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Maternal health is very closely linked to fetal health. During pregnancy, a woman will not only be advised to take neonatal vitamins to support healthy fetal development and to get tests to screen for fetal abnormalities, but she must also monitor her own general health in tandem with her medical provider or obstetrical care team.

Monitoring maternal health, detecting problems, and treating them in a timely manner is essential to minimizing risks to the fetus. For example, untreated maternal infections have been associated with increased risk of infants developing childhood epilepsy, cognitive impairment, or certain mental health conditions such as schizophrenia later in life.

These untreated infections, which can include herpes, varicella, cystitis, rubella, and syphilis, have also been linked to premature births. An early birth puts a newborn at heightened risk of having brain damage and developing cerebral palsy.

If a medical provider’s negligence or incompetence breaches standards of care, results in an untreated maternal infection or a significant delay in treatment, and causes harm to a mother, her fetus or her child, it’s called obstetrical malpractice. When obstetrical malpractice causes or contributes to a preventable birth injury, it can change the course of a life forever.

Common Types of Birth Injuries

A preventable birth injury can occur at any stage of pregnancy, during labour and delivery, or in the period immediately following a birth. Medical practitioners may be liable for a birth injury if they: inadequately monitor and treat maternal and fetal health, misdiagnose or delay diagnosis of a serious medication condition, fail to properly screen for fetal abnormalities, cause injury during birth by using improper technique or poor judgment, or fail to appropriately monitor a patient following birth.

Some common birth injuries include:

  • Brain damage from untreated maternal or in utero infections, oxygen deprivation (perinatal asphyxia, anoxia or hypoxia), placental insufficiency, or birth trauma (often indicated by fetal tachycardia)
  • Spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, scars and fractures from misdiagnosed condition such as spina bifida, birth trauma during forced extractions or untreated infections
  • Meconium aspiration – If a baby ingests amniotic fluid mixed with first fecal matter, it must be treated quickly to avoid infection, obstructed airways, or other problems
  • Kernicterus from untreated, severe jaundice can cause neurotoxicity if not treated appropriately

Help For The Injured

Welcoming a new life into the world should be a joyous occasion. But when a preventable birth injury seriously harms a mother or her child, it can be devastating for their loved ones. You may be sad, angry, grieving a loss, or wondering how you will pay for ongoing care if the injury results in significant disability. As you come to terms with this tragedy, you should know you are not alone.

Howie, Sacks and Henry’s experienced birth injury lawyers are ready to help you in Stratford as you seek the financial resources you need and deserve. Recognized as one of Canada’s top personal injury firms, HSH birth injury lawyers have the skill and expertise to handle cases in this complex and challenging area of law.

With our reputation for compassionate, caring, and devoted service to our clients, you will soon see that you are always more than a file to us. In this unimaginably difficult time in your life, the HSH team strives to bring respect, kindness, and empathetic understanding to every interaction we have with our clients.We’ll work to ease your mind and reduce your stress during this process.

An HSH birth injury lawyers will be pleased to meet with you in your own home in the Stratford area or at a nearby consultation office. We believe distance or ability to travel should never be an obstacle to accessing high quality legal representation. After listening to your birth story, we’ll outline your options, provide advice, and assist in facilitating appointments for tests, evaluations and therapies that will both help your case and your recovery.

In a moment when you may be feeling great despair, trust an HSH birth injury lawyer to be on your side and by your side in Stratford. As your strong advocate and supporter, we will work to give you hope there are better days ahead.


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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.

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