Child Birth Injury in Erie, PA

Did you know Pennsylvania law has a two-year statute of limitations for medical negligence?

As you may have already experienced, the wheels of justice turn slowly. This fact is especially relevant in regards to civil litigation. Furthermore, there are many childbirth injuries that may not appear quickly.

If you and your family suspect medical negligence caused harm to your child, time may be of the essence. Once you read this quick guide, you will have some crucial details to consider. In addition, we can connect you with a childbirth injury attorney in Erie.

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 Erie, PA.

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 Erie 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.

As a result, local juries have delivered hefty verdicts to care for disabilities due to childbirth injuries. UPMC Hamot once had to pay $21.6 million to cover care for a botched delivery.

Beyond this, there are quite a few scenarios that may cause a child to sustain an injury while being born in Erie. 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. Erie 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

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 Erie, Pennsylvania 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.

  • Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy is often the result of injuries to the brachial plexus during childbirth. The first symptom parents in Erie may notice are the arm, wrists, or fingers hanging loosely.

Pediatrics & Child Health finds 0.9 to 2.6 per 1,000 live births that result in Erb’s palsy are due to the physician. Additionally, 80% to 96% of cases reach full recovery within a couple weeks.

  • Skull Fractures

The pressure of the skull emerging from the birth canal can create significant injury. Moreover, too much force by an obstetrician can cause fractures.

Generally, this injury can heal itself without long-term effects. This presumption depends on its early detection by your doctor in Erie. But, some studies suggest that it can be difficult to ascertain their existence without x-rays. When left untreated, more complex and significant issues can arise.

  • Caput Succedaneum

Caput succedaneum can be unnerving for parents in Erie to witness. Thankfully, the swelling under the infant’s scalp can clear up without medical intervention.

The more significant concern is if caput succedaneum persists or is mistaken for more severe conditions. A lack of recognition of the risk by medical professionals could cause brain damage.

What Are Some Other Possible Causes of Childbirth Injury in Erie?

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?

It is essential that any parent whose child has been diagnosed with a birth injury in Erie, 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.

Parents in Erie have also have legal precedents that support litigation for the fallout of childbirth injuries. For instance, take Speck v. Finegold into consideration. The Superior Court of Pennsylvania upheld that mental distress is a legitimate concern in these types of lawsuits.

Work With an Experienced Local Child Birth Injury Lawyer in Erie, Pennsylvania 

If you suspect child birth injury medical malpractice in Erie, 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 Pennsylvania 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!

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