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Every birth story is unique and no two pregnancies are ever truly alike. Nevertheless, most healthy pregnancies share common characteristics, reach similar benchmarks in terms of growth, and report vital statistics within a well-defined range.
The medical profession, which has developed and refined standards of practice and care based on many clinical studies, relies on these standards to ensure all pregnancies are monitored and treated appropriately based on what these evaluations reveal. When an abnormality is identified, medical providers are tasked with following established procedures to confirm the finding and using judgment to determine if and what type of intervention is needed.
For example, during labour, the baseline fetal heart rate is considered reassuring if it stays between 110-160 beats per minute with accelerations. If fetal tachycardia (a heart rate above 160 beats per minute), brachycardia (a heart rate below 110 beats per minute), or unusual or unexpected changes occur in the heart rate, medical provider must look for potential causes. Once they decide upon the type of treatment or intervention needed, they will have to escalate interventions in a timely manner if the abnormal heart rate does not resolve or appears ominous.
If a medical provider’s negligence or incompetence causes them to breach these standards of care and the pregnant woman, her fetus or newborn sustains serious harm, it’s called obstetrical malpractice. A preventable birth injury due to obstetrical malpractice can change the course of a life forever and leave a victim and their loved ones facing unimaginable pain, suffering and loss.
Common forms of Obstetrical Malpractice and Birth Injuries
Obstetrical malpractice can cause or contribute to a preventable birth injury at any stage of pregnancy, during labour and delivery or in the immediate postpartum period. Negligence or incompetence can breach standards of care in a variety of ways, including:
- failure to properly administer or evaluate standard tests and screenings
- faulty tests or equipment
- improper management of maternal medications or medical conditions
- misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of serious medical conditions
- substandard skill or technique during a delivery causing trauma
- inadequate post-birth care
These and other forms of negligence or incompetence may lead to serious preventable birth injuries, including:
- brain damage and conditions such as cerebral palsy from fetal asphyxia, hypoxia, or anoxia, placental insufficiency, maternal or in utero infection, birth trauma, or poor post-birth monitoring of conditions such as severe jaundice (kernicterus)
- spinal cord damage from undiagnosed or misdiagnosed spina bifida (when vertebrae do not fully enclose around the spinal column)
- nerve damage, broken bones, and scarring from birth trauma (improper force or use of instruments during forced extractions, brachial plexus injuries from shoulder dystocias)
Help For Those Who Have Been Hurt
When the joy expected from a birth turns to sadness, anger and grief with a preventable birth injuries, it can be devastating to loved ones. You deserve answers to ensure you have closure and financial compensation to help an injured person with their recovery, rehabilitation or establishing a good quality of life in the face of significant disability.
Howie, Sacks and Henry’s birth injury lawyers are ready to serve you in Midland as you make a claim of obstetrical malpractice. Recognized as one of Canada’s top personal injury firms, the HSH has cultivated the knowledge, skill and expertise in the complex and challenging area of law.
At HSH, we understand how overwhelming it can feel to think about a lawsuit at a time when you and your loved ones are coming to terms with a tragedy. You should know you are not alone. We will help guide you through this process with compassion, empathy and attentive care. As your trusted advocate, an HSH birth injury lawyer will always see you as much more than a file. We will treat you with the respect, dignity and kindness you need and deserve during this difficult time.
HSH birth injury lawyers can arrange to meet with you in your own home in the Midland area or at a nearby consultation office. Distance and ability to travel should never be a barrier to high quality legal representation. We will be pleased to advise you of your legal options and answer any questions you may have about making a claim. The HSH team will also help to facilitate and schedule any testing or evaluations you may need to assist with your case or rehabilitation.
Trust an HSH birth injury lawyer to be your advocate as you journey along the road to recovery. While no one can change what has happened to you or your loved one, with our team on your side and by your side in Midland, we can seek the financial resources you need and deserve to move forward and heal.
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