When a mother is expecting to give birth, it should be one of the happiest times of her life. More parents spend weeks or months planning for the impending arrival of their child. When complications arise, it can have devastating effects on everyone. According to a recent study released by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), in every 1,000 babies born each year, at least seven of these babies might experience injuries during the birthing process. Some of these may include:
• Preeclampsia can occur if the mother experiences an unexpected rise in blood pressure which can cause protein to leak into the urine. If this condition is left untreated, it could develop into a condition called eclampsia. The mother could end up experiencing convulsions or more seriously, end up in a coma.
• Failing to perform a Cesarean section after there has been prolonged labor could result in the deprivation of oxygen to the baby if he or she is left in the birth canal for any extended period of time.
• Inducing labor too early could result in premature birth, which poses risks to the child such as difficulty breathing.
• Using forceps improperly during delivery could end up in resulting in nerve or brain damage to the baby.
Doctors and other healthcare workers are required to perform their duty within a reasonable standard of care. When a healthcare professional makes a mistake, they can be held liable for medical malpractice. The laws in the State of Pennsylvania require that a claim for malpractice be filed within two years from the date a the injury occurred. However, when the injured party is a minor child, litigation must be filed within two years of the victim’s eighteenth birthday. Please contact a Philadelphia malpractice lawyer for advice if your baby was injured during childbirth.
How to Spot an Injury at Birth
Most doctors and healthcare professionals provide excellent medical care to their patients. They never intend to harm the patient, but some may be guilty of breaching their duty when they act in a negligent manner. Identifying a birth injury may be difficult in some cases because the symptoms may not be immediately evident. Some injuries may appear right after delivery while others may take months or years to become noticeable. There are several signs to look for, which may include the following:
- Bruising, abrasions or swelling on the face, head or shoulder of the infant
• Seizures that develop within a short period following delivery
• The infant has trouble breathing right after delivery
• A floppy appearance indicating a lack of muscle tone
• Is unresponsive to normal stimuli
Symptoms may occur much later in the child’s development when they fail to reach the normal childhood milestones, such as rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking or verbal abilities.
When to File a Medical Malpractice Claim
Birth injuries can occur at any particular time during labor and delivery. The mother or baby may suffer complications when nurses or doctors fail to quickly respond during an emergency situation. The statute of limitations requires that litigation be commenced within a specific timeframe. Since some injuries may not be discovered right away, it is possible to have this time limit extended. Therefore, it is extremely important to consult a Philadelphia medical malpractice lawyer for legal assistance with your case.
Consult a Medical Malpractice Attorney
When an infant is injured due to medical negligence, it can be a difficult time for the parents. Therefore, it is important to hire a legal professional who is experienced at handling these types of cases. The attorneys at Flynn and Associates, P.C. are extremely skilled in representing clients who have been injured in medical malpractice cases. Please contact us today so that we can review the facts of your case and determine what type of damages you may be entitled to receive.