Ohio Hospital Negligence Lawyer: Cincinnati Birth Injuries and Deaths May Be Preventable
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), each year six out of every 1,000 children born in the United States are injured during birth. Many of these birth injuries are preventable and are the result of medical malpractice.
There is evidence that suggests that medical professionals are not as forthcoming as is expected during critical times surround child birth. In a study conducted by the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), up to 30 percent of families questioned believed their doctors did not talk openly with them, and 50 percent believed that their doctors attempted to mislead them. For a variety of reasons, many doctors choose not to discuss long-term infant health issues before or after child birth, and some may be responsible for severe sustained birth injuries.
Joe Lyon is an experienced Ohio medical malpractice attorney, well-versed in the science and economic impact of Cincinnati birth injuries. The Lyon Firm offers nationwide representation for plaintiffs.
Common Instances of Birth Injury Medical Malpractice
There are a wide variety of medical malpractice claims relating to pregnancy and birth. Doctors and nurses may make mistakes during the pre-natal, birthing, and post-natal periods. Some of the following mistakes may describe the most common malpractice occurrences that result in birth injury:
1. Failing to recognize and address fetal distress
2. Failing to identify pre or post-natal infection (including bacterial and viral infections)
3. Incorrect use of forceps or application of excessive force: if the delivering doctor uses improper techniques, the baby can be injured, causing trauma to the head, spinal cord or vertebrae
4. Lack of oxygen
5. Failure to follow up after delivery—newborn seizures are often misdiagnosed in the critical first 24 hours of life
6. Administration of incorrect or dangerous medications
7. Blood Incompatibility
8. Failing to perform a cesarean section when required
9. Failure to diagnose fetal bradycardia, decelerations, or low fetal heart rate variability
10. Birth Delays—a delay in birth can increase the risk of hypoxia (a lack of oxygen) and acidosis (increasing acidity of the blood). This may lead to brain damage.
Common Cincinnati Birth Injuries
When health professionals make mistakes in the birth process, or during pre or post natal periods, the following injuries may result:
- Cerebral Palsy
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Erbs Palsy
- Bone Fractures
- Caput Succcedaneum
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Intercranial hemorrhage
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage
- Postpartum Maternal Deaths
- Spinal Cord injuries
- Wrongful Death
Common Symptoms of a Birth Trauma Injury
Signs and symptoms of a birth injury are not always as apparent as one might expect. However, there may be a serious underlying health issue if one of the following symptoms presents:
• Swelling/bruising of the head
• Seizures within 48 hours of birth
• Failure to begin breathing immediately
• Bleeding underneath one of the cranial bones
• Breakage of eye blood vessels
• Loss of motion and muscle control
• Low Apgar Test results
A Low Apgar Score May Indicate Medical Malpractice
Apgar tests are performed on infants after birth to examine how the child handled the birthing process, and further, how the child is fairing outside of the mother’s womb. The tests measure breathing effort, heart rate, muscle tone, reflex/grimace response, and skin color.
The Apgar test was long assumed to be independent of a child’s future health, but a recent study and article reported 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.
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.
In recent years, the courts have carefully considered medical malpractice cases, and awarded rightful and generous settlements to victims of serious birth injuries. Doctors and medical professionals may have all the best intentions but are not perfect individuals, and are capable of making mistakes that have terrible, long-reaching effects.
The Lyon Firm develops 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.
Legal Action Following Cincinnati Birth Injuries
If your family has been through the trauma of a birth injury and suspect medical malpractice, and have questions about the legal remedies available to improve quality of life and medical care in Ohio, contact The Lyon Firm at (800) 513-2403. You will speak directly with Mr. Lyon, and he will help you answer these critical questions.