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Annapolis Birth Injury Blog

How to prove nurse negligence

If you feel you have been a victim of nurse negligence during a birth injury in Maryland, you may be wondering if you have enough evidence to prove your case. We at Michael H. Bereston work to advocate for children who are injured during birth and have provided this guide to help you determine whether your child was a victim of nurse negligence.

 

The long-term consequences of birth injuries

People sustain many different types of injuries in medical centers, from surgical mistakes to medication errors. Having said that, for those who sustain a pregnancy-related injury, or give birth to a child who was injured during the birthing process, the experience can be particularly devastating. At the Annapolis Law Firm of Michael H. Bereston, we have seen firsthand how upsetting and challenging life can be for families who are going through these burdens firsthand.

Sadly, birth injuries can have long-term consequences for mothers, children and the entire family. In some cases, these injuries lead to the loss of life. However, even those who survive may struggle with a variety of setbacks, which may follow them for the rest of their lives. For example, children deprived of oxygen during the birthing process may have a completely different future as a result of brain damage. Or, a child may suffer from nerve damage due to a physician's errors while his or her mother was giving birth. Sometimes, physicians fail to spot problems that should have been seen sooner or they fail to take proper precautionary measures.

Birth injuries are not the same as birth defects

Expectant parents want to bring home a healthy child. While this does occur in most cases, there are instances in which cases can take a turn for the worst. For these parents, finding out what is wrong with their child, learning the treatment plan, and understanding the prognosis becomes a priority.

There is one big question that parents should find out when they are facing this difficult situation. Does the baby have a birth injury or a birth defect? This question can have a huge impact on what you might do from here. It is often a springboard to other questions like what the cause of the injury or defect is.

Wrongful birth suit approved

Expectant parents in Maryland know that problems during pregnancy or birth can and do develop. Some of these problems may be congenital and unavoidable by any actions taken by mothers or health care providers. However, this is one of the reasons that prenatal care can be so important as it may offer families the opportunity to learn of these  things before a baby is born. One family in Iowa was denied this ability and now are seeking legal recourse for the denial of that privilege.

Referred to as wrongful birth, the case involves a concept that some states explicity forbid legal action regarding while others do allow such action. Iowa to date has no laws in place regarding this and the State Supreme Court recently issued a ruling that gives the parents the right to proceed with a lawsuit originally blocked by a lower court judge. Especially because of the disparity in how this is handled around the country, it can be important for people in any state including Maryland to follow this case.

Recovering after a pregnancy-related injury

From motor vehicle accidents to slipping and falling, pregnant women can become injured in many different ways. Unfortunately, some suffer an injury at the hands of a negligent medical professional. At the Maryland law firm of Law Firm of Michael H. Bereston, Inc., we are very familiar with the physical, emotional and even financial hardships that pregnant women and entire families who have been through this may encounter. Moreover, these injuries frequently affect the fetus and can interfere with a child's future or even claim his or her life.

Physicians have a responsibility to provide their patients with proper care, especially women who are carrying a child. Unfortunately, some fail to take care of the needs of their patients, whether they are too busy, do not have enough experience or simply do not care. When certain pregnancy-related conditions are left unattended, such as pre-eclampsia and diabetes that develops during pregnancy, the outcome can be devastating for mothers as well as their children.

Reviewing the pros and cons of assisted deliveries

Here at Michael H. Bereston, Inc., we have helped several families who have tragically seen their babies' lives forever altered due to improper use of tools such as forceps and/or vacuum extractors during delivery. Assisted delivery has helped countless women and newborns overcome complications that, in the past, could have endangered their lives. The question is when is such intervention appropriate?

 Having your doctor intervene in your delivery can present risks to both yourself and your baby The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has identified these risks to be an increased chance of you sustaining an injury to your vagina, perineum or anus, or to experience temporary bouts of incontinence. Your baby can sustain injuries to his or her head, scalp, eyes, as well as nerve damage in the upper extremities. These risks, however, may be acceptable compared to the complications that can arise with a prolonged delivery. Thus, your doctor is encouraged to consider the following factors before stepping in to intervene in your delivery: 

  •          Has your baby's progression down the birth canal slowed or stalled?
  •          Have there been any disturbing signs with his or her heart rate?
  •          Do you suffer from any medical conditions that would prevent you from pushing safely or over a prolonged period of time?

Issues with non-necessary c-sections

Maryland residents who are expecting the birth of a new baby should know that their vigilance and active participation in a mother's prenatal care and the labor and delivery experience can matter a lot. Despite many medical advances, pregnancy and childbirth do still come with an associated set of risks. According to Consumer Reports, however, some of these risks may be completely unnecessary and actually introduced by the hospitals at which women give birth. 

It has been identified by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine that the number of non-medically required Cesarean births performed in the United States has risen. At the same time the number of deaths among mothers may actually have increased. These c-section births that are deemed not to have been necessary may actually contribute to as many as 20,000 serious complications every year. 

Blood test may help identify risk of preemie birth

Maryland residents who are pregnant or expecting new babies should be able to focus on the joy to come when their new love arrives. However, the reality remains that pregnancy is a medical condition and experience and there are risks associated with it at every step of the way. These risks may pose potential injury to mothers or babies or even both in some cases.

Of all of the types of pregnancy or birth injuries commonly discussed today, one area that has not typically received strong focus yet should have it is premature births. Across the developing world, the United States actually experiences more babies born prematurely than any other nation. An estimated 10 percent of all babies are born too early between the weeks of 20 and 37 of the typical 40 weeks of gestation.

Misoprostol use in labor can cause birth injuries or even death

The drug Misoprostol, brand name Cytotec, is an ulcer drug. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has a label for the drug that specifically speaks about the dangers of administering Misoprostol during labor or pregnancy. The FDA clearly states that use of the drug in an off-label manner during or after labor is not an approved use of the drug.

Sadly, many doctors continue to inappropriately use this drug to help soften the cervix or even after delivery to reduce bleeding. In some cases, women suffer uterine ruptures after receiving Misoprostol during labor. Uterine rupture can lead to severe bleeding, an emergency uterine removal, ending fertility or even death of the mother, the baby or both.

Injuries and complications associated with large babies

Expecting parents in Annapolis likely only have one wish during their pregnancies: that their babies grow to a healthy size. However, having a baby that has progressed to too large of a size could actually increase the risk of both mothers and babies experiencing injuries during the delivery process. As has been detailed earlier on this blog, babies whose weight places them above the 90th percentile for newborns of their same gestational age meet the classification of fetal macrosomia. According to information shared by the Mayo clinic, this condition occurs in roughly of all pregnancies worldwide.

Delivering a large baby can pose certain unique risks to a mother. These include:

  • Uterine rupture: Those who carry a large baby after having previously had a C-section are at an increased risk if having their uterus tear long their scar lines.
  • Genital tract lacerations: Pushing a baby that is large for his or her gestational age through the birth canal can results in increased tissue and muscle tears, which can lead to infection and/or future urinary retention problems.
  • Post-delivery bleeding: The straining and tearing that often occurs when delivering LGA babies can result in increased bleeding following delivery.

Office Location

Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 2990
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland: 410-793-4554
Toll Free: 866-517-4037
Baltimore/Annapolis: 410-269-5011
DC: 202-628-2226
Fax: 410-269-5022

Annapolis Medical Malpractice Office

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