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Grand Rapids Birth Injury Lawyer

For various reasons, mostly the risk of birth injury, many experts do not recommend hospital births. At every stage of the process, serious injury could occur to the mother, the baby, or both. If a birth-related medical mistake has adversely affected your family, contact a Grand Rapids birth injury attorney. You have a limited amount of time to assert your legal rights.

At Buchanan Firm, our birth injury attorneys in Grand Rapids are uniquely suited to handle your case. Our in-house medical professionals help us evaluate your case from both a medical and legal standpoint. Furthermore, we have the resources and tenacity to deal with big hospitals and insurance companies. At the same time, our office is small enough to give you the attention you deserve.

Prenatal Birth Injuries

Few mothers spontaneously go into labor. Yet many doctors do not tell mothers to go to the hospital when they experience contractions. Instead, doctors claim that the mother has Braxton-Hicks preterm contractions. So, they tell the mother that taking a warm bath or going to the bathroom should relieve the contractions. If they intensify unsupervised, the contractions could harm the baby.

However, most doctors schedule labor inductions. Many times, they schedule these appointments many weeks in advance. This approach is convenient for families, and especially convenient for doctors. But a birth is usually not a matter of convenience. Many times, the mother’s body simply is not ready to deliver.

In these situations, many doctors order large doses of Pitocin and other labor-inducing drugs. Quite often, they issue standing orders in these cases. They may not even be at the hospital when they request higher doses.

Pitocin increases the frequency and intensity of the mother’s contractions. This increased pressure often causes placental abruption. The placenta does not have time to sufficiently recover between contractions, so the baby does not get important nutrients.

Labor & Delivery Errors

Shoulder dystocia is one of the leading causes of birth injuries. The baby may be too large to slip down the mother’s birth canal, or the baby may be in the wrong position. Either way, the umbilical cord may wrap around the baby’s neck and cause hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) in less than five minutes.

Since the clock is ticking and the pressure is on, many doctors make bad decisions. These decisions often involve dangerous delivery aids, such as:

  • Episiotomy: These incisions on the mother’s perineum (area between the anus and genitals) are supposed to widen the birth canal. But instead, they usually just cause uncontrollable maternal bleeding.
  • Vacuum Extractor: The doctor attaches a metal cap to the baby’s head and uses a vacuum pump to suck the baby out of the mother. This dangerous technique often causes Erb’s Palsy and other serious injuries.
  • Forceps: This mechanical delivery aid resembles large salad tongs. When the doctor grips the baby’s head and pulls, the action often causes a permanent head injury.

Newborns are so small and delicate that even a slight bit of extra force may cause a permanent injury.

Postpartum Birth Injuries

If there were issues during labor or delivery, many doctors place babies on ventilators. Sometimes, this response does more harm than good.

A baby’s lungs are not very well developed. That’s especially true of the baby was premature. So, too much time on a ventilator may cause bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD). The continual rush of air and elevated oxygen levels may cause permanent lung injury.

Small babies are also exceedingly vulnerable to hospital infections and other such issues. These issues usually involve hospital negligence.

In all these cases, birth injury damages usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, as well as noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may be available as well, in many extreme cases.

Count on an Aggressive Lawyer

Serious and permanent birth injuries may occur at any time. For a free consultation with an experienced birth injury in Grand Rapids, contact Buchanan Firm. Our team of medical malpractice lawyers do not charge upfront legal fees in negligence cases.