What kinds of situations give rise to a lawsuit for birth injuries? – Birth injuries are always a distressing situation, no matter how temporary the injury may prove to be. When a birth injury occurs, there are a lot of things that will inevitably go through the heads of the family of the child or children affected, and one of those thoughts is likely going to be whether they are able to file a lawsuit against anyone for the damages caused. There are different circumstances and situations that can lead to a birth injury, so it is important to understand what they are and how they may manifest.
The circumstances and situations that may give rise to a birth injury lawsuit in Philadelphia
Birth injuries may occur with no real fault on anyone’s part, and in fact are relatively common for infants (particularly if the labor is long, difficult, and/or complicated), but it is not an easy task for a regular person to determine whether one such birth injury can be described as medical malpractice. A birth injury is not necessarily going to be anything significant; for instance, it can be something as simple as your child receiving minor bruising during the birthing process. However, it is not impossible at all for this birth injury to be something as bad as permanent brain damage. The truth is, in the United States, healthcare is not the best of quality in the global north, not even close. Infant and maternal fatality rates are also alarmingly high compared to others in this region of the world, and as such, there needs to be more done by physicians to keep an eye out for potential risk of injury to both the mother and the infant. If they fail to fulfill these obligations, they may find themselves running afoul of a lawsuit filed by a Philadelphia birth injury attorney.
A long labor session puts the infant at risk just by virtue of the fact that it introduces undue stress for the infant. Plus, the longer the labor takes, the more opportunities there are for something to go wrong during it. One potential cause for a long labor is because the mother’s contractions are too weak, and thus the baby is unable to be pushed out, or if the baby has entered the breech position. Either way, at this point, the doctor must take action in order to get the infant out of this dangerous situation, typically by employing a cesarean section. The longer the infant is allowed to be in this situation, the more likely it is that they may suffer from a disability later in life, such as cerebral palsy.
Premature delivery also creates a serious risk of birth injury, specifically due to the fact that infants require as much time as possible in order to develop while in the womb. If labor beings before the 37th week of pregnancy, the infant runs a serious risk of sustaining injury, ranging from poorly developed lungs and various maladies relating to the infant’s ability to breathe, while ailments such as jaundice, infection, anemia, bleeding of the brain, and more may occur. Premature labor can occur for a variety of reasons, some more easily expected than others. For instance, irresponsible behavior by the mother — particularly in the form of smoking, drug consumption, and alcohol consumption — can lead t o a premature birth. On the other hand, certain causes can be more difficult for the mother to anticipate than others, such as the amniotic sac rupturing prematurely, an infection, or preeclampsia. Ultimately, the doctor bears responsibility in monitoring and diagnosing any potential risks that may lead to a premature birth. If they fail to follow this, they may find themselves liable for the birth injuries that may follow, including a wrongful death case in the event that the child does not survive.
Umbilical cord prolapse is an issue that your doctor will need to be prepared to address, should such a dangerous situation occur during the birthing process. This is not itself a birth injury, but it can result in some pretty serious ones. Umbilical cord prolapse may lead to the umbilical cord being wrapped around the infant’s neck or body, which can easily be fatal, and quickly. If it does not prove fatal, it can result in the infant suffering from a loss of oxygen, which itself may result in limited cognitive faculties for the child. If the physician is properly paying attention to the status of the infant during the birth, it is unlikely that an umbilical cord prolapse could cause a birth injury in most cases. And if it does, by tackling the issue as soon as possible, the risk that a serious birth injury may occur is lowered significantly.
Fetal distress, meanwhile, can be summed up as a collection of signs that something is going wrong with the unborn child. This can come in multiple forms, including an abnormal heart rate pattern, which should be tracked by an electronic monitoring device. If the pattern begins to change for the strange, this could be indicative of limited access to blood and/or oxygen. The best way to alleviate this is for a physician to provide the mother oxygen and/or fluids, using Picotin to strengthen contractions (and thus get the infant out faster), turning the mother over to provide better blood and oxygen flow, or, failing all of these, ordering an emergency cesarean section. This is not ideal, and potentially dangerous to the mother, but it may prove to be the only reasonable option available to prevent a serious injury from affecting the child.
Generally, any number of things done by a doctor through medical malpractice may contribute, such as prescribing the wrong medicine or even misdiagnosing or failing to diagnose certain issues.
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