Birth Injury Lawyers – Labor and Delivery Complications
Labor and delivery complications, which refer to any problems that arise during childbirth, are extremely dangerous for both the mother and her child. When medical professionals needlessly endanger the health of mother and baby and a preventable injury occurs, those responsible for the care are responsible for medical negligence. Every professional involved in the labor and delivery process must adhere to the accepted standard of care.
During labor, an obstetrician relies, in part, on obstetrical nurses to monitor and evaluate the mother’s vital signs, the progress of labor, and the fetal heart rate. Obstetrical nurses are responsible for advising the obstetrician when his or her services are needed in the delivery room. When a nurse does not recognize the signs of fetal distress, or an obstetrician fails to respond in a timely and appropriate manner, serious complications can occur. At times, the hospital where a child is born may be responsible for birth injuries. Inadequate policies, faulty equipment, or poor training of medical personnel can all result in serious birth injuries.
The trusted labor and delivery lawyers at Shebell & Shebell possess comprehensive knowledge of the medical and legal aspects of birth injury cases. We are committed to putting our knowledge to work for our clients, and helping them recover the monetary compensation they need to try to make up for for the child’s injuries.
Avoidable Birth Injuries
Labor and delivery rooms are often chaotic. Doctors, nurses, nurses’ aides, residents and medical students are constantly coming and going throughout the birthing process. Due to the length of time it can takes to deliver a baby (often several hours), it is likely that there will also be shift changes, increasing the risk of miscommunication. Some of the most common mistakes that occur during labor and delivery include:
- Mismanagement of Group B Strep (GBS is a bacteria that poses no harm to adults, but when transferred to a newborn during delivery, poses a risk of serious harm because a baby may not have the antibodies to fend off the infection. Potentially deadly conditions such as brain damage, cerebral palsy, blindness and meningitis can result)
- Neonatal resuscitation errors
- Complications with a V-BAC (vaginal birth after C-Section) delivery
- Delayed emergency C-Section
- Fetal monitoring errors (including decreased oxygen to the baby, a twisted or damaged umbilical cord, breech or transverse presentation, and bleeding inside the baby’s brain)
- Placental abruption
- Placenta previa
- Uterine rupture
- A midwife’s failure to refer a patient to a hospital
- Failure to contact a maternal-fetal medicine specialist in high-risk pregnancies
- Traumatic birth injury (A prolonged or difficult labor may result in significant injury to a baby, often to the baby’s head. In many cases, this is preventable. An obstetrician should perform diagnostic tests to identify risk factors, health problems or complications that require treatment or a planned C-section)
- Assisted delivery complications (Including forceps injuries and vacuum extractor injuries)
- Cephalopelvic disproportion injuries (When a woman’s pelvis is too small to accommodate the baby’s head during delivery, many problems can result including obstructed labor, which endangers the life of both the mother and the child)
- Fetal macrosomia (a significantly larger than average newborn)
- Intracranial hemorrhages
- Medicine Errors (Cyotec and Pitocin are commonly used to aid in the induction and progression of labor. Hurried doctors may unnecessarily prescribe these medications to speed labor. Recent studies show that their use can be dangerous, causing uterine rupture, uterine hyperstimulation, hemorrhages, and lacerations)
Many serious and lasting injuries can result from these acts of medical negligence. Common labor and delivery injuries can include:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brachial Plexus Palsy (An injury to a group of nerves called the brachial plexus, which connects the arms to the spinal cord. This disorder is also referred to as Erb’s Palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy. Sufferers exhibit paralysis in the shoulders and arms)
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Shoulder dystocia
- Meconium aspiration syndrome
- Hypoxic brain damage
Monetary Compensation for Delivery Room Errors
The effects of a birth injury are often permanent, resulting in brain damage and lifelong physical disabilities. At Shebell & Shebell, we work tirelessly to obtain complete and full compensation for our clients so that they can care for their injured children. We work with obstetricians, neonatologists, nurses, neuro radiologists, forensic accountants, and life care planners to attempt to determine the cost of caring for a birth injury over a child’s lifetime. We consider costs for future surgeries, medical supplies and equipment, in-home nursing care, physical therapy, and pain and suffering. We also assist our clients with establishing special needs trusts to provide for a child’s care. The birth injury lawyers at Shebell & Shebell are some of the most experienced and respected litigators in New Jersey. To discuss your case, call us at 866-957-5237 or contact us online.