The Killino Firm’s Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyers fight aggressively for the rights of children born with birth injuries caused by medical negligence (malpractice). Every health care provider who cares for a pregnant woman has a duty to provide competent medical care to the woman and to her growing child. This duty of care begins during the woman’s pregnancy and extends to the time of her child’s birth—and shortly thereafter.
The failure to meet this standard of care can lead to a health provider’s liability in a medical negligence lawsuit if the substandard care results in a child’s birth injury. The Killino firm’s birth injury lawyers are experienced with all types of childbirth injury cases. We have the knowledge, compassion, and dedication to achieve the justice you and your child deserve.
If your child sustained a childbirth injury, please contact our birth injury attorneys at 215-569-1299 for a free evaluation of your case. We can help you determine if you have a valid claim and advise you about your legal options.
Birth Injuries Defined
A birth injury is an injury sustained by a child during childbirth. Many childbirth injuries occur naturally. While birth injuries caused by medical malpractice have declined over the years, far too many childbirth injuries still result from medical mistakes and carelessness.
Common examples of childbirth injuries caused by medical negligence include (but are not limited to):
- asphyxia injuries
- brachial plexus injuries
- C-section injuries
- injuries caused by labor assistance devices
Birth injuries may also include birth defects caused by negligent medical care during the mother’s pregnancy.
Asphyxia Birth Injuries
Asphyxia birth injuries are injuries caused by a lack of oxygen to a baby’s brain. This type of injury may result from the carelessness of medical professionals during a child’s birth. Common and often preventable asphyxia birth injuries include cerebral palsy and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy.
Cerebral palsy (CP) is a group of separate brain disorders caused by damage to a baby’s brain. CP may affect each child in a different way, but most children with CP experience difficulties with:
- muscle use
- coordination, and
CP can result from a deprivation of oxygen to the fetus’s brain during the mother’s pregnancy or in childbirth. Instances of medical negligence responsible for this oxygen deprivation may include such things as a negligent failure to:
- carefully monitor the mother’s and baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels
- carefully monitor both mother and fetus for other signs of distress
- recognize and adequately deal with placental and umbilical cord complications
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a general term for brain injuries sustained from a lack of oxygen to a baby’s brain during birth. HIE due to medical negligence can occur when medical professionals fail to carefully monitor both mother and child for certain complications that can cause fetal asphyxia, including:
- placental abruption
- high blood pressure, and
- umbilical cord prolapse or compression
Brachial Plexus Injuries
Brachial plexus injuries are injuries to a baby’s brachial plexus, or nerves near the baby’s shoulder. Negligence during child birth that often causes these types of injuries includes:
- carelessly pulling on a baby’s head or neck during a difficult delivery, and
- proceeding with a vaginal delivery when a fetus is too large to safely pass through the birth canal
Less than adequate prenatal care can also cause brachial plexus injuries if a doctor does not:
- carefully monitor and treat a pregnant woman’s weight gain and / or diabetes, or
- watch for and manage other conditions that may lead to an over-large baby
Injuries Caused by C-Sections and Labor Assistance Devices
Babies may sustain birth injuries from the negligent employment of labor assistance devices during vaginal delivery. This can include the careless use of forceps or a vacuum suction device.
Negligently performed C-sections can also injure a child. These injuries can result from:
- negligently executed incisions, or
- delay in the performance of C-section surgery
Legal Responsibility for Your Child’s Birth Injury
All health care personnel and entities involved in the care of a patient have a duty to provide adequate medical care to that patient. Medical malpractice law defines adequate care by a particular medical provider as care that meets the standard expected of professionals in the same area of practice (and the same community) as the particular provider.
These medical providers may include:
- nurse practitioners
- physicians’ assistants
- radiologists, and
- any other medical personnel involved in a patient’s care
Medical providers who can be liable for injuries caused by negligent care also include medical entities (organizations) such as:
- surgical centers
- hospitals, and
- organized groups of medical professionals
Medical organizations/entities can be liable not only for their own negligence but also for the negligence of their employees.
Philadelphia Birth Injury Lawyers Fighting for You
The Killino Firm’s Birth Injury Lawyers have seen the anguish suffered by families of children whose birth injuries could have been prevented with adequate medical care. If a medical mistake or error caused your child’s birth injury, our birth injury attorneys can help you obtain the compensation you and your child are entitled to. Call us today at 215-569-1299 to discuss your case, free of charge.