Child Birth Injury in New Jersey

The State of New Jersey has dedicated millions of dollars to improve its infant mortality rate. Regardless of these efforts, there are always improvements that need to happen. Furthermore, there is no way that hospitals can keep 100% of their services from crossing into medical negligence.

Childbirth can be a thrilling and defining moment for parents. However, when trauma happens, they often receive nothing but denials from medical staff and their insurance.

If this situation sounds familiar to you, we offer this guide as a way to start correcting these dire circumstances.

What Causes a Childbirth Injury?

While enduring delivery, was a medical professional negligent towards you and did damage occur as a result? If so, affected parents have a chance of bringing a medical malpractice lawsuit for compensation in New Jersey.

During the labor and delivery process, timing and action are two crucial elements. Sometimes an infant suffers a birth injury. This can mean that a medical practitioner either made a poor judgment call or failed to act appropriately. However, if the New Jersey 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 come, and are not reached.

New Jersey families have seen significant compensation due to these types of complications. For instance, there was a $2.75 million settlement for problems caused by the negligence of the attending physician.

Even further, there are quite a few scenarios that may cause a child to sustain an injury while being born in New Jersey. 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. New Jersey medical professionals may intervene and use a vacuum to assist. The 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. Attending medical professionals may use forceps to help move it 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.

Still, 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 New Jersey 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 an infant 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.

  • Kernicterus

Obstetricians in New Jersey should have the means to prevent kernicterus from happening to newborns. Unfortunately, missing jaundice in the infant can lead to this relatively rare condition.

In many cases, the bilirubin that builds up in the blood should dissipate naturally. It is so common that WebMD says jaundice happens to 60%–80% of newborns. But, when it goes unattended or unrecognized, there can be significant brain damage.

  • Brachial Plexus Injury

A brachial plexus injury tends to occur during difficult live births in New Jersey. It refers to when the baby’s neck becomes stretched too far in the birth canal. While it is not always the medical staff’s fault, their actions can cause it to happen or make it worse.

Generally, a brachial plexus injury happens during a breech (bottom first) birth. Too much twisting or force by the obstetrician can cause problems as the baby emerges. As a result, nerve, muscle, or tendon grafts may become necessary to prevent more complications.

  • Cephalohematoma

Altogether, cephalohematoma should be a minor injury that arises from a live birth in a New Jersey hospital. It is a collection of blood that occurs under the scalp due to forceps or other tools. Most obstetricians will observe it and wait for the body to heal itself.

However, when paired with unrecognized jaundice, the consequences can be significant. Moreover, a calcified collection of injuries around the scalp can require surgery to correct. The New Jersey Department of Health documents performance during live births carefully. They ask that medical professionals limit the number of unnecessary surgeries like c-sections.

What Are Some Other Possible Causes of Childbirth Injury in New Jersey?

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 New Jersey, 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.

The New Jersey Department of Health documents performance during live births carefully. They ask that medical professionals limit the number of unnecessary surgeries like c-sections. Unfortunately, a recent report found that 84% of hospitals have room for improvement. If you believe the delivery team did not perform as expected for your birth, consider scheduling a consultation with an attorney.

Work With an Experienced Local Child Birth Injury Lawyer in New Jersey

If you expect birth injury medical malpractice in New Jersey, you should take action. Cases can vary sharply depending on the state in which the injury occurs. 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 New Jersey 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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