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Birth Injury

SEVERE BIRTH INJURIES: YOU HAVE QUESTIONS, WE HAVE ANSWERS

It never ceases to amaze and disappoint us how poorly doctors and hospital staff communicate with our clients, especially after an unexpected and tragic event like a severe birth injury. Many of our best clients initially came to us for help because they were not getting straight answers, and in some cases no answers at all. We understand your frustration in simply wanting to know whether your baby’s injury was caused by a preventable mistake (i.e., medical malpractice) or one of life’s natural and unavoidable catastrophes. We have successfully answered that question for many parents, and we are in the best position to answer it for you, too.

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OUR UNIQUE MEDICAL ADVANTAGE

Birth injury cases require the utmost in attorney skill and experience. We have also successfully handled many birth trauma cases and, in fact, teach a medical malpractice course in law school. But that’s just half of the equation.

Birth injury claims require medical expertise, too. They demand the guidance, from beginning to end, of skilled and experienced medical personnel. We have a full-time registered nurse, Helen J. Hicks MSN, a former client with over 25 years of clinical nursing experience on our professional staff.

ACTIONABLE BIRTH INJURIES

The two most common types of birth injuries we see caused by medical malpractice are: cerebral palsy and injury to the brachial plexus (Erb’s Palsy).

Cerebral palsy (CP) is defined as a chronic movement or posture disorder. “Cerebral” refers to the brain, while “Palsy” refers to a physical disorder such as a lack of muscle control. Cerebral palsy is not caused by problems with the muscles or nerves, but rather with the brain’s inability to adequately control the body. In other words, cerebral palsy is a type of brain injury.

Cerebral palsy is a nonspecific term in that the debilitating medical condition can be caused by many different things, some of which are preventable mistakes (i.e., medical malpractice) and others are natural and unavoidable catastrophes of life (e.g., infections or genetic abnormalities). To answer the question of whether your baby’s cerebral palsy was the result of medical negligence will require us to carefully review the labor and delivery records. It would be our privilege to review the matter for you and your family. To start the evaluation process and obtain a free initial consultation, click here.

When we review your labor and delivery records, one of the first things we will study is the fetal heart monitor strip that recorded your contractions and your baby’s heart rate. Here, we are looking for signs of oxygen deficiency as revealed by your baby’s heart rate — signs that may have been missed by the obstetrician or nursing staff’s failure to appropriately monitor your labor. Once the tell-tale signs of inadequate oxygenation occur, your baby must be delivered expediently (often by cesarean section) to prevent permanent brain damage from the resulting acidosis (i.e., hypoxia, anoxia, and ischemia) – commonly referred to by doctors as hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE).

BRACHIAL PLEXUS INJURIES

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves that sends signals from your spine to your shoulder, arm, and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched or, in the most serious cases, torn during the delivery process. It is sometimes referred to as an Erb’s palsy, and can happen as a result of your baby’s shoulder being pressed down forcefully while his/her head is pushed up and away from that shoulder. This occurs during labor and delivery when the shoulders become stuck, a condition called shoulder dystocia, and your doctor and the hospital sta inappropriately maneuver your baby in response.

OTHER MEDICAL MALPRACTICE FOCUS AREAS

BIRTH INJURY
Birth injury is sustained during the birthing process and can result in damaged nerves, broken bones, or brain injury.
CEREBRAL PALSY
Cerebral palsy is a permanent movement disorder that can be caused by damage to a child's developing brain during the birthing process.
SURGICAL COMPLICATIONS
Complications after surgery can be a result of a surgeon's negligent conduct.
MISSED DIAGNOSIS
A missed diagnosis often means a delay in proper treatment, often with devastating consequences, especially in cancer cases.
MEDICAL NEGLIGENCE
When a healthcare provider, in acting or failing to act does not comply with the standard of care in the pertinent medical field.
HOSPITAL LIABILITY
Many serious claims for medical malpractice arise from procedures and treatment given to patients in hospitals.
INFORMED CONSENT
A doctor must adequately inform a patient of diagnosis, nature and purpose of treatment, and benefits and risks of procedures.
ESTABLISHING A DUTY OF MEDICAL CARE
Doctors and healthcare providers are not automatically required to treat or provide care to everyone they meet.
Buchanan & Buchanan, P.L.C.
171 Monroe Ave. N.W. Suite 750
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
voice: (616) 458.2464
toll free: 1-800-272-4080
fax: (616) 458.0608
email: mail@buchananfirm.com