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Birth Injuries And Medical Negligence

A birth injury is a devastating turn of events for a family that was planning for a joyous arrival. While some birth injuries are unavoidable, many are the result of negligence on the part of obstetricians and other caregivers. When medical malpractice causes an injury to an infant or mother, victims have the right to pursue compensation for their losses.

I am Brian Burchett, an attorney with more than 30 years of experience handling medical negligence cases involving birth injuries and other medical mistakes. I understand the tremendous emotional and financial burdens that accompany a birth injury and am here to help.

When Medical Negligence Leads To A Birth Injury

To ensure a safe delivery, mother and child must be carefully monitored prior to, during and after childbirth. Failure to do so can result in devastating consequences, including cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalitis (“HIE”), life-altering injuries and even wrongful death.

Obstetricians, nurses and other delivery room personnel are trained to identify risk factors of birth injuries and to follow established protocols when warning signs appear. When they fail to take appropriate action, the results can be tragic.

I have extensive experience handling birth injury claims and know how to uncover evidence of negligence during pregnancy, labor, birth and neonatal care. I am committed to helping families obtain compensation for the many hardships they face today and throughout the life of a child affected by birth injury.

My law firm handles any of the following types of cases:

  • Delivery room errors
  • Premature deliveries
  • C-section mistakes
  • Death of a baby
  • Childhood medical malpractice injuries
  • Death of a mother
  • Group B strep
  • Brachial plexus injury from the baby’s head being bent or twisted during delivery
  • Cerebral palsy
  • HIE
  • HELLP syndrome
  • Preeclampsia
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Pitocin

Often, during a difficult birth where there may have been an injury, your child may have ended up in neonatal intensive care.

Issues With NICU Care

The neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) is charged with providing care to ill or premature newborns. Such infants are fragile and vulnerable to infections, disease and other problems and must be carefully monitored around the clock. Negligence on the part of NICU staff members can result in severe medical conditions and even wrongful death or medical negligence in the NICU.

There are many reasons for admitting a newborn to NICU care, including birth asphyxia, a lack of oxygen to the brain that can result in seizures, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) and cerebral palsy. Some newborns require neonatal treatment for breathing problems, developmental delays and infections.

Common Causes Of NICU Injuries Include:

  • Failure to treat infections
  • Ventilation errors
  • Medication errors
  • Feeding tube errors
  • Failure to treat seizures

As an experienced medical malpractice attorney, I know how to thoroughly investigate NICU injuries. I work tenaciously to identify the causes of infant injuries and deaths and to identify liable parties.

NICU Injuries And Cerebral Palsy

One of the most concerning links is between cerebral palsy and injuries from the NICU. The link is serious and it’s likely to lead to many questions if your child was in the NICU and now suffers from this lifelong disease. Below are a few questions my clients frequently ask me about such matters:

What is cerebral palsy?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cerebral palsy is a disorder that impacts a person’s body originating in the brain. Most often it affects how they move, maintain balance and stand. There is an extremely wide spectrum of effects that a person with cerebral palsy may suffer, ranging from minor ticks or tremors not needing any treatment, to significant, lifelong struggles with seizures, vision and hearing loss, intellectual disability, and loss of muscle control or paralysis.

With significant outcomes like this, it is a very concerning diagnosis for parents to receive for their children. There is no way to know, at least in the early stages, what the prognosis for your child may be, and that can be hard.

What causes cerebral palsy?

Once more, according to the CDC, there are two main ways cerebral palsy occurs. They are:

  • Developmental causes: Occasionally, the way a baby develops in the womb can lead to damage to the brain. This damage can impact the brain significantly, which leads to CP.
  • Traumatic causes: During the course of childbirth, or within the first few weeks, a baby may receive a brain injury that can lead to CP.

Originally, many thought that a lack of oxygen at a critical part of birth was the major cause of CP, but that has become less clear. The exact cause of a child’s CP may never fully be known. What is known is that a child with CP has a lifetime of difficulties ahead and possibly treatment that can become extremely expensive.

How do I know if I have a case?

There is no hard answer for when a particular injury may be a case for litigation. The fact is since the cause of CP can be unclear and the delivery mistakes that caused it unrecognized even those involved, almost any case of CP can be a case for litigation. The best way to tell if your child’s injury is something you should pursue in court is to speak with an attorney.

For example, if you came to me, I would review your case and the medical history involved. I’d be able to look at all of the legal factors in the case and offer you an idea of what is possible.

Contact The Burchett Law Firm For Experienced Legal Guidance

Has your family suffered as a result of a birth injury in California? Contact my office today online or by telephone at 619-450-2436 to discuss your birth injury claim with an experienced medical negligence lawyer in San Diego.

Suggested Reading

Preventing and treating common birth injuries

What are the most common birth injuries?

5 birth conditions to prompt medical action

Misdiagnosis may result in birth injuries