When a healthcare provider’s negligence leads to a serious birth injury, the results can be catastrophic and financially expensive for families caring for injured babies and children. At Whitehurst, Harkness, Brees, Cheng, Alsaffar, Higginbotham, and Jacob, PLLC, our birth injury lawyers have extensive experience handling cases involving families devastated by a medical error during childbirth. We fight aggressively and with full dedication to help families obtain compensation for the losses incurred and the challenges they face.
Our firm has had significant case results representing the families of babies injured during labor and delivery. Our birth injury lawyers know what it takes to get results.
Who pays? You or the responsible party?
Our firm is committed to helping parents recover financial compensation for expensive medical costs, nursing care, assistive technologies, medication and more. If you believe that your infant was injured by a medical mistake, please contact our law offices to speak with a birth injury lawyer about your circumstances.
Sadly, birth injuries occur every day in U.S. hospitals. There are a number of ways in which a birth injury can occur, including failure to diagnose a condition, failure to respond to an emergency situation in a timely manner or misuse of medical equipment.
What is Birth Trauma?
Birth Injuries and Birth Trauma from labor and delivery negligence can involve:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain Injury
- HIE or Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Brain Bleed or Intraventricular Hemorrhage (IVH)
- Erb’s palsy or Brachial Plexus Injuries
- Facial Paralysis
- Bruising or swelling of the scalp
- Lacerations or bruises from use of forceps
- Bone fractures
- Shoulder Dystocia
- Placental Abruption
- Nonreassuring Fetal Heart Rate Patterns
- Uterine Hyperstimulation
Birth injuries range in severity. In some cases, the injuries will heal with time. However, more severe cases that involve permanent disabilities will affect the infant, parents and family forever.
What is Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy?
Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy is a global injury to the brain that may occur during labor that can result in cerebral palsy. If your child has been diagnosed with hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or HIE, your child’s medical records may need to be carefully evaluated by an experienced team to determine whether the brain injury occurred as a result of medical malpractice. Medical providers are trained to evaluate the signs and symptoms of oxygen deprivation that may cause HIE during labor and delivery. They are trained to evaluate the fetal monitor strip for variable or late decelerations, bradycardia, tachycardia, and other signs of oxygen deprivation. If they fail to meet the standard of care in evaluating the signs and symptoms that a baby is suffering from oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery, they may be committing malpractice.
Hypoxia means a deprivation of adequate oxygen supply. Ischemia is a deprivation of blood flow. When a restriction of blood flow depriving a baby’s brain of oxygen results in a global injury, the injury may be called a hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. HIE may cause seizures within the first 24 hours of birth. Partial or prolonged asphyxia is the usual cause of HIE in a baby born at term. Babies who suffer HIE during labor and delivery will develop cerebral palsy. Babies born with HIE may have abnormal readings on an EEG or MRI scan.
Infants born after an ischemic insult need immediate medical attention by trained medical professionals. Long-term follow up care by trained family practice doctors, neurologists, rehabilitation professionals, and even dental and eye doctors may be necessary. Over the course of the baby’s life, a trained medical provider can determine what medications, imaging studies, lab work, and therapy the baby born with an ischemic insult will need.
We have represented multiple parents of children with HIE caused by birth injury due to medical malpractice. We use our knowledge, experience, and contacts to find experienced physical medicine and rehabilitation doctors and nurses who are able to evaluate the long-term care needs of a baby born with HIE so that the baby’s medical and other needs can be met. In one case, for example, our expert life-care planner determined that our client’s child needed various treatment modalities, including: outpatient care by trained doctors, a case manager, medication, diagnostic tests, therapy, home attendant care, durable medical equipment/supplies, orthotics/prosthetics, Wheelchair/Power Mobility equipment, and housing modifications.
What is Pitocin or Oxytocin Hyperstimulation?
Pitocin is the brand name of the chemical oxytocin. Oxytocin is a chemical that a woman’s body releases during childbirth that causes contractions. Pitocin is a drug that is designed to increase contractions in a women in labor. Pitocin may be used to induce or augment labor. Doctors and nurses will monitor the administration of the drug to ensure that mom is not having too many contractions, too frequent contractions, or contractions that last too long. This is sometimes called uterine hyperstimulation. This may also be called uterine tachysystole. Providers do this because contractions may decrease or stop the flow of oxygenated blood to the baby. Because the mom is the only source of the baby’s oxygen, decreasing or stopping the flow of oxygenated blood can have devastating effects. If prolonged, the baby may suffer a permanent brain injury.
If a provider does not properly monitor the administration of Pitocin (also sometimes called oxytocin) within the standard of care, and the resulting uterine hyperstimulation causes a brain injury, you may have to file suit for compensation. A careful review of the medical records by an experienced team may be able to determine whether there was negligence. If your child has been a victim of negligence, you need a birth injury lawyer.
How a Birth Injury Lawyer Can Help
Birth injury cases are generally complicated. In order for a plaintiff to recover compensation, there must be proof that a healthcare provider failed to provide a certain standard of care. Only a highly skilled and experienced birth injury lawyer can conduct the type of investigation needed to obtain the truth.
The birth injury attorneys at our firm have national trial experience in complex birth injury cases. We have the knowledge, the skill and the resources to conduct a complete and thorough investigation. We will evaluate every piece of evidence in your case to determine who is at fault. Once we determine liability, we will fight aggressively and tirelessly to ensure the responsible person is held accountable.
If your child suffered an injury at birth, we can help you. Contact our experienced birth injury lawyers today to schedule your free evaluation.