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There are many critical moments or periods during a pregnancy when the health of a woman and her fetus require careful monitoring; but labour and delivery is clearly a time when everyone is intensely focused on ensuring everything is proceeding as planned.
Medical providers must be aware of specific patient risk factors as they look for warning signs of complications during the birthing process. And if an obstetrical emergency takes place, such as shoulder dystocia, they must use their judgement and training to take appropriate action to reduce the risk of a serious and preventable birth injury.
Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby’s shoulders fail to deliver shortly after it’s head. This form of obstructed labour can carry serious risk of brachial plexus injuries (damage to the nerve network between the neck and shoulders), brain damage from hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain) or even fetal death, if emergency actions aren’t taken to hasten delivery safely.
Medical practitioners are trained to assess and evaluate the situation, attempt to facilitate delivery by quickly running through several non-operative procedures, and finally to opt for a more serious operative intervention if these techniques fail.
When timely action if of the essence, a medical provider’s negligent actions, inaction or incompetence that breaches these standards of practice can cause an infant or pregnant woman serious harm. This is called obstetrical malpractice; and in a matter of moments it can change the course of a life forever.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
There are a variety of ways a medical provider can cause or contribute to a preventable birth injury during a pregnancy, delivery or immediately following birth. These include: failure to perform necessary screenings and tests, flawed testing or reading of results, improper management of maternal health, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a serious condition, improper technique during delivery, or inadequate postpartum care and monitoring.
Some common birth injuries include:
- Brain damage – Untreated maternal or in utero infection, placental insufficiency, perinatal asphyxia and other factors can lead to neurological impairment and conditions such as cerebral palsy.
- Spinal cord injuries and nerve damage – Undiagnosed or misdiagnosed conditions such as spina bifida (failure of the vertebrae to enclose around the spine) or birth trauma from extraction tools can lead to nerve dysfunction and secondary disability
- Meconium aspiration syndrome – If fecal matter from the fetus mixes with amniotic fluid and ingested in utero or during delivery, it can obstruct airways, cause infection and lead to conditions such as pneumonia or collapsed lungs if not treated effectively
- Kernicterus – Poor postpartum monitoring of newborns can mean that common conditions such as jaundice are not treated appropriately. Severe jaundice can lead to neurotoxic conditions such as kernicterus
Help For Those Hurt By Obstetrical Malpractice
Serious birth injuries may cause pain, suffering, permanent disability or even death; the cost of ongoing care for the seriously disabled and the emotional toll on loved ones can be immense. You should know that if you or a loved one has been injured due to a medical provider’s negligence or incompetence, you are not alone.
Renowned for our compassion, kindness, and respect for those we serve, Howie, Sacks and Henry has been consistently named one of Canada’s top personal injury firms by our peers. Our birth injury lawyers have the expertise, experience and skill to navigate through this complex and challenging area of law and help you in Dryden.
An HSH birth injury lawyer will be pleased to arrange to meet with you in your own home in the Dryden area or at a nearby consultation office. Distance and ability to travel should never be an obstacle to obtaining high quality legal representation. As we listen to your birth story with empathy, we’ll explain your options and offer you advice. If you proceed with a claim our team will also help to facilitate the tests, evaluations and therapy you or your loved one will need for your case and your rehabilitation.
We understand just how difficult, stressful and overwhelming it can be to think about participating in a lawsuit while also focusing on your recovery. With an HSH birth injury lawyer as your trusted advocate, you can be confident that you will have a dedicated supporter to be there for you all the way. With HSH on your side and by your side in Dryden, together we’ll work to give you hope there are better days ahead.
Looking to work with a birth injury lawyer in Dryden? Contact Us.
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Among the best in Canada
Since 2011, our peers have consistently voted for us as one of Canada’s top personal injury firms in Canadian Lawyer magazine’s annual rankings of the top personal injury boutiques in Canada. With decades of experience helping accident victims and their families, our firm understands the laws that affect your right to compensation because we’ve helped shape those laws in favour of accident victims.
Among the best in Canada
Since 2011 Canadian Lawyer Magazine rated us one of the top personal injury law firms in Canada. Why? With close to 20 years helping accident victims and their families, our firm understands the laws that affect your rights to compensation because we’ve helped shape those laws in favour of accident victims.