The welcoming of a new baby should be a joyous occasion. Yet a medical
mistake prior to labor, during delivery, or in the immediate aftermath
of childbirth can turn this joyous occasion into a terrifying and horrific
ordeal. Babies can be significantly injured through the negligence of
a physician or medical professional-and sadly, these injuries can mean
a lifetime of suffering and disability for the child.
Although tens of thousands of babies are delivered daily without complications,
labor and childbirth can be accompanied by unpredictable events that require
split-second decisions and focused attention. In these situations, a doctor
or medical professional’s negligence, carelessness, or inattention
could result in serious disability and even death. In fact, each year,
more than 23,000 infants sustain a birth injury.
If your infant sustained injuries or suffered wrongful death as a result
of medical negligence, our Philadelphia medical malpractice attorneys
at Golomb & Honik, P.C. may be able to help you hold the appropriate
healthcare providers accountable and recover the financial compensation
you need and deserve.
Ready to move forward with your case? Call us at (215) 278-4449 for a
Common Birth Injuries
It is important to distinguish birth injuries from birth defects. Birth
defects are conditions that arise while an infant develops during pregnancy,
and are often caused by genetic factors. Birth injuries are often the
result of a medical professional's negligence and may occur between
pre-delivery and post-childbirth care. OBGYNs, anesthesiologists, nurses,
midwives, PCAs, pharmacists, and surgical technicians can all make a mistake
that could result in a birth injury.
Our legal team has successfully represented parents whose children have
experienced birth injuries including:
Other recognized types of birth injuries include:
- Brain injury
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Erb's palsy
- Meconium aspiration
- Spinal cord damage
- Group B strep
Among the most serious, and sadly most frequent, birth injuries are those
that restrict oxygen flow to the brain. Lack of oxygen, or hypoxia, during
delivery contributes to a number of devastating, long-term conditions,
including various brain injuries, permanent brain damage, and cerebral palsy.
What Causes Birth Injury?
For parents whose child has suffered harm due to medical negligence, there
is perhaps no justifiable reason for a birth injury. However, there are
a number of common circumstances and mistakes that contribute to birth injuries:
- Improper monitoring during delivery
- Failure to perform a timely Caesarean section
- Failure to provide adequate prenatal care
- Failure to recognize signs of fetal distress
- Failure to respond to hypoxia
- Misuse of forceps or other medical instruments
- Use of improper delivery techniques
- Failure to diagnose and treat jaundice
- Inappropriately treating infection
- Failure to supply adequate oxygen to the baby
- Improperly administering epidural or anesthesia to mother
- Inappropriate administration of pain medicines
- Failure to properly resuscitate a depressed baby
- Medication errors
Escalating Medical Costs & Long-Term Care from Birth Injuries
When an infant is injured, the resulting medical care expenses can be catastrophic.
Children with hypoxic brain injuries or cerebral palsy may require a lifetime
of care, disability equipment, and medications. Even minor birth injuries
will often require extensive time in a neonatal intensive care unit and
numerous follow up pediatric appointments. Even with insurance, medical
care expenses and long-term care costs can be expensive. It is estimated
that the average lifetime costs for a baby with cerebral palsy is in the
millions of dollars. This does not include extraneous costs, such as increased
insurance premiums, reduced earning capacity, and parents’ lost wages.
Birth Injuries & Statutes of Limitations
As with any medical malpractice case, there are often brief statutes of
limitations that establish deadlines for filing birth injury claims. In
Pennsylvania, injuries that are sustained by a minor are tolled until
their 18th birthday. After their 18th birthday, the minor has 2 years
to bring a claim. In New Jersey, the parents or guardians of an injured
child only have until his or her 13th birthday to bring a claim. Due to
the complexities surrounding medical malpractice claims and birth injuries,
it is advisable to consult with a medical malpractice attorney who has
specific experience in handling birth injury cases as soon as possible
after discovering the injury.
Call our Philadelphia birth injury lawyers for help today!
Your doctors, nurses and obstetricians owe you a certain standard of care.
If your baby was born with an injury that could have been prevented or
detected through proper screening, you deserve to be fairly compensated.
Not because money will necessarily heal your new baby right away, but
because their birth injury will likely require extensive and long-term
medical care and that is expensive. Your child and your family should
not have to struggle because of someone else's negligence.
If your child sustained an injury during the childbirth process that you
believe was caused by medical negligence,
please contact our firm's Philadelphia birth injury attorneys. Our experienced birth injury lawyers have represented children and their
families across the United States who has suffered horrific injuries as
a result of a doctor or medical professional’s negligence.