Although the United States is a hub of medical science and technology, issues during the birthing process still occur. From poor pre-natal care to problems that arise during and after birth, families tragically deal with numerous birth-related complications as a result of medical errors from a doctor or medical facility.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC), birth defects occur in the following:
Birthing injuries occur during the act of a child’s birth. Injuries can also occur during the course of the pregnancy before a birth. Below are some of the more common types of birthing injuries.
Biracial Palsy occurs when a baby experiences problems in the delivery of a shoulder through the birthing canal. The shoulder or arm of a baby becomes bruised or swollen, causing nerves in those areas to be damaged. Normally, babies may recover after a few months of treatment, but tearing of the nerves can cause permanent damage. This can lead to temporary or permanent damage to the child’s ability to maintain a proper range of motion.
This occurs when a baby fails to receive enough oxygen or blood flow, leading to oxygen deficiency in the bloodstream. Asphyxiation may happen before or during the birthing process. Signs of perinatal asphyxia include a pale complexation after delivery or labored breathing. Asphyxia can cause seizures, shock, coma, and death.
Commonly babies experience trauma when traveling through the birthing canal, which may lead to bruising. This can be caused by making contact with the mother’s pelvis bone or other tissue inside the canal. Further, doctors may use forceps (a surgical tool with hinges used to grasp objects or tissue) to move or adjust the baby through the birthing canal. Usage of forceps may leave temporary marks or impressions on the baby’s skin. Lastly, doctors may use a vacuum suction devise to help a baby through the birthing process or remove excess fluid, which may also cause bruising or marks.
Because of the fragile nature of a baby’s skeletal structure, babies often experience bone fractures during the birthing process. Birth often causes fractures of a baby’s clavicle or collarbone (the bone connecting the shoulder to the breastplate). When this happens, babies will normally heal quickly but could experience a lump or limited movement of the arm until fully healed.
During the birthing process, a baby may experience pressure on its face caused by contact with tissue in the birthing canal or surgical instruments used in the birthing process. Too much pressure can cause paralysis of the baby’s face preventing movement and eye closure. Temporary damage heals over a period of days, but permanent damage may require surgery to repair nerve damage.
This occurs when the baby’s head experiences bleeding between the skull bone and its fibrous covering, causing a lump of blood to form on the baby’s scalp. The lump tends to disappear over time as the blood is absorbed by the baby. However, some babies may develop jaundice (a condition that causes yellowing of the skin or the white space of the eyes during excessive breaking down of red blood cells) as the blood cells continue to be broken down and absorbed into the bloodstream.
Caput occurs when a baby experiences excess swelling on a baby’s scalp caused by bruising or trauma while traveling through the birth canal. In most cases, caput heals over the course of several days. Commonly, caput develops when doctors use vacuum extraction to help deliver the baby.
Spinal cord injuries occur due to trauma in the birthing canal that puts extensive pressure on the baby’s spine. Usage of forceps can also cause trauma leading to spinal cord injury.
Oxygen deprivation often occurs when the baby stays in the birthing canal too long. When a baby is deprived of oxygen, this can lead to cerebral palsy, chronic seizures, or other brain damage like intellectual and physical issues and disorders. Even mild oxygen deprivation can have lifelong consequences.
Miscarriage (death of an infant before 20 weeks of pregnancy) or stillbirth (death of an infant after 20 weeks of pregnancy), can occur because of numerous complications in the health of the mother, or issues with the pregnancy. Fetal death can occur because the baby suffers from genetic abnormalities, complications in the mother’s uterus, medication or treatment errors, or infection.
Even though birth issues are a relatively common phenomenon and may be caused naturally during childbirth, many injuries can also be caused by surgical errors or negligence from the healthcare provider charged with delivering the baby. Issues caused by medical negligence may include:
Doctors should be aware of all of these complications as they arise during the pregnancy. Further, doctors have the capacity to conduct numerous medical tests and evaluations before prescribing any medications, engaging in treatment, or delivering children to prevent many forms of injuries.
Birth injuries lead to tragic outcomes for both the child and their family. Birth injuries may require months or years of costly medical treatment, physical or occupational therapy, and other expensive expediters to accommodate a child’s disability or illness. An experienced Oklahoma birth injury attorney can help walk families through the process of seeking financial compensation for their child’s injury or defect.
An Oklahoma birth injury attorney is the best position to investigate whether a child has experienced a birth injury. Because attorneys handle clients struggling with these issues on a daily basis, they have the knowledge to parse through complicated medical records and seek expert opinions on whether a child has suffered a birth injury.
Like many states, negligence falls under tort law (personal injury law). Under a medical malpractice negligence claim, a plaintiff must show that their health care provider had a duty to act, breached that duty, the breach of the duty caused the injury, and the injury led to financial hardship.
To prove birth-related medical malpractice claims, attorneys need to collect the proper evidence and craft an appropriate legal strategy to show a health care provider deviated from their proper standard of care (“do no harm”) and caused the baby or mother’s injury. This can include collecting material evidence in the form of medical bills and diagnostic testing results. Evidence may also include testimony from expert opinions regarding the impact certain injuries or techniques have on children.
An injured party (in this case, a family representing their child’s interests) has seven years from the date of the injury to file a claim under Oklahoma Statutes §12-96. This is normally called a “statute of limitations.” Although seven years may seem like a long time for some, some defects or illnesses may not appear until later in life or go undiagnosed. This is why if a family believes their child has a defect caused by a birthing injury, they should immediately contact an attorney.
The ultimate goal of filing a medical malpractice claim is to earn compensation for a child’s welfare. This can include funds to pay for ongoing medical treatment and procedures; physical, occupational, or social and emotional therapy; and pain and suffering caused by the medical provider’s negligence. Because these medical procedures and treatments can be costly, it is best for a family to maintain records of their child’s healthcare to provide ample evidence for their attorneys to use in the claim filing process.
If your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical malpractice, you need an experienced attorney at your side. The attorneys at Graves McLain will carefully and thoroughly prepare your case, working diligently with medical experts to help you receive the maximum compensation for your child’s injuries. Our attorneys have been successfully providing legal counseling and guidance for parents during this tumultuous and emotional period in their life to ensure that they receive a fair outcome and compensation for the pain and suffering they have been unjustly forced to endure. No matter what your unique situation may be, our team is here to help. Please contact us today for a free consultation by visiting our website, or calling us at 918-359-6600.
My orthopedic doctor recommended Graves McLain, PLLC, to me following the need for revision hip surgery due to a hip from Stryker that was putting poison into my system. The doctor took care of the hip, and Graves McLain, PLLC, took care of the legal case. They were very thorough, professional, courteous, and always ready to answer the questions I had throughout the length of the case. In a word, the entire office is fantastic. I’m sure they were tired of my inquiries on the case’s progress, but they did not show it. They were always willing to respond and were very positive. If I ever have a claim in the future, they will be the first group to whom I reach out.
I have been working with chad McLain for two years. He has helped me get my case resolved in a professional, compassionate, and very smooth way. I wasn’t just a number in this lawsuit which included many others. This firm has made me feel like I was the only one. Amy Cox has also been amazing. She was always so very kind each time I contacted her with questions. Her character shines through, and I’m so thankful she was there for me. I would definitely suggest that anyone who might need a lawyer for a medical lawsuit to choose Graves McLain law firm.
I was referred to Graves McLain through an Uber passenger. I reached out and was connected with Miss Angela, who made me feel so comfortable. She was very upfront with everything and kept a very open line of communication. I got to work with Amy W. & Amy M., who were two fabulous ladies who helped wrap up my case. When I thought I would be screwed with trying to get somewhere with the insurance company, these ladies came to the rescue. Without a doubt, I would contact them again, and I will recommend them to others. Thanks again!
Graves McLain was there for us when we didn’t really know how to move forward with our Round Up claim. They worked very hard for us and kept us informed. Couldn’t of done this without them. Thank you Graves Mclain
I had 10/10 experience with Rachel and the team from Grave’s McLain. I had been feeling overwhelmed with medical bills from a car accident that wasn’t my fault, and the long list of things that had to be done that I had to figure out how to do myself. They put my mind at ease and handled everything perfectly. I’ll definitely use them again if the time comes!
Graves McLain Law Firm recently handled a difficult legal situation for our family. From the beginning, we were treated with respect and concern. The entire staff is top-knotch in the realm of customer care. Mr. McLain’s knowledge, experience, and counselling was reassuring as our case progressed to the best conclusion achievable. Anyone needing assistance with serious issue should contact Graves McLain….”Serious DOES matter to them!”
I am extremely pleased with how my case was handled at Graves McLain. I hired Chad after fighting with the insurance company for over a year. Feeling defeated and overwhelmed with medical bills, once my case was handled by my attorney, I felt at ease. Chad and his team were very responsive and kind. They answered all my questions and even helped me figure out lost wages based on a commission rate of pay. He was able to get maximum compensation and now I can get back to my life! I would 100% recommend Graves McLain time and time again.
My case just settled and I want to thank Rachel Gussman, Janet, Sonia, Emily, Amy, and Margo. This process was definitely a team effort. When I was involved in a car accident last year, I turned to my friend Rachel for guidance. I was thoroughly impressed with their skills, office staff professionalism and friendliness, communication, and of course, the end results. I highly recommend Graves McLain.
My experience with Graves McLain was first and foremost a top notch experience from beginning to end. Their expertise and professionalism was impressive and thorough. I was completely satisfied with their efforts. In two years I had not one but two accidents . They handled both so that I didn’t become a victim again by the insurance company. I’m satisfied and happy with their handling of both suits. I would highly recommend them if you find yourself a victim of an accident.
Thank You Graves McLain!
Graves McLain was so helpful, they communicated with me and gave me frequent updates. I highly recommend them.