Birth Injury Lawyer in West Plains, MO
Missouri Medical Malpractice Claims
Child birth is not an easy process; however, there are qualified professionals
whose job it is to make the birthing procedures safe and as easy as possible.
It is when these procedures are not properly carried out – when
the medical professional involved in the process fall short in some significant
way – that birth injuries are most likely to occur.
Whether these injuries are the result of a prenatal lack of care or ones
that were sustained during the actual birthing process, the fact of the
matter is that they occurred due to the wrongful acts of a negligent or
otherwise reckless medical professional. If your child has sustained an
injury from a doctor or hospital staff, then you should seek a
personal injury attorney from our firm,
Henry & Williams, P.C., so you can get your rightful compensation. With over 60 years of experience
and membership in the
Million Dollar and Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forums®, we have a history of success.
Free consultation when you call 888-505-5606!
The Difference Between Injury and Defect
An important distinction exists between birth injuries and birth defects.
In infancy, particularly immediately following the birth, it can difficult
– even impossible – to accurately discern the cause of a baby's
abnormalities. Nursing room staff will immediately inspect the baby for
good health, but identifying anything beyond glaring issues of health
is more than should be expected. Therefore, the matter will need to be
reviewed hours, days, possibly even weeks after the birth in order to
determine if it is one involving injury or defect.
To clarify, a birth defect is reminiscent of a child's inherent / genetic
/ biological physical or cognitive impairments. Birth defects are unavoidable,
as they were not caused by any error or misstep from a medical professional
or the parents involved. Rather, these are matters of nature that cannot
attribute blame to anyone else. Birth injuries, on the other hand, are
the physical and or cognitive impairments of a child that result directly
from a medical professional's lack of performance / medical error.
Birth injuries are the result of causal factors that happened during the
pregnancy or during the actual birth of the newborn.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
While there are many types of birth injuries, there seem to be two that
are particularly common among newborns in the U.S. Usually resulting from
complications that occurred during the actual delivery process, cerebral
palsy and Erb's palsy afflict a number of newborns every year.
When a baby's body movements and brain functioning are adversely affected,
the disorder will very likely be classified as cerebral palsy. This is
a broad term that has been assigned to many different birth deficiencies,
some resulting from the delivery process and others symptomatic of problems
that existed in the womb. Common situations that can cause cerebral palsy
in a newborn child are: lack of oxygen to a baby's brain during the
delivery process, prolonged bleeding in the baby's brain after delivery
(usually from head trauma), failure to deliver a baby through caesarian
section when necessary, very premature birth and use of harmful prescription
drugs during pregnancy. Children who suffer from cerebral palsy may show
signs immediately, however, some may take more time to manifest. These
symptoms include delays in development, i.e. slow to begin talking, crawling,
rolling over or even smiling, abnormal muscle tone, floppiness of limbs,
poor coordination, vision problems, hearing problems, unusual posture
and involuntary movements.
Sometimes referred to as brachial palsy because the newborn experiences
injury to their brachial plexus, this is a problem that afflicts approximately
2 out of every 1,000 newborns. Most often, this condition occurs during
the delivery process, a result of too much applied pressure to a baby's
neck, head or shoulders. Typically, Erb's palsy manifests in babies
who are above average in weight. Most often, this is a result of a physician
or obstetrician's failure to properly delivery a baby, especially
in situations involving shoulder dystocia, failure to recognize that a
caesarian section should be performed to accommodate for the baby's
bigger size and application of excessive pressure on the baby's head
/ neck / shoulders. Common symptoms associated with the condition include
arm limpness, paralysis, loss of sensations in the hands and fingers,
and very limited movement (sometimes no movement at all) in the baby's
hands and fingers. Permanent nerve damage is also possible.
Jaundice is a common condition which newborn babies can suffer from. With
the correct treatment, it can be easily handled, but there are rare cases
where it can turn into something much more serious. A neurological disorder
which can occur in infants who are suffering from a bad case of jaundice
is kernicterus. When there are high levels of bilirubin in the system,
a substance caused by the recycling of red blood cells, it can result
in jaundice or kernicterus. This usually occurs when the baby is one week
old or less and can result in permanent damage like loss of hearing or
brain damage. Some symptoms to be on the lookout for include lethargy,
seizures, high-pitched crying, and rigid muscles. This condition is so
serious that it can result in permanent damage and death. For this reason,
it is imperative that medical staff is careful to treat this cases correctly.
Determining Fault in Birth Injury Cases
Birth injuries are complicated matters; so complicated, in fact, that it
is not always immediately clear who is to blame for the situation. Sometimes,
responsibility may lie with more than one person. In many cases, it is
the physician or obstetrician that is to blame for these situations; however,
this is not always the case, as there are many other professionals involved
in the birthing / delivery process of a newborn baby. From the months
leading up to a woman's delivery – the actual time of her pregnancy
– all the way to the hours of the actual delivery, there are many
medical professionals involved in the process, any one of who could be
responsible for an ultimate injury that occurs at birth. When looking into a
medical malpractice case involving birth injury, the following should be considered:
- Hospital negligence
- Pharmaceutical company errors
- Pharmacy mistakes
- Physician / obstetrician negligence
- Nursing errors
Do you need a Missouri birth injury attorney?
If your child was born with one or more birth injuries then you owe it
to him / her to take legal action. Avoidable birth injuries are not ones
that should be left unnoticed, as they are acts of professional negligence
that could have been avoided altogether assuming the proper medical actions
had been taken as there expected to be.
Recent legislation limits the amount that we will be awarded to children
and their parents in cases of birth injuries. These distinctions are most
often made based on the severity of the injury and how it was caused.
There are an equal number, however, that are not limited in any way, including
compensation awarded for pain, suffering medical expenses in the future and potential
for future earning capacity.
Do not wait to
contact a West Plains birth injury lawyer if your child was injured. We do not charge fees unless we recover for you!