Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina Birth Injury Lawyer
Parents expect the birth of a child to be a happy, exciting event. Unfortunately, when careless medical professionals make mistakes during the delivery process, babies can suffer traumatic birth injuries. Complications during childbirth can cause lasting harm to an infant, even resulting in death in some cases. If a negligent physician caused a birth injury or failed to warn you about it, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to obtain compensation.
Birth Injury Statistics
Mothers hope to have a healthy baby in their arms at the end of the labor and delivery process, but roughly seven out of 1,000 babies born in the United States suffer a birth injury. Around 28,000 infants are born with a birth injury each year. Up to half of birth injuries are believed to be avoidable with proper care from medical professionals.
Brachial plexus palsy, fractures and cerebral palsy are among the 10 most commonly reported birth injuries. Brachial plexus injuries occur in one to two births per 1,000 babies. One in 10 babies with brachial plexus injuries will have to undergo surgery.
In South Carolina, the five leading causes of infant deaths in 2018 were birth defects, disorders related to short gestation and low birthweight, accidents, maternal pregnancy complications and bacterial sepsis. From 2017 to 2018, there was a 28 percent increase in the number of infant fatalities from birth defects, while the number of deaths due to accidents increased by 11.8 percent.
What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is also known as birth trauma. It can occur when something goes wrong during the pregnancy or delivery process. For example, a doctor may fail to provide a mother with proper care or react inadequately to signs of fetal distress during childbirth.
While some birth injuries last only during the baby’s first year of life, other serious conditions may require lifelong medical care. Birth injuries like cerebral palsy and brachial plexus injuries are known to result in developmental problems.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
A birth injury can take place during any stage of pregnancy and childbirth. Inadequate prenatal and postnatal care can also result in birth injuries. In many cases birth injuries can be avoided if health care professionals perform their duties properly. Unfortunately, poorly trained doctors can injure an infant without realizing the consequences of their actions.
A mother’s age, weight and health conditions can heighten the risk for birth injuries. The type of delivery, as well as the baby’s gestational age and size can also play a role. However, medical professionals have a duty to take these factors into account and take steps to reduce the chances of birth injuries. For example, doctors need to act quickly if there are signs of respiratory distress or a breech birth. Failure to act is a form of medical malpractice.
The sad reality is that a baby’s future can be ruined when health care providers make even the simplest of errors during a dangerous or difficult birth. In some cases, infants suffer harm due to blatant misconduct. Birth injuries can occur when medical professionals fail to:
• Perform a cesarean section (C-section) if a vaginal delivery is too risky
• Monitor the mother’s status throughout pregnancy and childbirth
• Take prompt action if there are signs of fetal distress
• Properly use forceps, vacuum extraction and other surgical tools when necessary
• Interpret test results correctly
• Recognize and treat a compressed umbilical cord
• Communicate with doctors, nurses, birthing attendants and other medical personnel
• Deliver a baby with proper technique rather than twisting or pulling
Some delivery complications that increase the risk of a birth injury include a mother’s gestational diabetes, the baby’s shoulder getting stuck under the mother’s pelvis, the baby’s large size, a long labor or prematurity.
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit allows you to recover compensation for a birth injury. The Mt. Pleasant birth injury lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm will ensure you receive sound legal guidance. We can help you hold negligent medical professionals accountable for the injuries your baby suffered.
Common Birth Injuries
Babies can suffer real harm when doctors fail to provide adequate care during pregnancy, labor and delivery. Some possible injuries include spinal cord injuries, infections, internal bleeding, severe brain damage or facial paralysis.
Sometimes parents may realize immediately that something is wrong if their infant is struggling to bleed or is bluish in color. In other cases, it may be weeks or months until you find out your baby has suffered a birth injury. Here are some common types of birth injuries in South Carolina:
• Brachial plexus injury: Typically happens due to improper responses during challenging deliveries such as when a baby is stuck. Damage occurs to the baby’s shoulders, arms or hands when nerves in the brachial plexus are overstretched.
• Erb’s palsy: A type of brachial plexus injury that damages the shoulder, arm and fingers. The impaired body parts may suffer some paralysis. This condition can cause balance and coordination issues.
• Shoulder dystocia: This is a condition where the baby’s shoulder gets stuck under the mother’s pubic bone. A C-section should be performed in such cases. If medical professionals choose to proceed with a vaginal delivery, tugging on the baby’s head can result in brachial plexus injuries.
• Broken bones: A baby can suffer fractures and broken bones if a doctor behaves carelessly during difficult deliveries. Using birth assisting instruments to extract a stuck baby can frequently result in broken collarbones.
• Cerebral palsy: A brain disorder caused by lack of proper monitoring or insufficient oxygen during and after delivery. It is a collective term for various physical and cognitive disabilities, as well as impairments to a child’s muscular development and control.
• Caput succedaneum and cephalohematoma: Bruising, bleeding or swelling of the baby’s head when a doctor allows prolonged pushing or improper use of birth-assisting tools.
Dealing With the Consequences of a Birth Injury
A birth injury can happen in a moment, but its effects can last for a child’s lifetime. Your child will be dealing with the physical, cognitive and emotional consequences of their birth injury for years.
Birth injuries can lead to significant medical expenses. The costs of surgery, rehabilitation, medications and ongoing care can quickly add up. You may be worrying about how to provide your child with the best possible care and quality of life.
If your child has sustained a birth injury, you may be able to sue the responsible party for negligence. The defendant may be a doctor, nurse, hospital or even a drug manufacturer. A birth injury lawsuit involves proving medical negligence by showing that the medical professional’s actions did not meet the accepted standard of care for patients during pregnancy, labor, delivery or after childbirth.
The Mt. Pleasant medical malpractice lawyers at the Steinberg Law Firm recognize the devastation that a medical mistake can cause. We are available to help you and your child recover compensation and hold negligent health care providers accountable for actions that cause birth injuries.
Why Hire the Steinberg Law Firm?
The Steinberg Law Firm has seasoned Mt. Pleasant medical malpractice lawyers who have the medical and technical knowledge required to bring a successful birth injury lawsuit. When you hire us, you will receive compassionate and experienced legal representation.
Our law firm will thoroughly investigate your case and gather all the relevant evidence including witness accounts and medical documents. We will also consult with experts about your child’s birth injury to find out whether the medical team trusted with your pregnancy complied with protocols and engaged in appropriate decision-making.
After learning of your child’s birth injury, the last thing you want to do is negotiate with insurance companies. We will take care of all communication with insurers and the negligent medical professional or facility on your behalf. If the at-fault party fails to offer a reasonable settlement, our legal team will fight your lawsuit in court.
Our Mt. Pleasant birth injury lawyers are available to answer all your questions and give you an honest assessment of your case. We are here with you every step of the way during what is likely to be a difficult, heartbreaking time for you and your family. While filing a lawsuit will not undo what happened to your child, it can help them receive the financial support they need to cope with their birth injury.
Contact the Steinberg Law Firm Today
If your child has suffered a birth injury in Mt. Pleasant, contact the Steinberg Law Firm to learn how we can help you obtain compensation. Our trusted medical malpractice attorneys can help you hold the negligent medical professionals accountable for their actions. Schedule a free consultation today.
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