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When a fetus or newborn is in distress, they don’t have the ability to tell us they experiencing a serious problem with words. But their physical symptoms can tell us a lot if we know what to look for.

At any stage of a pregnancy, during labour or delivery, or in the immediate postpartum period, trained medical practitioners will monitor a fetus or infant for problematic signs. For example, they will check for signs of placental insufficiency (lack of oxygen or nutrients delivered to a fetus) during the pregnancy, note if a fetus appears to be experiencing difficulty travelling down the birth canal during delivery, and monitor for signs of serious jaundice following birth.

If they observe telltale signs for any of these conditions, they should respond quickly and appropriately. Fetal tachycardia (abnormally high heart rate) can be an indication of placental insufficiency or perinatal asphyxia, the “turtle” signal (when a baby’s head quickly retracts after traveling through the birth canal) is a sign of shoulder dystocia, and a yellowish tint to skin can be a sign of severe jaundice that can lead to a neurotoxic condition called kernicterus.

Using their extensive training and good judgment, medical providers can turn to established procedures and standards of practice to minimize the risk of a injury to the mother, fetus or newborn if they spot signs of distress. But if these standards are breached due to negligence or incompetence, and it causes or contributes to serious harm, it’s called obstetrical malpractice. A preventable birth injury from obstetrical malpractice can change the course of a life in a matter of moments.

Common Forms of Obstetrical Malpractice and Birth Injuries

Negligent actions or inaction, and incompetence on the part of a medical practitioner can occur in a variety of ways, including:

Failure to perform or properly analyze necessary tests that screen for potential birth defects such as spina bifida (when vertebrae fail to enclose the nerves in the spine)

Inadequate monitoring of maternal health (such as inappropriate management of medication, or untreated infections)

Using excessive force or poor skill when delivering a baby (causing birth trauma by using a vacuum or forceps during an extraction)

Failing to treat conditions such as meconium aspiration (when amniotic fluid mixed with fecal matter is ingested) in a timely manner

These breaches in standard of care may cause significant birth injuries, including brain damage (and related conditions such as cerebral palsy), spinal cord injuries, nerve damage, scarring, and fractures.

There Is Help For Those Who Have Been Hurt

While it’s important to remember that accidents can and do happen everywhere and anyone can make a mistake, if a medical provider’s negligent actions, inaction or incompetence causes or contributes to a birth injury, they should bear some responsibility. If you or a loved one has suffered from a preventable birth injury, you deserve compensation and damages for the pain, suffering and losses you’ve experienced.

Howie, Sacks and Henry’s birth injury lawyers are able to help you file a obstetrical malpractice claim in Welland and to support you as you seek financial resources you need. Recognized as one of the country’s top personal injury firms, our birth injury lawyers have the skill, knowledge and expertise to guide you through this complex and challenging area of law.

At HSH, we will always see you as more than a file. During an extremely difficult period in your life, you deserve to be treated with respect, dignity and understanding. As a firm with a proud reputation of client-centred service, we bring compassion, kindness, and attentive care to every meeting.

An HSH birth injury lawyer will be pleased to arrange to see you in your own home in the Welland area or at a nearby consultation office. We believe distance and ability to travel should never be a barrier to accessing high quality legal representation. As we listen to your story, we’ll explain your options, offer advice, and assist in scheduling the tests, evaluations and therapies you or your loved one need. We’re not only here to be your legal advisor, we’re here to support and encourage you on the road to rehabilitation, recovery, and attaining a good quality of life.

With an HSH birth injury lawyer on your side and by your side in Welland, you’ll have a strong and trusted advocate helping you access the financial resources you need and deserve. Together, we’ll work to give you hope that there are better days ahead.

Looking to work with a birth injury lawyer in Welland? 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.