Hilo Birth Injury Lawyer
The Devastating Impact of Birth Injuries
The birth of a child should be a joyful and momentous occasion, but when medical negligence or errors occur during childbirth, it can lead to devastating consequences. Birth injuries encompass a wide range of medical conditions and complications that can affect both the mother and the newborn. These injuries may result from medical malpractice, inadequate prenatal care, improper use of medical equipment, or failure to respond appropriately to complications during labor and delivery.
At Davis Levin Livingston, we understand the unique challenges that birth injury cases present. Our legal team possesses a comprehensive understanding of medical procedures, obstetrics, and the laws pertaining to birth injuries in Hilo, HI. We are here to guide you through the complex legal process and provide the support you need during this difficult time.
Contact us today at (808) 740-0633 for a free consultation. Let us fight for the justice you deserve.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury refers to any physical damage or trauma that occurs to a newborn during the process of labor and delivery. These injuries can happen due to various reasons, including complications during childbirth, medical interventions, or abnormal positioning of the baby in the birth canal.
Birth injuries can range from mild to severe, and their effects can be temporary or long-lasting, depending on the extent of the damage. Common types of birth injuries include:
- Brachial Plexus Injury: This involves damage to the network of nerves controlling the arm and hand. It can result in conditions like Erb's palsy or Klumpke's palsy, causing weakness, loss of sensation, or paralysis in the affected arm.
- Cerebral Palsy: This is a group of neurological disorders that affect movement and coordination. Cerebral palsy can result from brain damage that occurs before, during, or shortly after birth. The severity of cerebral palsy varies, and it can lead to muscle stiffness, poor muscle control, and developmental delays.
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): This occurs when a baby's brain doesn't receive enough oxygen and blood during birth. It can result in brain damage and may lead to long-term developmental and cognitive issues.
- Fractures: Fractures of the clavicle (collarbone) are relatively common during difficult deliveries. These fractures usually heal on their own within a few weeks.
- Facial Nerve Injury: Pressure or trauma during delivery can lead to damage of the facial nerve, causing temporary or permanent facial paralysis.
- Caput Succedaneum and Cephalohematoma: These are conditions involving swelling or bleeding on the baby's head due to the pressure exerted during passage through the birth canal. They are usually minor and resolve on their own.
- Intracranial Hemorrhage: Bleeding within the baby's brain can occur due to trauma during delivery or complications. The severity of the hemorrhage determines its impact on the baby's health.
- Perinatal Asphyxia: Oxygen deprivation around the time of birth can lead to perinatal asphyxia, which may cause organ damage or neurological issues.
- Spinal Cord Injury: Injury to the spinal cord during birth can result in paralysis or loss of sensation below the injury site.
- Injuries from Instrument-Assisted Delivery: The use of forceps or vacuum extractors to assist in delivery can sometimes cause minor injuries like bruising or more serious injuries like skull fractures.
They can have a wide range of causes, and understanding these causes can help healthcare professionals and parents take preventive measures. Some common causes of birth injuries include:
- Difficult or Prolonged Labor (Dystocia): Prolonged labor can put significant stress on the baby's body, potentially leading to injuries. Difficulties in the progression of labor can arise from factors such as a large baby, malposition of the baby, or inadequate contractions.
- Fetal Distress: When the baby is not receiving enough oxygen during labor, it can lead to fetal distress. This might result from issues like umbilical cord compression, placental abruption (the separation of the placenta from the uterine wall), or placenta previa (the placenta covering the cervix).
- Use of Assisted Delivery Tools: Vacuum extraction and forceps are sometimes used to assist in delivering the baby. However, improper use of these tools or excessive force can cause injuries like bruising, facial nerve damage, or even fractures.
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion: This occurs when the baby's head is too large to fit through the mother's pelvis. It can lead to difficulties during delivery and increase the risk of birth injuries.
- Breech Presentation: When the baby is positioned feet-first or buttocks-first in the birth canal, it can increase the risk of birth injuries due to the more complex delivery process.
- Preterm Birth: Babies born prematurely are at a higher risk of birth injuries due to their underdeveloped organs and systems. Their delicate structures are more susceptible to injury during the birthing process.
- Medical Interventions: Certain medical interventions, such as induction of labor or cesarean section, carry their own risks. Improper timing or complications during these interventions can lead to birth injuries.
- Maternal Health Conditions: Maternal health conditions, such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or infections, can impact fetal health and increase the risk of birth injuries.
- Inadequate Prenatal Care: Insufficient prenatal care can result in undiagnosed or untreated conditions that may contribute to birth injuries.
- Medical Negligence or Errors: Mistakes made by healthcare professionals, such as incorrect use of medication, misinterpretation of fetal monitoring, or failure to respond promptly to signs of distress, can lead to birth injuries.
- Multiple Births (Twins, Triplets, etc.): The complexity of delivering multiple babies simultaneously can increase the risk of birth injuries.
- Genetic Factors: Some birth injuries can be caused by genetic factors that affect the baby's bone structure or connective tissues.
Maximizing Compensation for Your Family's Future
Medical professionals have a duty to provide a certain standard of care during childbirth. When their actions fall below this standard, and birth injuries occur as a result, they must be held accountable.
Our Hilo birth injury lawyers are committed to pursuing justice on behalf of families who have been victimized by medical negligence. We are well-versed in the laws governing medical malpractice in Hawaii and are determined to ensure that those responsible for your pain and suffering are held responsible.
Contact us today at (808) 740-0633 to discuss your case with our compassionate legal team.