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It’s a moment everyone in the delivery room waits for with bated breath – a newborn’s own big first breath of air. With oxygen filling her tiny lungs, she will probably let out a big cry as she meets a new and unfamiliar world that feels completely different from the womb where she spent many months. Sadly, sometimes the first breath doesn’t ever occur. And in other cases, a medical team must perform certain actions to assist these little lungs before it can.

Meconium aspiration (ingesting fetal fecal matter and amniotic fluid into the lungs) can complicate a baby’s attempts to take that first breath. Risk factors include overdue pregnancies (more than 40 weeks), a lengthy, difficult or traumatic labour, maternal health conditions (such as hypertension or diabetes) or infections. Common symptoms include cyanosis (a bluish skin colour), limpness and low blood pressure.

Although most newborns with the condition won’t have long-term health complications, it must be treated immediately to avoid serious damage such as lung rupture, inflammation, infection or brain damage from oxygen deprivation (asphyxia). Medical providers must be cognizant of risk factors and take preventative action during labour if they suspect it may contribute to this condition. For example, fetal tachycardia (abnormally high fetal heart rate) can be a sign of fetal distress from condition such as meconium aspiration. Prompt action post-birth and careful monitoring is also necessary to ensure a baby is receiving the treatment and care she needs.

Unfortunate, if a medical team’s negligent actions or inaction breaches standards of care and causes or contributes to meconium aspiration that leads to the infant experiencing serious harm, it’s called obstetrical malpractice. This neglect or improper care can create the conditions for birth injuries that cause lifelong disability or even death.

Other Common Types of Birth injuries

Birth injuries from obstetrical malpractice can occur at any time during pregnancy, labour, and delivery and in the immediate period following birth. They can affect the infant, mother or both.

Some common birth injuries include:

Brain damage: Oxygen deprivation or absence (perinatal asphyxia, hypoxia, or anoxia) in utero or at some time during or following labour can cause serious and permanent brain damage. Infection, placental insufficiency (damage to the placenta results in lack of oxygen or nutrients), meconium aspiration or physical trauma can all cause or contribute to brain damage, including cerebral palsy.

Shoulder dystocia: If a baby becomes lodged behind a woman’s pelvic bone, the infant may sustain brachial plexus injuries (the nerve network running from the neck to shoulders) resulting in physical disability.

Spinal cord injuries, broken bones and scarring: In a traumatic delivery where a forceful extraction occurs, a medical provider improper use of medical tools or incorrect determination of how to deliver the baby may result in the infant sustain nerve or tissue damage.

If Your Loved One Is Hurt, We Can Help

Recognized by our clients and peers as one of Canada’s top personal injury firms, Howie, Sacks and Henry’s birth injury lawyers can help you with an obstetrical malpractice claim in Lethbridge. Our experienced, skilled and knowledgeable team has developed the expertise needed for this complex and challenging area of law.

HSH birth injury lawyers understand how overwhelming and emotional it can be to contemplate legal action following a problematic birth. With empathy, compassion and attentive care our team will treat you with the respect, dignity and support you deserve as we work together to try to get the financial resource you and your loved ones will need for rehabilitation, recovery and establishing a good quality of life in the face of tragic circumstances.

An HSH birth injury lawyer is available to meet you in your own home in the Lethbridge area or at a nearby consultation office. Distance and ability to travel should never be a barrier to accessing high quality legal representation. As we listen to your story and discuss your legal options, we will also be pleased to facilitate additional testing, assessments or specialized therapies you or your loved one will need to build a strong case and assist in their rehabilitation.

As your advocate, HSH birth injury lawyers make it our goal to become member of your support team. With us by your side and on your side in Lethbridge, you can be confident that you are not alone and that your legal team will do our utmost to help you receive the financial resources you’ll need to ensure you and your loved ones see better days ahead.

Looking to work with a birth injury lawyer in Lethbridge? Contact Us.

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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.

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.