Head injury, permanent brain damage, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and seizure disorder are just some of the injuries a newborn can suffer during labor and delivery. In other instances, medical mismanagement by the obstetrician can lead to tragic consequences to the mother. Perhaps the most tragic aspect of these injuries is that most of the time, they are preventable. The attorneys at De Caro & Kaplen, LLP want to hear what happened to your child or to you. We can help you determine whether your child’s birth injury or your injury was caused by medical mismanagement or neglect.
What Can Go Wrong
Throughout the nine months of pregnancy, there are many signs to alert an observant and qualified obstetrician to potential issues and allow him or her to take the proper precautions. Yet all too often, those signs are missed or disregarded. Obstetrical malpractice resulting in infant injury can occur at any stage of gestation all the way through labor and delivery. For example, an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB/GYN) may:
- Fail to monitor a mother’s weight gain or review her history of deliveries
- Fail to correctly interpret the results of diagnostic testing, such as a sonogram or blood test
- Fail to recognize or properly respond to bleeding, including placental abruption
- Fail to recognize or properly respond to umbilical cord compression or prolapsed cord
- Fail to recognize or properly respond to fetal distress and fetal monitoring strips
- Fail to properly recognize and treat infections
- Delay in performing a necessary cesarean section (C-section)
- Misuse vacuum extractor
- Misuse forceps
- Fail to recognize and treat gestational diabetes
- Fail to recognize and treat preeclampsia
Devastating Injuries Caused by Obstetrical Malpractice
Erb’s palsy: When a baby travels down the birth canal, a large fetus or one that is improperly positioned can present dangers. In cases of Erb’s palsy, also known as shoulder dystocia, the baby gets trapped in the birth canal because it is too large to pass through the pelvis or is trying to pass in the wrong position. When too much traction is placed on the infant, injury to the brachial plexus (the group of nerves that run from the shoulder to the spine) takes place. This can cause permanent damage to the hands, arms, or shoulders.
Proper techniques used by the doctor to reposition the baby can avoid Erb’s palsy. Physicians should be aware of the potential of this predictable obstetric emergency by determining the likely weight and position of the baby before active labor begins. This knowledge allows them to properly monitor the progression of labor and take the necessary steps to reposition the fetus before injury occurs or perform a C-section.
Cerebral palsy: This condition is often caused by insufficient amounts of oxygen reaching the brain of the newborn prior to birth. Cerebral palsy can be prevented by carefully monitoring the baby during the progression of labor and delivery and promptly performing a caesarian section before brain damage occurs.
Other birth injuries that can result from medical malpractice include preeclampsia, cranial or spinal cord injury, and umbilical cord strangulation.
Injuries to Mothers During Childbirth
Obstetrical malpractice can also result in injury to the mother. Injuries to the cervix, uterus, and blood vessels frequently take place because of surgical errors that occur during vaginal delivery as well as delivery by caesarian section. The failure to promptly treat preeclampsia can tragically lead to the death of the mother. Women can also suffer from preventable infections that lead to tissue and nerve damage when placental tissue is improperly left behind in the uterus following childbirth. Failure to promptly respond to vaginal bleeding following delivery, a condition known as uterine atony, can also lead to permanent injury and even death to the mother. Our attorneys have represented many mothers who were needlessly harmed during the course of childbirth.
Why De Caro & Kaplen, LLP?
What sets De Caro & Kaplen, LLP apart from most personal injury law firms in New York? It’s our tireless commitment to protecting the rights of young brain injury victims and their mothers who have been harmed at the hands of careless OB/GYN professionals. We also bring:
- 35-plus years of experience handling birth injury malpractice cases
- A solid history of obtaining favorable verdicts and settlements for our clients
- A comprehensive approach to building strong cases of medical negligence
- Caring, personalized attention that’s often unavailable at larger firms
We’re in This Together
If you believe your child’s birth injury is the result of medical negligence, don’t you owe it to him or her to seek justice? At De Caro & Kaplen, LLP, our malpractice lawyers know what you’re up against—and we’ll stand by you every step of the way. You pay nothing unless we obtain compensation on behalf of you and your child. Reach out to us today.