Most expectant parents spend lots of time planning for their birth of a child. They do research on the diverse types of childbirth options to choose from, where they will have their child and which medical providers will care for the mother and unborn child. Obtaining good prenatal care is an important aspect during pregnancy. The Obstetrician is responsible for performing exams and tests to ensure the health of the mother and baby. In some cases, they must make the decision to perform an emergency Cesarean section when necessary.
The statute of limitations in the State of Pennsylvania requires a claim for medical malpractice to be filed within a certain timeframe. If your son or daughter was injured during childbirth, you must file legal action within two years of your child’s eighteenth birthday. Contact a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer for legal advice so they can examine the fact of your case to determine what type of compensation you may be entitled to receive.
How Do Birth Injuries Occur?
A birth injury is defined as any type of trauma or injury that occurs to the baby during childbirth. It is estimated that seven out of every 1,000 births can result in a birth injury. Although there are diverse types of birth injuries, the most common include the following:
• Cerebral Palsy—This can occur if the infant does not receive the proper amount of oxygen before or during delivery. Brain damage can occur affecting development of the child’s motor skills resulting in learning disabilities, seizures and difficulty speaking.
• Shoulder Dystocia or Erb’s Palsy—This condition occurs when the shoulder of the baby gets stuck behind the pubic bone of the mother. Severe nerve damage happens when the brachial plexus nerves become injured during childbirth.
• Forceps Delivery—When an obstetrician uses vacuum extraction or forceps during delivery, the child can end up with severe bruising. In worst cases, the baby’s skull could be fractured.
• Hypoxia—Hypoxia occurs when the baby is deprived of oxygen, causing brain damage.
• Group B Strep (GBS)—Infants can acquire this infection if the doctors failed to screen the expectant mother for the Type B Streptococcus virus, Antibiotics should be given to the mother prior to delivery. Failing to detect this virus can result in the child’s death.
• Cesarean Section—Doctors can be held liable if they failed to perform a Cesarean section after the patient experienced prolonged labor and the baby was stuck in the birth canal without sufficient oxygen.
• Fetal Distress—All medical professionals are responsible for monitoring the mother during labor. If they failed to respond to signs of fetal distress and the baby was deprived of oxygen, they may be held liable.
Tolling Pennsylvania’s Statute of Limitations
When a healthcare professional makes a mistake while performing their duty, they must be held liable for their actions. Doctors and nurses are responsible for monitoring the vital signs of the mother during labor to recognize potential problems. In some cases, obstetricians fail to perform a Cesarean within the necessary amount of time. When children are the victims of medical malpractice, the statute of limitations can be extended, especially if the injury was not discovered within the required amount of time. Parents may not notice right away that their child’s physical or cognitive development is slower than normal. Please consult a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer for legal assistance. They can make a determination regarding who can be held responsible and how much compensation you can obtain for damages.
Getting Legal Advice from a Birth Injury Attorney
It can be a devastating time for parents when their baby is injured during childbirth. Their world is often turned upside down leaving them with more questions than answers. Therefore, it is important to hire skilled medical malpractice attorneys who know how to win cases. If you or someone you love has been injured through the negligence of a medical professional, you will need competent legal help to fight your battle. Results of birth injuries cases can be reviewed to determine what type of compensation the victim may be entitled to.