When should you seek legal advice if a loved one has sustained a birth injury?

When should you seek legal advice if a loved one has sustained a birth injury?

While most labor and deliveries occur without incident, complications may arise affecting the health of the newborn. In some instances, a complication at birth may be quickly resolved, within the first few hours or days of a newborn's life, with no lasting impact. Other times, issues that present themselves at or near the time of delivery may affect the child permanently, requiring a lifetime of care.

For example, in some cases, labor becomes prolonged. In these instances, doctors and/or nurses may administer Pitocin to help the labor progress. Pitocin is generally safe, however, in some situations it may cause harm. Effects of Pitocin vary - mothers can experience nausea, decreased blood pressure, hemorrhages and impaired blood flow in the uterus. Newborns may have an increased risk of fetal distress and complications such as an abnormal heart beat, seizures, brain injury or damage and a decreased heart rate may occur.

Further, where an infant is not positioned correctly in the birth canal, hospital staff will be required to take precaution to properly and safely deliver the child to avoid brachial plexus or other injuries. Pulling too hard, or the incorrect usage of forceps, may lead to permanent neurological, physical and cognitive deficiencies.

Where fetal distress is noted, and the medical team fails to act quickly to remedy the situation - such as by performing an immediate Cesarean Section - brain damage may occur, leading to cerebral palsy.

Not all birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice. However, where a medical professional could have taken an action to prevent an injury ad failed to do so, or was reckless in providing care, he or she may be held liable and responsible in a birth injury lawsuit.

For more information or if you believe your child suffered a birth injury due to an error during the labor and delivery process, please contact the dedicated California birth injury attorneys at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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