Bringing a child into the world is usually a happy occasion. As an expectant parent, you probably hope that your obstetrician-gynecologist will do all that they can to allow your baby to be born as safely as possible. Unfortunately, health care providers may make mistakes during pregnancy or during labor and delivery. The result may be serious birth injuries, such as cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, brachial plexus injuries, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or spinal cord damage. If your baby sustained birth injuries, you should consult DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. We are seasoned trial attorneys who are dedicated to bringing cases against negligent health care providers in Syracuse, Rochester, Buffalo, Albany, and other areas of Upstate New York.
It can be very challenging for a baby and their parents to deal with a serious birth injury. Getting compensation from the at-fault health care provider can ease these burdens. To establish your health care provider’s liability for a birth injury, you will need to show that the injury occurred because the doctor failed to comply with the professional standard of care in the situation.
The professional standard of care is determined by looking at the accepted medical practices of other reasonably competent providers in the same specialty, given the same circumstances and patient. For example, if a reasonably competent provider would have performed a C-section in response to signs of fetal distress, but your doctor ignored the signs and proceeded with a natural birth, causing brain injuries to the baby, a birth injury attorney in Upstate New York likely can establish liability.
If we can establish liability, we should be able to recover compensatory damages for you. Often, serious birth injuries are expensive, necessitating medical care, rehabilitation, and therapy. We may be able to recover those expenses, as well as non-economic damages like pain and suffering, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life.
Below is a discussion of some common examples of birth injuries. However, we handle the full range of birth injury cases, including many conditions that are not covered in detail here.Brain Injuries
One type of brain injury is intracranial bleeding caused by oxygen deprivation or trauma to the head during birth. Another type of brain injury is hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, which is caused by lack of blood flow or oxygen during labor and delivery. It can result in severe mental impediments or developmental delays, depending on how long oxygen or blood was withheld from the brain. Hydrocephalus is a brain injury in which fluid builds in the baby’s ventricles, increasing their size and placing pressure on the brain, which results in functional impairments. Brain injuries may be treated with medical interventions, medications, physical therapy, and occupational therapy. Our Upstate New York birth injury attorneys can help you pursue compensation for these treatments.Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect posture and balance. Cerebral palsy can be caused by damage to a developing brain before or during birth. Birth complications like uterine rupture or detachment of the placenta can disrupt oxygen supply, thereby causing cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy can be treated with physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy. You may be able to hold health care providers accountable for these costs if their medical negligence caused your child’s cerebral palsy.Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus consists of nerves between the shoulders and neck that control sensation in the upper limbs and muscle function in the shoulders, arms, chest, and hands. The brachial plexus may be injured through tearing, stretching, or compressing in a difficult delivery. The result can be paralysis or loss of certain muscle functions. One type of brachial plexus injury is known as Erb’s palsy, in which the upper part of the brachial plexus is damaged, and the child suffers from weakness in the biceps and shoulder muscles.Shoulder Dystocia
Shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that occurs if either or both of a baby’s shoulders get lodged inside a laboring mother’s pelvis. It may result in injuries such as a clavicle fracture or brachial plexus injury, or the disruption of oxygen flow to the brain. With shoulder dystocia, a mother may also sustain harm, such as uterine rupture and postpartum hemorrhage. In addition to recovering damages for injuries to the baby, a mother may be able to recover damages for her injuries with the assistance of a birth injury lawyer in Upstate New York.Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries may be caused by blunt force trauma inflicted by the improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction, or even an obstetrician’s hands during delivery. For example, a spinal cord birth injury might be caused if a doctor aggressively pulls or twists a baby to remove them from the birth canal. Infections and medical conditions can also result in spinal cord damage. These conditions can be lifelong. They may necessitate medication, surgery, and ongoing rehabilitation.Meconium Aspiration
Meconium aspiration is a medical condition in which newborns breathe in meconium, which is baby stool, and it gets caught in their lungs. Meconium aspiration should be detected and treated as soon as possible to avoid birth injuries such as cerebral palsy. Late in pregnancy and during labor, health care providers should monitor a baby for fetal distress, since this can cause meconium aspiration. Meconium aspiration is especially likely if a mother has a difficult labor or a birth infection or if there are issues with the umbilical cord.Kernicterus
Kernicterus is a rare type of brain damage that can develop in newborns with severe, untreated jaundice. Kernicterus happens if bilirubin in the baby’s blood rises and travels into the brain tissues, permanently damaging them. It is important for health care providers to diagnose and treat a newborn’s jaundice before it results in kernicterus, which is untreatable. Babies with kernicterus may suffer from hearing loss, developmental disabilities, movement problems, and difficulty moving the eyes. However, if it is treated quickly at an early stage, further brain damage can be prevented. Our Upstate New York birth injury lawyers can help you bring a claim for negligence that resulted in kernicterus.Acidosis
Fetal acidosis can be acute or chronic. Acute fetal acidosis may result from Pitocin misuse that causes overly frequent or strong uterine contractions, placental abruption, uterine rupture, or umbilical cord complications like cord prolapse. Chronic fetal acidosis can be caused by a mother’s preeclampsia, reduced placental oxygen transfer, or hemorrhage. Health care providers are supposed to monitor and test for fetal distress signs like decreased fetal movements or maternal cramping to catch acidosis and other dangers. They need to treat fetal acidosis to avoid serious and permanent neurological injuries.Consult an Experienced Medical Malpractice Attorney
Families are often unprepared for the devastating consequences of a serious medical error during a pregnancy or the birth of a child. If your baby has a birth injury that may have resulted from medical malpractice in Upstate New York, you should get advice from the birth injury attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano. Contact us at 833-200-2000 or via our online form.
Upstate New York Birth Injury Lawyer | Syracuse & Rochester Medical Malpractice Attorney | DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, LLP
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