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The placenta is absolutely critical to the health of a developing fetus. This physical link to the mother’s uterine wall sends oxygen and essential nutrients to the fetus and serves to remove carbon dioxide and waste. When there is damage to this lifeline, the consequences can be dire.
Placental insufficiency, a reduction in blood flow or an increase in flow that is insufficient to meet the needs of a growing fetus, can result in malformation of organs, permanent developmental disorders such as cerebral palsy, intellectual disabilities, and, in the most severe cases, stillbirth.
Identifying placenta insufficiency early by looking for signs such as fetal tachycardia (abnormally fast heart rate), monitoring it, and taking action to reduce contributing maternal risk factors (including chronic high blood pressure, medication use and blood disorders) can help reduce the likelihood or severity of damage that may occur. An obstetrician may conclude, for example, that a pre-term induced birth may be in the best interest of the mother and child when weighing the benefits and risks of carrying to term.
But if negligent actions or inaction on the part of a medical team breach standards of care causing or contributing to serious harm to a mother or baby, it’s called obstetrical malpractice. In these cases, incompetence or neglect lead to preventable birth injuries that will profoundly affect the life of a child and his or her loved ones.
Other Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries may occur at any stage of pregnancy, labour, or delivery and in the period immediately following birth. Misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of a maternal or fetal condition, trauma from forced extractions or improper use of medical tools, or poor practices managing care can all cause or contribute to these injuries.
Some common birth injuries include:
- Brain Injuries and Cerebral Palsy – Often the result of oxygen deprivation to the brain (perinatal asphyxia, anoxia or hypoxia) or trauma, these injuries can result in developmental delays and intellectual disabilities, muscle-reflex coordination issues, and other serious physical disabilities or loss of function.
- Spinal cord injuries – Caused by blunt force trauma, illness, or undiagnosed or misdiagnosed spina bifida (nerves in the spine are not protected by vertebrae) these injuries may result in loss of sensation, pain, abnormal reflexes and spasms, and/or paralysis, .
- Brachial plexus injuries (Erb’s Palsy and Klumpke’s Palsy) – Frequently caused by shoulder dystocia (when a baby’s head emerged from the birth canal while it’s shoulders remain wedged behind the mother’s pelvic bone), these injuries may stretch or tear the network of nerves between the neck and shoulders leading to nerve loss of physical function or brain injuries.
- Broken bones and scarring – A traumatic birth, forced extraction, or us of medical tools can cause soft tissue damage, broken bones and permanent scarring.
When You’ve Been Hurt, We’re Here To Help
When the joy expected with a new birth turns to sorrow, frustration, anger or despair following a birth injury, you may not know where to turn or what to do. Howie, Sacks and Henry’s experienced and knowledgeable birth injury lawyers are ready to discuss your options in Medicine Hat.
One of Canada’s top personal injury firms, HSH has developed the expertise to handle cases in this complex area of law and a reputation for compassion and care among our clients. When you tell us your story, you can be confident that we will listen with empathy and understanding and treat you with the dignity, respect and kindness that you deserve.
An HSH birth injury lawyer will be pleased to arrange to visit you in your own home in the Medicine Hat area or at a nearby consultation office. Distance and ability to travel should never be a barrier to receiving high quality legal representation.
We understand how difficult and overwhelming this process can feel. That’s why we take time to answer any questions you may have, fully explain your options and offer our advice for how to proceed, and assist in facilitating testing, assessments and therapies you or your loved one need to help your case and recovery.
When a medical provider’s negligence has caused you pain, suffering and other damages, trust an HSH birth injury lawyer to be on your side and by your side in Medicine Hat as you make a claim for compensation. Together, we will work to give you hope that better days are ahead.
Looking to work with a birth injury lawyer in Medicine Hat? Contact Us.
We serve the Medicine Hat and surrounding areas. When you think Birth Injuries Lawyer Medicine Hat, Think Howie, Sacks & Henry.