Injuries During Birth from the Perspective of a Medical Malpractice Lawyer in Philadelphia
Few traumas in life are as devastating as the injury or death of a child during birth. In some instances, nothing could have been done to prevent the inevitable. In other cases, the injury was entirely preventable and caused by something a medical professional did wrong (an error of commission), or something he or she did not do that should have been done (an error of omission.) If such a tragedy occurs, you should contact a medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia to determine if the medical treatment the mother or child received deviated from the standard of care that should have been provided.
Causes of Birth Injuries
Each case must be investigated on its own facts by an experienced medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia, but common causes include:
- Improper care prior to birth. Issues such as gestational diabetes in the mother or an overly large fetus are among the many risks factors that should be evaluated for during pregnancy and addressed if necessary.
- Improper use of forceps. A medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia understands it may become medically necessary to employ forceps during delivery, yet doing so improperly can result in nerve or brain damage.
- Improper procedure during labor and delivery. Failure to recognize trauma in the unborn child may result in delaying ordering a C-section, or not ordering one at all; which, as a medical malpractice attorney in Philadelphia knows, can be critical.
Types of Birth Injuries
Although a medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia sees a wide range of birth injuries, among those more often reported are:
- Cerebral Palsy, a type of brain damage often caused by an oxygen deficiency during the birth process.
- Erb’s Palsy, resulting from injury to the network of nerves located in the shoulder/neck area (brachial plexus,) often caused by prolonged and difficult deliveries.
- Shoulder Dystocia, which causes nerve damage when the child’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone.
A medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia will caution that the severity and permanency of any injury is unique and requires individual medical evaluation.
Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney in Philadelphia
Many birth injuries are not only emotionally devastating to the family; they create extensive medical bills that may last a lifetime. Understand your options. Contact Gerard G. Bernhardt, Jr.& Associates, P.C., a medical malpractice lawyer in Philadelphia, at 1650 Market St. Suite 5500, Philadelphia, PA 19103, phone/215-854-0315 or fax/215-854-0083.