delivering your baby contributed to oxygen deprivation? If so, we can help you file a compensation claim that reflects the full extent of your child’s injuries.
Hiring a Medical Malpractice Law Firm to Resolve a Birth Injury Case
Call an experienced birth injury lawyer at Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, LLC today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your medical malpractice case.
Our attorneys can ensure that your family will receive maximum compensation based on the value and merits of your personal injury case.
Our Buffalo Grove, IL law firm accepts all personal injury cases and wrongful death lawsuits handled in the Northwest Chicago suburb in Lake County and Cook County on a contingency fee basis.
This promise ensures you pay nothing until your case is resolved through a negotiated settlement or jury trial award.