If you or your newborn suffered an injury during the delivery process, contact your Los Angeles birth injury attorney for a consultation. Giving birth to a baby is a delicate process where an injury can occur to either the mother or the child. It could be that the injury was unavoidable given the circumstances. On the other hand, it could be that the injury was caused by the doctor or hospital staff during the delivery process. The following are some of the more common preventable injuries that occur during the process of delivery, as well as the steps that are taken with your Los Angeles birth injury attorney through a medical malpractice case.
Common Injuries During Delivery
During child-birth, injuries can be sustained to the mother, the baby, or both parties. The following are some of the most common delivery injuries that your Los Angeles birth injury attorney has seen a newborn baby sustain.
Caput Succedaneum: Caput Succedaneum is when the newborn’s scalp becomes swollen. This swelling can be caused by pressure being applied to the newborn’s head during a long or difficult head-first delivery. The swelling could also be caused by the medical staff using a vacuum in order to extract the baby. In most cases, the swelling of the scalp will also be accompanied by bruising. The visible injuries should heal after a few days.
Cephalohematoma: Cephalohematoma is another injury that can be caused by the vacuum during an extraction. Cephalohematoma is when blood pools between the newborn’s cranial bone and skin. In most cases, the injuries will heal after a few weeks and up to three months.
Birth Fractures: Birth Fractures can happen to a newborn during the delivery process. The bone most commonly fractured is the collarbone. In some cases, it may be unavoidable for the newborn to sustain a birth fracture. However, in other cases the birth fracture may have occurred due to the negligent care of the medical staff. This is the case when the doctor had enough time to spot complications.
Erb’s Palsy: Erb’s Palsy is an injury that is related to the newborn’s nerves. This injury can be due to the newborn’s shoulder or neck being stretched too far during the delivery process. A cluster of nerves near the neck will sustain some damage that will leave the newborn weak and numb in areas. It may even cause the newborn to have a limited range of motion with their arms. The severity of Erb’s Palsy can vary from baby-to-baby. Most recover fairly quickly; however, others will need to attend physical therapy or undergo surgery if they are not healed within three to six months.
Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: Subconjunctival Hemorrhage is when the blood vessels in the newborn’s eyes rupture due to pressure during the delivery. In most cases the injury is not severe and will not cause permanent damage to the baby. The symptoms will typically disappear after a week or two.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy: Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy can happen when a newborn does not receive the proper amount of oxygen going to their brain. If this happens, the newborn could lose brain cells or develop conditions such as brain damage, cerebral palsy, or epilepsy. In extreme cases, the newborn may even die.
When a Birth Injury Turns into a Medical Malpractice Case
Not every injury a newborn can sustain during the delivery process is caused by something that the doctor could have done, or could have prevented. If the injury was caused by a medical malpractice issue, your Los Angeles birth injury attorneys will be able to start a medical malpractice case for you. The first step in a medical malpractice case is to establish that the Medical Standard of Care was followed. This means that it will need to be determined that the correct level of care was given to the newborn by the medical staff. It also means that the care that was provided to the patient is the same care that a similarly-skilled medical professional would have given as well. Once your attorney has established what a similarly-skilled medical professional would have done in the same situation, then they will need to show how your medical care provider did not provide an adequate level of care in your situation. Often times giving birth can turn into a traumatic situation. In these scenarios, your medical professional may need to make a risky, yet calculated decision in order to save your newborn’s life or to prevent further damage. However, if your labor and delivery were completely devoid of any complications and your newborn still suffered birth injuries, then it may be due to your doctor’s negligence. Conversely, if you are experiencing a traumatic delivery and your doctor fails to act quickly enough, then they may be held liable for any birth injuries that are sustained. An example of this would be if the baby is not receiving enough oxygen in the womb, and the doctor does not act to perform a C-section in a timely manner which leads to brain damage to the newborn.
Fetal Death Due to Birth Injuries
If the medical care provider failed to provide an adequate level of care that is expected from a skilled healthcare provider and it led to the death of the fetus or newborn, that medical care provider can be held liable for their actions. Depending on the state, a fetal death could be turned into a wrongful death suit. If this is the case for you, it is best to discuss it with your birth injury attorney to see what steps you should take in your case.
Contact a Los Angeles Birth Injury Attorney
For an experienced professional, contact your Los Angeles birth injury attorney today from Martin Stanley Law at 310-399-2555. Martin Stanley Law has the Los Angeles birth injury attorneys who will help you fight for your rights and the best possible outcome in your medical malpractice case. Contact Martin Stanley Law today for a consultation on your birth injury case.