When parents are expecting, it's necessary that they, as well as medical professionals, are cooperative throughout the entire pregnancy. A medical team comprised of a range of practitioners are generally heavily involved from the moment a mother finds out she's pregnant to the day she gives birth, all in hopes of ensuring a safe delivery free from complications. The medical team's intent is to aid in maintaining the health of the baby and mother through routine doctor's appointments, the use of prenatal vitamins, regular ultrasounds, and any other methods considered necessary for a smooth delivery.
Although a medical team may make parents feel at ease, there is still a multitude of problems that could possibly arise right up to the day a baby is born. The injuries that a newborn can receive during the birth range from minor to severe and can even result in death. Under the direction of the law in Berks County, Pennsylvania, our Berks County medical malpractice attorneys headed by Berks County birth injury attorney, Gary Brod for over 30 years can help victims of baby birth injury receive compensation for physician negligence... Despite how knowledgeable or experienced the professionals in a medical team may be, it's still made up of human beings who are imperfect and capable of making mistakes. When a baby is injured during the birthing process, it is considered a birth injury.
Birth Injuries vs. Birth Defects
It may be difficult for parents to distinguish the difference between a birth injury and a birth defect. If anyone is contemplating taking legal recourse due to the harm or death of a newborn, it's important they indicate which category their baby's injury falls under. Proving that their baby's condition was proximately caused by a mistake made on the behalf of a health care provider as opposed to an unpreventable occurrence, makes all the difference when pursuing monetary compensation for an injury, damages, and losses.
Cerebral Palsy is a crippling disease that can be acquired during birth. If the baby is deprived of oxygen during the birth or if it receives trauma to the brain, Cerebral Palsy can develop. The effects of this disease last throughout life and can result in minor or major handicaps for the victim. Minor cases notice only a slight handicap, but more severe cases result in the complete disability of the victim.
A birth defect manifests long before a baby is born and is generally unavoidable. It usually occurs within the first trimester of pregnancy, when the baby's spinal cord, heart, brain, tissue and other organs begin to develop. Ranging from injuries that are considered harmless to injuries that may require long-term medical treatment, birth defects are known to affect almost any part(s) of the body. Depending on the area of body the defect resides and its severity, the lifespan of an individual may or may not be affected. But severe birth defects are currently the leading cause of infant deaths in the nation, claiming about 20% of infant deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 120,000 babies are affected by birth defects in the United States, that's about 1 out of 33 babies every year. Usually, parents notice birth defects within the first year of the baby's life. Some are easy to spot, while others are only able to be identified by utilizing medical equipment such as x-rays, hearing tests, or echocardiograms - an ultrasound test that visually displays the heart.
Unfortunately, doctors haven't figured out what causes most birth defects. The only defects they're certain about are ones that a parent may have contributed to by disregarding their doctor's orders. However, doctors have discovered several elements that influence birth defects, like genetics, behaviors, and environmental factors, etc. But understanding just how these factors intermix to create these defects is still a mystery. Researchers have analyzed prior reports, noting factors that could increase the likelihood of birth defects. These factors include:
- Uncontrolled diabetes before or during pregnancy
- Smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking illegal substances during pregnancy
- History of genetic disorders
- Ingesting high-risk medications (such as isotretinoin and lithium)
- Becoming an older mother, typically over the age of 34 years old
- Untreated bacterial or viral infections
- Exposure to toxic chemicals
- Inadequate prenatal care
Some birth defects commonly found in newborns are a cleft lip or palate, clubfoot, down syndrome, sickle cell disease, and cystic fibrosis.
On the other hand, birth injuries are frequently the result of human error or omissions. In many reported cases pertaining to these types of injuries, parents discover that provocative and careful medical treatment could have produced a more favorable outcome. Doctors, nurses, and any other practitioner involved are expected to recognize the perplexities of prenatal, intrapartum, and peripartum care, but unfortunately, injuries still occur. For example, hospital staff may prescribe the wrong dose of medication to an expecting mother, or a doctor might order a nurse to continue a delivery without tending to high-risk complications. In whatever form medical negligence comes in - blatant or unintentional - the repercussions of this behavior affects the lives of everyone involved. Cerebral Palsy is a crippling disease that can be acquired during birth. If the baby is deprived of oxygen during the birth or if it receives trauma to the brain,
Types of Baby Birth Injuries
- Spinal cord issues
- Cerebral Palsy
- Swelling and bruising
- Cranial hemorrhaging
- Oxygen deprivation
- Brachial Plexus
- Broken Bones
- Erb's Palsy
- Shoulder Dystocia
How Birth Injuries Affect Mothers
People tend to forget about the injuries inflicted upon mothers during childbirth. Both physical and mental inflictions usually contribute to the degradation of a mother's quality of life. An obvious sign that there were complications during the delivery are visible marks or bruises on the body, and some symptoms take days, months, or even years to emerge. Several examples of physical health conditions that could possibly transpire are broken bones, abnormal uterine bleeding, fissures, infection, pre-eclampsia or eclampsia, vaginal tears or lacerations, or wrongful death of the mother.
When a baby passes away or may be in need of long-term health care, these circumstances can take a huge toll on a mother's mental state. Coping with the injury of their baby and possibly themselves can be unbearably stressful, leading to mental health issues depression and PTSD. Sometimes birth injuries become so taxing that mothers are temporarily incapable of raising their newborn - an injured infant that needs an unfathomable amount of care and love.
An Experienced Berks County Birth Injury Attorney
If you or your baby have been injured as a result of the negligence of a health care provider, you may be eligible for compensation. Although a monetary reward won't ever undo what has happened, it will provide you with the financial security to improve you and your child's quality of life in the aftermath of these tumultuous times. Attorneys at The Brod Law Firm in Berks County are dedicated to getting you the best results possible. We exclusively represent victims of birth trauma and cerebral palsy.
Getting the birth injury attorneys from The Brod Law Office in your corner as soon as possible can ensure that you get what you need to make a full recovery from those who were ultimately responsible.
Contact us online or call our law office at 1-888-435-7946 (888-HELPWIN). Even if you are not sure you have a case call us. There is never a charge for receiving personal legal advice from Gary Brod, a highly rated Berks County attorney for over 30 years handling Berks County birth injury cases exclusively for injured victims and their families. Even if you are not sure if you have a case please call us for straightforward no-nonsense answers to your legal questions. We do not charge you for legal advice. We serve all of the state of Pennsylvania from our conveniently located offices in Philadelphia, Montgomery County and Reading, Pennsylvania.
The Brod Law Firm Serves The Following Areas of Berks County
- Mt. Penn
- Sinking Spring