Child Birth Injury in Durham, NC
Having a baby should be a joyous event for parents in Durham. Even with the stressors involved, you have a right to anticipate competent care from medical professionals.
Regrettably, there is a worrying trend of excessive complications. As reported by USA Today, many hospitals have problems with childbirth injuries at twice the national average.
Legal options might be available if your family suffered malpractice during a live birth. Furthermore, you can start the journey toward financial restitution with us today by reading this quick guide.
What Causes a Childbirth Injury?
Was a medical professional you trusted negligent and did damage occur as a result? If so, affected parents have a chance of bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit for compensation in Durham, NC.
During any labor and delivery process, timing and action are two crucial elements. Sometimes an infant suffers a birth injury. It can mean that a medical practitioner either made a poor judgment call or failed to act appropriately. If the Durham medical provider’s actions go against the standard of care, then it may fit the legal definition of negligence.
To prove birth injury, negligence must have a direct connection to the damage. One of the most unfortunate elements of childbirth injury is not discovering the effects right away. Some injuries are discernible immediately after they happen. However, things that affect the brain may not be evident until developmental milestones are not reached.
Parents in Durham will also need to discuss precedent for a hospital’s liability for childbirth injuries. A major consideration may be the court’s findings in O’Mara v. Wake Forest University. This case established that breaking hospital standards of care doesn’t rise to the level of malpractice. Their obstetrics department may have expectations above or below legal definitions.
Beyond this, there are quite a few scenarios that may cause a child to sustain an injury while being born in Durham. One of the following examples may apply to your circumstances.
Improper Vacuum Usage
Sometimes a mother has difficulties delivering a baby through the birth canal. Durham medical professionals may intervene and use a vacuum to assist. This machine is a standard instrument that can help suction the baby down and out of the birth canal. The vacuum attaches to the baby’s head or shoulders. Nurses and doctors are responsible for placing it appropriately. However, sometimes the vacuum is not attached where it should be. This error can cause severe injury to the mother and the infant during childbirth.
Improper Use of Forceps
There are other options when a mother is having difficulty delivering her child. For example, the baby can be improperly positioned in the womb.
In this case, attending medical professionals may use forceps to help move a baby through the birthing canal. Appropriate use of forceps reduces oxygen deprivation. This tool also reduces the chances of fetal distress that can result in birth injuries.
The medical professionals that are birthing a child must use extreme care. The improper use of forceps can cause severe injuries to the head. Additionally, this device can also cause nerve damage in the neck or the chest.
Hypoxia is a medical condition that occurs when the brain of a baby is not receiving enough oxygen. The most common cause before and during delivery is the umbilical cord becoming tangled around the baby’s neck.
This condition often occurs due to a damaged or infected placenta. Thankfully, most Durham, North Carolina medical professionals can identify hypoxia well in advance. As a result, they can intercede to eliminate the chances of the infant or the mother facing harm.
However, if the professional medical staff does not take action quickly enough, asphyxiation may occur. This can result in causing a child to develop severe physical or mental disabilities. Accordingly, medical staff may be liable for any damages that happened.
Cesarean Section Delay
An emergency C-section may be necessary due to the infant’s fetal distress. This medical event occurs when the heartbeat of the infant drops because of the mother’s blood pressure. In addition, this condition can happen when there is a placental abruption or other breathing difficulties.
In truth, there are several reasons why a doctor may perform a C-section. For example, the baby could be in the wrong position or fail to descend into the birth canal. Another qualifying situation is when the mother has labored without dilation.
In these and other circumstances, the doctor may determine whether this procedure needs to happen. It may be the only way to safely birth the baby without further damage. But, the medical staff may wait too long to perform a cesarean. If so, the consequences for mother and child could be quite grave.
While parents in Durham may find cephalohematoma uncomfortable to witness, most cases are benign. The blood under the scalp typically fades away in a short amount of time.
Using medical tools to pull an infant through the birth canal is often the root cause. In more severe circumstances, its persistence can lead to brain damage.
Kernicterus is the unfortunate result of jaundice going too far. The latter happens because of a buildup of bilirubin that hasn’t processed through the liver. When it persists, the bilirubin can gather in the brain and cause neurological damage.
The development of kernicterus can happen because of negligence in a hospital in Durham. A lack of observation or mistaking symptoms for other conditions can justify a lawsuit.
Spinal Cord Injuries
While rare, spinal cord injuries can occur when infants experience too much force. Twisting, traction, and other factors can cause this trauma in a hospital in Durham. A small list of the problems that can result include:
- Troublesome breathing
- Lack of control over hands and arms
- Problems with sitting and balancing
What Are Some Other Possible Causes of Childbirth Injury in Durham?
Other types of medical neglect that could result in injuries to the child or the birth mother include:
- Failing to perform sufficient prenatal testing
- Not using labor-inducing drugs timely
- Failing to diagnose or treat infections, umbilical cord entrapment, placental abruption, premature rupture of the membranes or placenta previa
- Not addressing changes in the baby’s condition
Why Should You Take Action for Your Child Birth Injury?
The CDC reports North Carolina has an infant mortality rate of 6.8 per 1,000 births. This rate exceeds the U.S. average of 5.4 per 1,000. Generally, a higher statewide statistic in this category can mean higher incidents of childbirth injuries.
It is essential that any parent whose child has been diagnosed with a birth injury in Durham, take action to seek financial compensation. The most practical reason to pursue a childbirth injury lawsuit is to protect your financial future. A child and their mother may have to deal with a lifetime of setbacks and disabilities. The costs for treatment, medical equipment, and medications can overwhelm your budget quickly. As well, the trajectory of your life or your child’s can depend on pursuing civil action.
Work With an Experienced Local Child Birth Injury Lawyer in Durham, North Carolina
If you suspect child birth injury medical malpractice in Durham, you should take action. Find a local child birth injury lawyer to navigate the often difficult waters of birth injury lawsuits. We can even help you connect with an attorney across North Carolina state lines.
Submit a request online or call us today at (866) 345-6784 to get in touch with an experienced lawyer in your area!