Charlotte Birth Injury Attorneys
Advocacy for families of children injured at birth in in North Carolina
Pregnancy is, and should be, a hopeful time for expectant parents. While under a doctor’s care in the months leading up to labor and delivery, mothers trust their medical team will take all proper safety measures to ensure the birth process goes smoothly. These measures include monitoring both mother and baby for signs of distress and taking proper action when necessary.
Birth injuries can occur during pregnancy, delivery, or soon after delivery. It can involve an injury to the mother, such as a ruptured uterus from overuse of Pitocin, or an injury to the baby due to lack of oxygen or problems extracting the baby from the birth canal. At Price, Petho & Associates, we represent Charlotte families seeking the financial compensation they need and deserve to care for children injured through physician negligence.
What would you like to know?
What is a birth injury?
According to the Merck Manual, “birth injury is damage that occurs as a result of physical pressure during the birthing process, usually during transit through the birth canal.” They note that birth injuries are “most commonly due to the natural forces of labor and delivery.” Many of these injuries resolve on their own within a few days or weeks.
However, birth injuries can also happen due to medical malpractice and negligence on the part of medical staff. These injuries are often serious and result in life-altering consequences to a child.
What are some common birth injuries?
There are many types of birth injuries, but some tend to happen more than others, including:
- Brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves controlling arm and hand movement, and can be stretched, torn, or compressed during a difficult delivery.
- Caput succedaneum. If a doctor uses too much force in a vacuum extraction, it can cause swelling of the tissues in the baby’s scalp and head.
- Bone breaks and fractures. Breech babies or other difficult deliveries can result in broken bones, especially clavicle/collarbone fractures.
- Facial paralysis. This can happen due to nerve damage from rough deliveries. In some cases, surgery is required to repair it.
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE is a form of brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation during the birth process.
- Cerebral palsy (CP). CP can occur as a complication from birth injuries like HIE, brain trauma, or untreated infections.
- Cephalohematoma. This is blood that collects between a newborn’s scalp and skull, typically due to overexertion on a baby’s head during delivery. Complications of cephalohematoma include infection, jaundice, or anemia.
In the most tragic of cases, a newborn suffers a wrongful death from birth injuries. If your baby experienced one of these – or any birth injury – due to physician carelessness or negligence, the Charlotte attorneys at Price, Petho & Associates want to help.
Why do birth injuries happen?
Birth injuries occur for a wide variety of reasons, and some are unavoidable. However, sometimes they happen due to medical malpractice – a negligent action or failure to act on the part of your medical team during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. Some of the ways doctors or other medical professionals can cause birth injuries include:
- Failure to identify or manage risk factors. Doctors and obstetricians must understand any risks associated with a pregnancy and monitor the mother and baby appropriately. This includes taking a full medical history from the mother, planning for a C-section if the baby’s size requires it, and noting whether the baby is in the correct position for delivery.
- Failure to notice fetal distress. Everyone on the medical team associated with the birth of your baby should be on alert for signs of fetal distress, using a fetal heart rate monitor. Too much stress on a baby’s heart can result in a lack of oxygen, which can cause permanent brain damage.
- Forceps or vacuum extractor errors. If a baby becomes “stuck” in the birth canal, doctors commonly turn to forceps or vacuum extractors for assistance. However, when these tools are used improperly or with too much force, doctors can cause serious injuries, including brachial plexus injuries or head trauma.
- Undiagnosed infections. Doctors must also monitor mothers for health conditions, especially infections. Because an infection is easily transmitted from mother to a developing fetus, or even through delivery via the birth canal, diagnosing and treating a maternal infection promptly is crucial to avoid injuring a newborn.
- Umbilical cord issues. Problems with the umbilical cord can be a matter of life and death for a newborn if doctors don’t respond appropriately and quickly. For example, with conditions like umbilical cord prolapse (when the cord exits the womb before the baby), the baby can lose oxygen and blood flow. In other cases, the cord can wrap around the baby’s neck, also causing loss of oxygen and blood flow.
- Errors in medication. When doctors need to speed up labor, they may administer certain medications like Pitocin or Cytotec. Although these medications can induce or speed up contractions, they also come with risks like uterine rupture, fetal distress, or other life-threatening injuries.
These preventable events often occur due to physician or medical staff negligence.
Who is liable for a Charlotte birth injury?
Pregnancy, labor, and childbirth requires a team of medical professionals working together to keep mother and baby safe and healthy. Even one break in this chain can result in severe injury to either or both. Medical staff and professionals who might be held liable for a birth injury include:
- Physicians and obstetricians
- Hospitals and healthcare systems
- EMTs or paramedics
Price, Petho & Associates has a team of Charlotte lawyers dedicated to helping families who have suffered due to medical malpractice. In birth injury cases, negligence can result in a lifetime of challenges for a child. Proper compensation can help you provide the resources your child needs to overcome those challenges and thrive as much as possible.
Is there a birth injury attorney near me?
Price, Petho & Associates has offices at 1420 Elizabeth Avenue in Charlotte. We also maintain offices in Rockingham and Rutherfordton for your convenience. If you are too injured to come to us, we can make arrangements to visit you at home or in the hospital.
Compassionate Charlotte birth injury attorneys
Since 1979, the birth injury lawyers at Price, Petho & Associates have been helping families whose children suffered injury through medical negligence. Our record of multimillion dollar recoveries includes a recent $4.75 million recovery in a childbirth malpractice case. Because a birth injury can last a lifetime, it’s important to understand what resources your child will need now and far into the future. We work with medical experts, life care planners, and financial experts to determine the full cost of care throughout the years of your child’s life. Call us today at 704-372-2160 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation. Serving families in Charlotte, Rockingham, Rutherfordton, North Carolina, and South Carolina.