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Amidst all the noise and clatter in the delivery room, a voice calls out: “I can see the head.” The end of labour is now in sight. But at this critical moment there is potential for serious injury to occur.
Once the baby’s head emerges through the birth canal, ordinarily the shoulders and trunk follow fairly quickly. If there is a longer than expected delay or the baby’s head appears to “turtle” and return back down the birth canal, it can be a sign of shoulder dystocia.
Risk factors that increase the chance of a shoulder dystocia birth include: induced labour, birth past the due date, multiple births, diabetes or gestational diabetes, forced extractions at birth using forceps or a vacuum, or maternal history of shoulder dystocias or having babies with high birth weights. Although your doctor or medical provider may not take pre-emptive action based on these risk factors, being aware of them or the clinical signs of shoulder dystocia should help them to respond quickly and minimize the possibility of lasting damage.
Undiagnosed shoulder dystocia or delayed diagnosis can create significant problems as the condition can cause excessive bleeding or tearing of tissue in the mother or injuries to a baby’s brachial plexus (the network of nerves between the neck and shoulder) that can lead to nerve or brain damage.If a medical provider’s negligent actions or inaction leads them to breach standards of care and a mother or baby suffer serious harm, it’s called obstetrical malpractice and it can change lives in an instant.
Other Commons Types of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can occur at any stage of pregnancy, labour, or delivery and in the period immediately following birth. While some of injuries may be unavoidable, medical negligence can lead to many types of preventable birth injuries. These include:
- Cerebral Palsy and Brain Injuries: These injuries can be caused by perinatal asphyxia, anoxia or hypoxia (deprivation of oxygen), placental insufficiency, blunt force trauma, poor management of maternal medications or medical conditions, or untreated maternal or in utero infections. Undiagnosed or misdiagnosed fetal tachycardia (an abnormally high heart rate) can be an indicator of fetal distress leading to these injuries.
- Meconium aspiration: This occurs when the baby’s first fecal matter mixes with amniotic fluid and is ingested by the lungs. Often caused by traumatic births, fetal distress or overdue pregnancies, this condition can cause infection and lead to oxygen deprivation injuries.
- Spinal cord injuries and nerve damage: Often caused by blunt force trauma during a forced extraction delivery, untreated infections, or misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of spina bifida.
These injuries and others can lead to permanent disability, loss of function and even death.
When You’re Hurt, We Can Help
Hearing that a loved one has sustained a life-altering birth injury can be devastating. Learning that a medical provider’s negligence caused or contributed to this condition will probably add even more layers of sadness, anger, and despair to the grieving process. As you take stock of the new challenges you face, you may worry about having the financial resources needed to cover rehabilitation expenses and provide a good quality of life for your loved one.
But, there is hope. Howie, Sacks and Henry’s birth injury lawyers are ready to help you in Victoria by filing a obstetrical malpractice claim and working to get you the compensation and assistance you deserve for your pain and suffering.
HSH has built a strong reputation amongst our peers for our work ethic, expertise and dedication to serving our clients with dignity, respect and compassion. Recognized as one of Canada’s top personal injury firms, we have the ability and capacity to handle even the most complex cases in this challenging area of law.
An HSH birth injury lawyer will gladly arrange to visit you in your own home in the Victoria area or at a nearby consultation office, so you’ll never need to worry that distance or the ability to travel will be an obstacle to accessing high quality legal representation. As we listen to your story, we’ll offer advice, answer your questions, and help facilitate any testing, assessments or therapies that will both help your loved one’s recovery and your case.
We want you to know that we understand how overwhelming and difficult this process can feel. As your trusted advocate and supporter, you can be confident that you are so much more than a file to us. With an HSH birth injury lawyer on your side in Victoria and by your side on the road to recovery, there is hope for better days ahead.
Looking to work with a birth injury lawyer in Victoria? Contact Us.
We serve the Victoria and surrounding areas. When you think Birth Injuries Lawyer Victoria, Think Howie, Sacks & Henry.