New Hampshire Birth Injuries Attorney
The birth of a child is, for most parents, a life-changing and exciting event. However, if complications occur during the pregnancy or delivery process, the impact it can have on the life of their child, as well as themselves, can be devastating. In many cases, birth injuries have permanent effects which may require costly medical treatment and extensive care in order for the child to be able to live a healthy life.
Any birth injury is a tragedy. In some circumstances, though, medical malpractice may have contributed to the cause of the injury, making the parent’s situation even more difficult. Unfortunately, as our attorneys at Crowe & Harris, LLP , know, many parents in New Hampshire find themselves suffering from the consequences of a birth injury caused by medical malpractice. However, victims of this form of negligence can often get the financial help and justice they need by filling a medical malpractice claim. The New Hampshire birth injury lawyers of Crowe & Harris, LLP can help you seek compensation for the potential lifelong damage your child has endured.
Examples of Birth Injuries
While a medical professional who provides fetal care or is responsible for the baby’s health during the delivery can make any number of mistakes, leading to serious birth injuries, some of the most common birth injuries that result from a medical professional’s negligence include:
Cerebral palsy is the name given to a group of conditions that involve brain or nervous system damage, resulting in movement disorders. These conditions develop within the first few years of a child’s life, the majority of them occurring at or before birth, and are always non-progressive and non-curable, meaning they will not get worse over time, but they cannot be completely cured. While there are certainly non-medical causes of cerebral palsy, such as car accidents and blunt force trauma, the majority of cerebral palsy cases are the result of medical errors. At Crowe & Harris, LLP , we are experienced at handling cerebral palsy cases, and we are ready to take action in instances involving:
- Surgical Errors
- Anesthesia Errors
- Delayed Diagnosis
We trust our medical care providers to do everything they can to prevent us, and our children, from experiencing any preventable harm. When they fail in this regard, it is important that they are held accountable.
Brachial Plexus / Erb’s Palsy
It goes without saying that newborn babies and young children are extremely delicate, and even seemingly minor injuries to children can have extremely seriously developmental consequences. One unfortunately common injury that many babies suffer is injury to the brachial plexus, resulting in Erb’s palsy. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves near a child’s shoulder, and if these nerves are strained or otherwise damaged, the affected child could develop Erb’s palsy, which is a paralysis of the arm. Erb’s palsy can result in a range of difficulties, including limited range of motion, and unfortunately, it is often the result of medical malpractice. Some of the most common causes of these injuries include:
- Pulling on a baby’s head or neck during birth
- Incorrect or unnecessary use of certain medical tools, like forceps
- Tugging or pulling on a baby’s arms or shoulders
When medical professionals fail to ensure the safety of their patients, we believe that they should be held responsible for the consequences of their actions.
Fetal Heart Monitoring Interpretation
During a delivery, doctors monitor the heartbeat of unborn babies in order to verify that the heart is functioning properly. When the baby’s heartbeat is not properly monitored or accurately interpreted, serious injuries may result. When dangerous monitoring situations arise, it is often because the healthcare professional charged with monitoring the fetal heartbeat has been negligent in some way. As such, the responsible practitioner may be held legally responsible for any resulting damage.
Prenatal Testing Negligence
Though pregnancy can be an uncertain time for parents, prenatal testing can provide critical information regarding an infant’s health and development. Unfortunately, when healthcare professionals are negligent during any stage of prenatal testing, critical information may be missed and could lead to the injury of the baby, mother, or both.
There are two basic types of prenatal tests: screening tests and diagnostic tests. Prenatal screening tests aim to identify the likelihood of certain conditions though they do not provide a definite diagnosis. Additionally, diagnostic tests are usually conducted when the screening test reveals a potential health complication. Diagnostic tests are comprehensive and provide a more definitive diagnosis. Among the prenatal screening tests that are suggested for all pregnant women are:
- Gestational Diabetes
- Down Syndrome
Since prenatal testing provides parents with critical resources regarding their baby’s health, it is important the practitioners take extra care to ensure that all screenings and tests are conducted thoroughly. The New Hampshire prenatal testing negligence attorneys of Crowe & Harris, LLP , understand how troubling birth injuries can be, and we do everything that we can to fight on behalf of those injured.
Failure to Perform Cesarean Section
Among the most critical decisions that a doctor may make during delivery is whether a cesarean section will be necessary. A doctor’s failure to perform a cesarean section when necessary can result in a number of serious and avoidable injuries to the infant. There are a number of circumstances where a cesarean section will become necessary during a delivery. As such, when a doctor fails to perform a necessary cesarean section, the following birth injuries may result:
- Brain damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Developmental disabilities
- Transfer of diseases such as herpes or HIV
It is a doctor’s responsibility to maintain both the health of the child and the mother throughout a delivery. When a doctor fails in this respect, the New Hampshire birth injury lawyers can offer resources to help families cope with the resulting trauma.
Sometimes, doctors are too rough with the child as they are delivering it. Newborns can be severely injured by a traumatic delivery. These dangerous deliveries are often caused by a doctor’s carelessness. If your family has been affected by a traumatic delivery, you may be facing serious medical expenses as you try to cope with your newborn’s condition.
Serious injuries to a newborn baby may result from a physician’s or medical team’s mismanagement of the delivery. Among the most serious injuries that may be sustained during a traumatic delivery are:
- Head injuries such as cephalohematoma
- Brain damage including cerebral palsy
- Nerve damage such as Erb’s palsy
- Facial paralysis
- Spinal cord injuries
Birth injuries commonly persist throughout a child’s life, and often necessitate various treatments and medications. As such, the financial impact may also span a lifetime. Financial restitution from the responsible party, then, can provide families with the financial means needed to ensure the fullest possible recovery for their child.
Cephalohematoma—a condition in which blood collects in a newborn infant’s head—may be caused by even minor injuries sustained during the birth process. Cephalohematoma will appear as a bump or bulge on a baby’s skull, usually resulting from damage to the periosteum. In attempting to treat Cephalohematoma, doctors may cause further harm or complications including:
- Tearing of nearby blood vessels
- Nerve damage
- Hemorrhage / bleeding
- Cranial pressure
- Emergency surgery
Should any of these complications arise, parents may be left facing an even more dangerous medical situation. If your baby is suffering from Cephalohematoma, and you believe medical professionals are at fault, discuss your case with a New Hampshire Cephalohematoma attorney as soon as possible.
Brain and Spinal Damage
A number of medical errors may result in brain or spinal damage. Some of these mistakes occur when a physician mishandles medical instruments or fails to monitor an unborn child’s blood oxygen levels. The most devastating potential consequences of birth injuries include:
- Mental handicaps
- Delayed development
- Emotional abnormalities
In particularly severe cases, damage to a child’s brain or spine could leave the child with life-long mental and medical handicaps. If you child was injured in a similar situation, you should not be held fully responsible for shouldering the financial burden of a medical professional’s mistakes.
Among the most dangerous birth injuries your newborn may suffer include a number of highly preventable infections they may develop as a result of negligence. As a result of a number of missteps made by a doctor or other medical professional, a newborn infant may contract a serious infection, such as one or more of the following:
- Group B Streptococcus
- Herpes Simplex
- Viral Respiratory Infections
- Bacterial Infections
Any of these infections may have a lasting effect upon a child; any medical professional responsible for your newborn’s infection may be held financially liable for any pain and suffering.
Shaken Baby Syndrome
When New Hampshire medical professionals handle a newborn baby poorly, shaking them unnecessarily, the child may develop shaken baby syndrome. Traumatically affecting a baby’s brain, shaken baby syndrome destroys brain cells critical to brain function and development. As such, shaken baby syndrome may severely impair the further development of a child’s brain cells and lead to an extensive range of complications.
It may not be initially apparent that your newborn was at all mishandled by a medical professional. However, should your child have later developed shaken baby syndrome, medical malpractice may be to blame. Among the most common symptoms of shaken baby syndrome are as follows:
- Difficulty breathing properly
- Irregular eating habits
- Frequent vomiting
If your child displays any of these symptoms, it is critical that you discuss your child’s condition with a medical professional. If you discover that you child suffers from shaken baby syndrome, speak with a New Hampshire birth injury attorney about your legal rights as soon as possible.
When a baby suffers from these and other birth injuries caused by a medical care provider’s carelessness, his or her family may be eligible to pursue a legal claim, seeking valuable compensation.
Speak With a Birth Injuries Lawyer in New Hampshire
At Crowe & Harris, LLP , we understand how hard it can be to deal with a birth injury, and we are committed to helping clients with all their legal needs in these types of situations.
If your child has been the victim of a birth injury caused by a medical professional, call (617) 404-3417. Our attorneys may be able to help you fight for the justice you are seeking.