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Can Assisted Delivery Result in Birth Injuries?

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A number of complications may potentially arise in a pregnancy, especially during labor. In many instances, such issues and problems tend to occur when doctors and medical staff fail to properly monitor the mother and child or identify risks in a timely manner that may lead to a difficult labor. When a mother’s labor is prolonged and causes fetal distress or endangers the mother’s well being, doctors might resort to using assistive tools to get the baby out expeditiously. It is important to remember that the use of assistive tools has its own set of risks.

What is Assisted Delivery?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, assisted delivery refers to the use of tools designed to help the mother and baby during a particularly difficult labor and delivery. In such cases, after ensuring that the anesthesia is working, the obstetrician will gently apply forceps or a small amount of suction using a vacuum extractor. As the mother pushes through her contractions, the doctor will gently assist the baby’s head using these tools through the birth canal.

The two instruments that are primarily used are forceps and a vacuum extractor. Forceps are similar to tongs with loops on either side and are used to gently turn or guide the baby’s head and ease the baby through the birth canal. A vacuum extractor uses suction to turn the baby’s head or pull the baby through the birth canal. The amount of suction is controlled and should be kept to a minimum.

Problems with Vacuum Delivery

In a vacuum-assisted delivery, the doctor places a cup on the top and back of the child’s head. During a contraction, the doctor uses the suction to help pull the baby through the birth canal. It is extremely important that vacuum extractors are used properly and effectively.

When they are not used correctly, the child may suffer a number of birth injuries including skull fractures, scalp wounds, bleeding in the skull and an increased risk of shoulder dystocia, a condition that happens when the baby’s shoulders get stuck in the birth canal. In some cases where doctors are negligent or incompetent, babies may suffer head or brain injuries that may lead to conditions such as cerebral palsy, which may leave children with lifelong disabilities. These types of severe head injuries may also prove fatal.

Adverse Effects of Forceps Delivery

Forceps are commonly used during labor and delivery. These are specialized tools that cup the baby’s head and gently move the baby through the birth canal. Forceps are frequently used during difficult or delayed deliveries when the child needs to be delivered as soon as possible to avoid birth injuries. In such cases, it is crucial for doctors to consider the risks of using forceps versus a Cesarean section (C-section). Some of the possible consequences of using forceps include facial injuries, eye trauma, skull fracture, bleeding and seizures. These complications may lead to conditions such as facial paralysis and cerebral palsy.

If Your Child Has Suffered a Birth Injury

Birth injuries often have lifelong consequences not just for the child, but also his or her family members. Conditions like cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy (injury to arm at birth also known as brachial plexus palsy) require a lifetime of medical care, which can cause significant financial challenges for the families. If you can prove that the injuries during birth were caused by negligence or substandard care, then you may be able to recover financial compensation for these, and potentially other, losses.

The family of a child who has suffered a birth injury because of the medical provider’s failure to perform a timely C-section may be able to file a birth injury lawsuit seeking compensation for damages including, but not limited to, medical expenses, lost income and benefits, loss of livelihood, hospital and rehabilitation costs, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.

The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients secured a $2,850,000 verdict in an Erb’s palsy case that was reduced by the appeals court to $1,846,000 because the verdict was so large. This was the highest amount upheld by the appellate courts for many, many years. In addition we recovered $1,400,000 for a newborn who lost motion in the arm during birth due to the doctors applying incorrect force on the baby’s head.

We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation hospitals deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or erb’s palsy stemming from negligence and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children. The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):

• Jacobi Hospital also known as Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131 BIGGEST HOSPITAL IN THE WORLD
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

Please visit us at: www.WORK4YOULAW.com

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