Warwick Birth Injury Attorneys
Helping Families in Warwick, RI
When a baby is born with a birth injury, it can be a devastating experience for the entire family. In addition to the emotional trauma, the financial costs of caring for a child with a birth injury can be overwhelming. If your child was injured during labor or delivery, you may be entitled to compensation for your losses.
At Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C., our Warwick Island birth injury lawyers have been helping families in Rhode Island and throughout the United States for more than four decades. We understand the unique challenges you are facing, and we are here to provide the compassionate, personalized legal guidance you need.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is any type of injury that occurs during labor, delivery, or the immediate postpartum period. Birth injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including medical negligence. When a birth injury is caused by a medical professional’s negligence, the family may be entitled to compensation for their losses.
Birth injuries can range from mild to severe. Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Brachial Plexus Injuries: The brachial plexus is a network of nerves controlling the muscles of the arm and hand. Injury to this area can occur during childbirth, leading to conditions like Erb's palsy or Klumpke's palsy, affecting arm movement.
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affect movement and posture. It is often caused by damage to the developing brain, usually during pregnancy or childbirth.
- Erb's Palsy: This is a type of brachial plexus injury specifically affecting the upper nerves. It can result in weakness or paralysis of the arm.
- Facial Nerve Palsy: Damage to the facial nerve during childbirth can lead to temporary or permanent facial muscle weakness, affecting expressions and movements.
- Head Injuries: Trauma to the infant's head during delivery can lead to various injuries, such as skull fractures or intracranial hemorrhage.
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): This condition occurs when there is a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the baby's brain during delivery, leading to brain damage.
- Perinatal Asphyxia: Perinatal asphyxia happens when an infant doesn't receive enough oxygen before, during, or after birth, potentially leading to various complications.
- Skull Fractures: Fractures to the bones of the infant's skull can occur during delivery, particularly in cases of difficult or traumatic births.
What is the Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect?
Birth injuries and birth defects are not the same thing. A birth injury is an injury that occurs during labor, delivery, or the immediate postpartum period. Birth injuries are often caused by medical negligence, such as a doctor’s failure to perform a timely C-section or a nurse’s failure to monitor the baby’s vital signs.
On the other hand, a birth defect is a health problem that is present at birth. Birth defects can be caused by a variety of factors, including genetic disorders, exposure to certain medications or chemicals, and maternal infections. Birth defects are not typically caused by medical negligence.
What are the Causes of Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries can be caused by a variety of factors. In some cases, birth injuries are unavoidable and are simply the result of a difficult labor or delivery. In other cases, birth injuries are caused by medical negligence.
Some of the most common causes of birth injuries include:
- Failure to Monitor:
- Fetal Monitoring: Inadequate monitoring of the fetal heart rate and other vital signs during labor can lead to missed signs of distress, oxygen deprivation, or other complications.
- Maternal Monitoring: Neglecting to monitor the health and condition of the mother during pregnancy and labor can result in undetected issues that may contribute to birth injuries.
- Delayed or Incorrect Diagnosis:
- Failure to Diagnose Conditions: Medical professionals may fail to identify and address conditions such as gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, or infections that can increase the risk of birth complications.
- Misinterpretation of Diagnostic Tests: Misreading or misinterpreting test results, such as ultrasounds or fetal monitoring, can lead to incorrect assessments of the baby's well-being.
- Medication Errors:
- Administering Incorrect Dosages: Administering the wrong amount of medication, especially during labor, can have adverse effects on both the mother and the baby.
- Failure to Consider Medication Risks: Prescribing or administering medications without considering potential risks or contraindications can lead to complications.
- Delayed or Improper Emergency Responses:
- Failure to Perform Timely C-Section: Delaying or improperly performing a cesarean section (C-section) when medically necessary can lead to oxygen deprivation, fetal distress, and other complications.
- Inadequate Response to Complications: Failing to respond promptly and appropriately to complications during labor, such as umbilical cord prolapse or placental abruption, can result in birth injuries.
- Improper Use of Assisted Delivery Devices:
- Misuse of Forceps or Vacuum Extractors: Improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction during delivery can cause trauma to the baby's head, leading to injuries such as skull fractures or nerve damage.
- Inadequate Communication and Coordination:
- Lack of Communication Among Medical Staff: Poor communication between medical professionals attending to the mother and baby can lead to misunderstandings and delays in crucial decision-making.
- Failure to Consult Specialists: Neglecting to involve specialists in high-risk pregnancies or complicated deliveries can contribute to preventable birth injuries.
- Insufficient Informed Consent:
- Failure to Provide Adequate Information: Medical professionals should inform parents about the potential risks and benefits of certain procedures or interventions. Failure to obtain informed consent may lead to legal consequences.
It's essential to note that not all birth injuries are the result of medical malpractice or negligence. Some complications can occur despite appropriate care. Determining whether a birth injury is due to medical malpractice often requires a thorough review of the specific circumstances by legal and medical professionals. If there are concerns about a birth injury, consulting with a medical malpractice attorney and obtaining a second medical opinion may be necessary.
Why Choose Spangenberg Shibley & Liber LLP?
At Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C., we believe in a collaborative approach to legal representation. Our team of attorneys, medical experts, and support staff work together seamlessly to build the strongest possible cases for our clients. This multidisciplinary approach allows us to comprehensively address the medical and legal aspects of birth injury cases.
Our commitment to client-centered advocacy is at the core of our practice. We prioritize open communication, ensuring that our clients are informed and empowered throughout the legal process. Our team recognizes the emotional toll that birth injuries take on families, and we are dedicated to providing not only legal representation but also the support and understanding that our clients need during this challenging time.