Providing Answers to All Your Questions
When you contact a birth injury lawyer in Ohio, there are likely many questions you will want to ask. There is a good chance that most of your questions have been asked time and time again by other concerned parents who are looking out for their child’s wellbeing. In this birth injury guide, we will cover different types of birth injuries and other topics parents frequently ask about this issue so you can be better informed.
Q: How many birth injuries happen a year?A:
This is a tough question to answer with pinpoint accuracy. Different agencies consider some types of birth injuries to be defects, while others simply do not report as vigilantly as they should. Even a procedure which has been widely believed to be completely safe can result in fetal injury; according to the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, 1.1 percent of all cesarean deliveries do irreversible damage.
Q: What are the different types of birth injuries?A:
There are many types of birth injuries that could affect a child’s wellbeing. The most common types of birth injuries are scalp injuries, injuries to the skeletal structure, and a fractured clavicle.
Other types of birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy
- Brain damage, due to lack of oxygen or blood flow
- Cystic fibrosis
- Mental disabilities
- Shoulder dystocia
- Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy (Brachial plexus injuries)
Q: Is there a difference between a birth injury and a birth defect?A:
There is a general rule to follow when you are trying to figure out if your child has a birth injury or a birth defect. An injury is something that happens while the baby is actually being born. A defect occurs while the fetus is still in the womb. Both could happen due to natural causes or from a doctor’s neglect.
Q: Was my child’s birth injury preventable?A:
Many different types of birth injuries happen because the doctor saw no other way to deliver the baby other than to exert extra force when pulling it out or commit some other action that leads to injury. Yet, many cases are avoidable and happen due to instances of miscommunication between the doctor and the rest of the hospital staff regarding your medical history. In these cases, as well as instances of medical malpractice, a birth injury lawyer may be able to help you claim the compensation you deserve.
Q: Will my child get better?A:
This is a tough question to answer. For many different types of birth injuries, such as Erb’s palsy, recovery may happen in a few months to a few years. But even severe cases of Erb’s or Kumpke’s palsy could result in a lifelong disability. Other types of birth injuries, like cerebral palsy, could severely limit your child’s mobility for a lifetime. Three factors generally dictate recovery: the severity of the case, how quickly it was noticed, and the kinds of medical care provided.
Q: What are my options in a birth injury case?A:
If your child was the victim of a birth injury, it is important to contact a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible. The quicker they can review your case, the sooner they can recommend a plan of action. It may take time to recover damages against the doctor or hospital affiliated with your child’s birth, but a good birth injury lawyer will be on your side the entire time.
Q: Where do I go for support?A:
First and foremost, you should always avail yourself with your loved ones and friends, parents and siblings, if you are coping with birth injuries. Positive relationships can be a tremendous boon in darker times. Those who have gone through similar situations can also provide you with information on what to expect when coping with birth injuries. You may even form new and lasting friendships due to your shared experiences. Do not hesitate to reach out to friends and family about the day-to-day difficulties you are going through. On the other hand, do not neglect the happier side—share any triumphs with close friends and loved ones, positively reinforcing the strength of your personal relationships.
Q: Where can I look for medical help?A:
New methods of treatment may have arisen that could benefit your child. Look for the latest news on treatments that could alleviate the burdens of birth injuries; however, you should always consult both your physician and an experienced and qualified birth injury lawyer before proceeding with any sort of treatment, especially those that are deemed more experimental.
In addition, there are many organizations specializing in researching, preventing, or even curing birth injuries that are private or public and to whom you can advocate the needs of your child and your own concerns for coping with birth injuries particular to your unique situation. Should your story gain some traction, you may earn your family a series of powerful allies. Be advised that this route does involve some spotlight on you and yours, so it is not for everyone.
Q: What if I need financial assistance?A:
In relation to the above point, there might be state and federal monies available, such as Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Medicaid. Such funding can help your child and you in coping with birth injuries.
Q: What about my other children?A:
Siblings of the injured child, whether older or younger, will want and need to know that their parents still care about them. Children may have difficulties understanding how strenuous and time-consuming coping with birth injuries can prove for their parents. If you spend all of your time fretting over or talking about your injured child, his or her siblings may feel abandoned. Therefore, it is always a good idea to check in with your other children, to show them that you still love them and will care for them, even though the new addition to the family may have special needs. It is important to frequently give all of your children some positive attention.
Q: Is it wrong to be angry or sad or scared?A:
It most definitely is not! You, your child, and your extended family by association have just undergone a likely irreversible tragedy. Feelings of anger, regret, and sadness are perfectly normal and healthy when you are coping with birth injuries.
Q: But what should I do with that anger?A:
Dealing with stress and powerful negative emotions is key to maintaining a balanced and fruitful life. If you feel like coping with birth injuries has run you ragged, you could seek out a support group of like-minded people who have experienced similar situations. Their advice and empathetic ears could help you in more ways than you might imagine.
Q: What is the next step?A:
You are right to feel angry. You may even be right to feel betrayed. The question “what can go wrong with the birth process?” has many unfortunate answers, but hopefully making use of the above list of coping techniques will give you some solace. If you find coping with birth injuries to be too hard a strain, you may want to know how you could receive recompense for any damages that may or may not have resulted from negligence or even malpractice on the part of doctor or hospital staff.
The fact of the matter is that many common types of birth injuries are caused by completely avoidable issues. With many Americans’ increased access to health care due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA), medical malpractice claims are expected to increase. You may find yourself among that number, or you may already have been wronged through no fault on your part. If you feel this to be the case, seek legal advice from a qualified birth injury lawyer in order to determine, to the fullest extent possible, your rights and the options available to you going forward.
Q: Is my doctor culpable?A:
The simple fact of the matter is that obstetricians have been known to fail their patients. A medical professional missing the early warning signs of impending birth injuries or a lack of follow-up upon noticing these can cause serious problems for your child. Hospital staff may be equally culpable, depending on the situation. Other potential causes include anesthetic—under or overdosing—and overmedication on a variety of drugs used during pregnancy and labor.
Some cases are deemed high risk by medical professionals. These include mothers who have high blood pressure (preeclampsia), are considered to be of advanced age, are expected to deliver twins or triplets, or have previously delivered by cesarean section. Failure to properly monitor such patients can be grounds for a negligence lawsuit, though only an experienced birth injury lawyer would be able to make such a determination with certainty.
Caring for children with birth injuries often begins with seeing justice done and recompense delivered to the afflicted family. This means that an investigation by your birth injury lawyer of the medical staff and your obstetrician may well be in order.
Q: What is shoulder dystocia?A:
If you heard this phrase, you may well have grounds for a birth injury lawsuit on your hands. Shoulder dystocia occurs when a child’s shoulder catches on the mother’s pubic bone. The potentially resultant damage to the brachial plexus (a cluster of highly important nerves) can cause the development of Erb’s palsy, along with other birth injuries. A birth injury lawyer will be able to better determine if the injury was due to medical malpractice.
Q: What is cephalopelvic disproportion?A:
This condition, in laymen’s terms, means the fetus is too large to travel along the birth canal without encountering problems, ranging from the damaging to the potentially life-threatening. Typically, in cases of cephalopelvic disproportion, a doctor will order an emergency C-section and take any other necessary measures to prevent birth injuries. Should you suspect any failure to take the proper preventative steps, you should consult a birth injury lawyer in Ohio who is knowledgeable about such matters.
Q: What is hypoxia?A:
Hypoxia is the medical term for a lack of oxygenation of the brain and is one of the primary causes of birth injuries in the country. A 2012 study conducted by Kaiser Permanente found a link between prenatal hypoxia and a child’s subsequent development of ADHD. Hypoxia is also a known cause of cerebral palsy. Other risks include many different types of brain damage and even death. If you feel your doctor’s actions may have led to your unborn child’s brain being deprived of oxygen, seek the counsel of a birth injury lawyer.