Servicing Edmonton and all of Alberta
In recent years Edmonton, and Alberta as a whole, has experienced a mini-baby boom. A strong economy drawing in more immigrants and migrants from the rest of Canada in the midst of their prime family-building years has increased the number of baby carriages on city sidewalks and toddlers in Edmonton daycares.
As the number of newborns rises, sadly, so too do the number of new mothers and infants who will experience birth injuries. While maternal deaths or infant deaths following a live birth are still very rare, thankfully, every year serious injuries causing life-altering disabilities or death will occur in maternity wards.
Sometimes these tragic outcomes aren’t preventable. For instance, complicating factors such a premature births can increase the risk of death or poor health in infants. Alberta has the highest rate of births before 37 weeks of gestation in Canada at 8.7 per cent. Other times a problematic birth results in a traumatic delivery for the mother or infant. But in some cases, negligent actions (or inaction) by medical providers causes or contributes to a birth injury.
Common Birth Injuries
When standards of care are breached before, during or after the delivery process due to negligence and a birth injury results, it’s a form of medical malpractice. Obstetrical malpractice can occur if a medical provider does not order the proper prenatal tests or makes errors while reviewing them. During a delivery, improper actions or lack of action in the event of warning signs can lead to adverse outcomes.
Improper care can lead to:
- Perinatal hypoxia, anoxia or asphyxia – A deficiency (hypoxia) or absence (anoxia) of oxygen reaching fetal tissues, or deprivation (asphyxia) of oxygen during birth for a period long enough to cause physical damage, including most commonly brain damage.
- Fetal Tachycardia – A rapid fetal heartbeat that is often a sign of fetal distress.
- Meconium Aspiration – When the first stool of an infant is expelled into the amniotic fluid as a result of distress or hypoxia, it can be ingested into the lungs before, during or after a birth.
- Placental Insufficiency – Insufficient delivery of oxygen and nutrients from the placenta to the fetus from trauma or inattentiveness or inaction to warning signs.
- Shoulder dystocia – The baby’s shoulders lodge against mother’s pelvic bone during delivery, sometimes resulting in brachial plexus injuries (the network of nerves running from the neck to the arms). In some cases this causes brachial palsies (Erb’s Palsy and Klumpke’s Palsy).
- Spinal cord injuries – Damage caused by blunt force trauma to the infant’s spine, over-stretching of vertebrae, misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of spina bifida, or damage related to an infection caused by improper care
- Brain injuries – Caused by lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery, excessive pulling or abnormal use of extraction devices
- Cerebral palsy – A brain disorder resulting in motor deficiency which can be caused by maternal infection or problems and improper care during birth.
A Life Changed In An Instant
In birth, as in life, must must expect the unexpected. When a birthing process departs from a routine delivery or there is evidence a mother or infant in in distress or as risk of injury, medical professionals have standards and procedures they must adhere to. If their negligence breaches this expected level of care, it can lead to injuries that last a lifetime or a mother or infant’s untimely death.
Howie, Sacks and Henry’s birth injury lawyers can help you in Edmonton if you or a loved one has suffered serious harm from medical negligence surrounding a birth. As one of Canada’s top personal injury firms, our knowledgeable and experienced team has developed the expertise needed for actions in this challenging area of law and take on cases involving even very complicated birth injuries and conditions.
An HSH birth injury lawyer is available to meet you at your home in the Edmonton area or at a nearby consultation office. As we listen to your story and learn about the events that led to the birth injury, we will explain your legal options, advise you on the type of expert assessments and evaluations that will help to advance your case, and demonstrate our commitment to supporting you through this difficult time.
We know we are meeting you during one of the most challenging and distressing periods in your life and as such, HSH birth injury lawyers are proud to have earned a reputation among our clients for bringing compassion, care and respect to every interaction. As your trusted advocate, you can depend on us to represent your best interests with kindness and understanding of your needs.
If you or a loved has suffered from a serious birth injury, HSH birth injury lawyers are ready to be on your side and by your side in Edmonton as you seek the financial compensation you deserve.
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