The birth of a child is one of the happiest moments in life. Unfortunately, many families endure tragedy when their child is born with a birth injury or the mother of the child suffers an injury or death. Every year, 8 out of 1,000 births suffer a birth injury. Many of these birth injuries are preventable and some are a result of medical malpractice.
Furthermore, in a study conducted by the Journal of American Medical Association, regarding early childhood lawsuits, one third of families questioned believed their doctors did not talk openly with them, and one half believed that their doctors attempted to mislead them. Astonishingly, approximately three out of four families said their infant’s doctor did not warn about long-term neurological issues.
Maternal injury and death are also tragically common occurrences in the United States, with between 700-900 instances of maternal death each year, and almost 65,000 cases of severe, near-fatal injury. These injuries are also often preventable, and are possible cause for legal action.
Following an injury where you suspect there was negligence, a defective product or simply have questions about what may have happened, you should contact and experienced produce liability lawyer to investigate the matter.
The Lyon Firm has developed compelling evidence in catastrophic injury cases through the use of nationally recognized experts to present the highest quality advocacy on the Plaintiff’s behalf. This work has resulted in significant seven figure settlements that enhanced and secured a dignified quality of life for the Plaintiff’s future.
The most common birth injuries include:
Apgar tests are performed on infants one minute after birth and five minutes after birth. The first test is done to examine how the child handled the birthing process, whereas the second test is done to see how the child is fairing outside of the mother’s womb. The minimum score a baby can obtain is a zero and the maximum is ten; the test consists of five categories and the baby is ranked 0-2 for each category (zero for negative results and two for excellent results). The five categories measure:
Initially, the Apgar test was assumed to be independent of a child’s future health; the tests were mere indications of how an infant was getting acclimated with surviving on his own and whether or not any appropriate medical procedures needed to be ordered. However, a recent study and article produced by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) indicates that a lower Apgar score during the five-minute test is related to higher death rates for neonatal infants (immediate post birth) and post-neonatal infants (one month to one year after birth). Specifically, it was found that infants who scored 0-3 on their five-minute Apgar test had a 35% chance of death within the first week after birth, a 3% chance of death between 7-28 days of birth, and a 5% chance of death within one year of birth. Deaths were typically a result of anoxia or asphyxia (types of suffocation).
The study produced by the NEJM was conducted in Scotland and consisted of one million births between 1992 and 2010. Another study produced in 2013 by the Public Library of Science (PLoS) revealed similar implications. According to this study, within one month of birth, 58% of babies who scored a one on the Apgar did not survive, 33% of babies who scored a two on the Apgar did not survive, and 19% of all babies who scored a three on the Apgar did not survive. The mortality rate for babies who initially received low Apgar scores, but lived past one month of life decreased astoundingly. After surviving past one month, only 3% of babies who scored a one did not survive over a year, 3% of babies who scored a two did not survive over a year, and 4% of babies who scored a three did not survive. These results are analogous with those from the NEJM; while the mortality rate is high within the first month of birth for infants with low Apgar scores, it decreases significantly after the first month.
Possibly. A low Apgar score may be indicative of brain trauma that was preventable. Medical malpractice may also arise with low Apgar scores when appropriate measures are not met by physicians and nurses caring for newborns with low Apgar scores. When an infant has an Apgar score lower than seven, sufficient medical attention is required. Typical responses to low Apgar scores include providing oxygen to clear a baby’s air passages or physical stimulation to jump-start a baby’s heartbeat (up to 100 beats per minute).
Birth injury medical malpractice is one of the most complex areas of tort law and requires a qualified lawyer. Joe Lyon is an experienced and qualified Cincinnati birth injury lawyer who has success representing children and families who have suffered injuries through no fault of their own. The Lyon Firm can help you find the answers to the many questions that have gone unanswered. For a no cost consultation, call Joe Lyon at (800) 513-2403.