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Push! It’s a word you’ll likely hear while you’re in the midst of a vaginal childbirth and it’s usually a sign that delivery is imminent.
But what if you’re pushing and labour is not progressing? What if you have a heart condition or other health concern that limits the amount of pushing you can do? What if, after a few pushes the attending medical provider notes that there are troubling signs in the fetal heart rate monitoring and decides you must deliver immediately?
In any of these instances, a medical practitioner may want to use a tool such as a vacuum to help move the baby down the birth canal. However, based on obstetrical guidelines and standards of practice, they will likely opt for an alternative to a vacuum, such as forceps or a C-section, for certain types of pregnancies (under 34 weeks, previous scalp tissue sample, large-sized fetus, uncertain position of the head) because the procedure can put a baby at risk for injury.
Common vacuum-assisted birth injuries include skull and collarbone fractures, bleeding within the skull, scalp wounds or brachial plexus injuries from shoulder dystocias. While serious injuries from a vacuum-assisted birth are rare, when they do occur they can be devastating and life-altering.
Obstetrical Malpractice and Common Birth Injuries
Medical practitioners should know when it’s acceptable to use a vacuum to assist in a birth and should also explain the risks and possible alternatives prior to using the tool. If a medical provider’s negligence or incompetence has breached standards of care and caused serious harm to a pregnant woman, her fetus or herr baby, it’s called obstetrical malpractice.
Examples of obstetrical malpractice include:
- improperly administering standard tests and screenings
- using faulty medical tests
- misdiagnosing or delayed diagnosis of a serious medical condition
- poorly monitoring and managing maternal or fetal health during or immediately following a pregnancy
- using poor technique or excessive force during delivery
Negligent or incompetent actions (or inaction) can cause or contribute to common birth injuries at all stages of pregnancy, including:
- brain damage: from oxygen deprivation (perinatal asphyxia, anoxia, or hypoxia), placental insufficiency, birth trauma, or untreated maternal or in utero infections. Fetal tachycardia (abnormally high heart rate) is often a sign of a fetus in distress and can signal increased risk of brain damage..
- spinal cord injuries, nerve and tissue damage and fractures: from undiagnosed conditions such as spina bifida (failure of vertebrae to enclose around the spinal column), brachial palsies from shoulder dystocias, scarring or broken bones from extraction tools such as forceps or vacuums,
- meconium aspiration syndrome: when a fetus or baby ingests amniotic fluid mixed with first fecal matter, it can obstruct airways, cause infection, and lead to organ damage.
- kernicterus: if severe jaundice is left untreated following birth, it can develop into a neurotoxic condition called kernicterus
There Is Help For Those Who Have Been Hurt
In a matter of moments, the course of a life can dramatically change. Learning that you or someone you love has suffered a serious birth injury as a result of someone’s negligence or incompetence can be devastating. The pain, suffering and losses you’ve experienced should not be yours to bear alone.
Howie, Sacks and Henry’s birth injury lawyers can help you in Milton as you seek financial resources to compensate for the damage that has been caused, your past losses and the future cost of care for you or your loved one. Recognized as one of Canada’s top personal injury firms, our knowledgeable, skilled and experienced birth injury lawyers have developed expertise in this complex area of law.
An HSH birth injury lawyer will gladly arrange to meet with you in your own home in the Milton area, or at a nearby consultation office. We believe that distance and the ability to travel should never be a barrier to access high quality legal representation.
After listening to your birth story with great empathy, we’ll outline your legal rights and options, offer our advice, and answer any questions you may have about making an obstetrical malpractice claim.
As a firm known for our client-centred service, at HSH we will always see you as more than a file. We understand how difficult and overwhelming this period of your life feels and we will ensure we treat you with the compassion, kindness, and respect you need and deserve.
If you or a loved one has sustained a preventable birth injury due to incompetent or negligent medical care, trust an HSH birth injury lawyer to be one your side and by your side in Milton. We can’t change the tragic circumstances that caused this injury in the past, but we can work to give you hope for the future.
Looking to work with a birth injury lawyer in Milton? 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.