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Having a child should be a joyous time in anyone’s life. You want your child to have a great start in life. But when a misdiagnosis or failure in duty of care causes a lifelong injury, your joy quickly changes to anger, frustration, and fear for your child’s future.
With a combined experience of more than 40 years, the Pennsylvania birth injury lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli have been fighting for those injured by medical malpractice across Philadelphia and Northeastern Pennsylvania. We understand the pain and frustration your family is facing at this time. And that’s why our attorneys will not rest until you and your family are compensated for these medical errors.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
It’s the duty of healthcare professionals to make sure you get the best treatment for you and your little one. And when those professionals are negligent in their duty, an injury can occur that can change your child’s future in an instant.
Birth injuries occur more often than you would imagine. Of every 1,000 infants that are born in the United States each year, between six and eight of them are born with an injury.
Some of the more common causes that result in a birth injury include:
- Failure to Monitor Fetal Distress – A lot can happen during labor. it’s important that both the mother and the child’s vitals are monitored in case an emergency occurs. If vitals are not closely monitored, issues can occur during and after birth.
- Lack of or Restricted Air Flow – When a flow of oxygen to the child is restricted for an extended time, it can severe brain damage or possible death.
- Failure to Order an Emergency Cesarean in a Timely Fashion – If the child is in danger, an emergency cesarean may be the only option to save the child. But if the order is delayed, it could have an impact on the child’s health.
- Prolonged or Delayed Labor – The birthing process can be a lengthy and painful experience. However, a prolonged labor could endanger not only the child’s life but the mother’s as well. Complications can occur.
- Placental abruption – There can be times when the placenta separates from the uterus, causing a deprivation of oxygen to the infant. If it’s diagnosed early enough, it can be treated properly. But if it’s undiagnosed, it can lead to several complications including brain damage, seizures and even death of the infant.
- Communication Breakdown – This type of negligence occurs in many medical malpractice cases. When healthcare professionals do not properly communicate with each other, it could result in a delay in action or a misdiagnosis. Conditions could go untreated and lead to severe complications.
When a Birth Injury Becomes Malpractice
The sad truth is many birth injuries are preventable. Because of the carelessness of a healthcare professional, your child may have a long-term or permanent injury that will require ongoing medical treatment.
Before pursuing a case, it’s important to recognize when an injury was caused by medical malpractice. Some of the most common types are:
- Cerebral palsy – This is a congenital disorder that can affect a child’s movement and muscle coordination. The cause is abnormal brain development and usually occurs before birth.
- Erb's palsy - Also known as Brachial Plexus Palsy, this disorder is caused when the nerves around your shoulder have been damaged, causing loss of movement or weakness in the arm. Severe trauma is the cause of this condition.
- Brain damage, including swelling or hemorrhaging – Brain trauma can occur during the delivery process caused by decreases in oxygen and blood flow to the baby’s brain. Although it’s rare, the cause is usually negligence.
- Umbilical cord compressions – When the umbilical cord is compressed, it can obstruct the flow of blood to the infant, causing hypoxia. It can occur in approximately one in 10 deliveries.
- Spinal cord injuries – If the delivery is particularly difficult, the baby’s spinal cord can easily be put at risk. The physician could apply too much force while delivering the child, causing an injury that may lead to paralysis.
- Skull fractures or other bone damage - This is an extremely common injury, occurring after a rough childbirth. It is a signal that something happened that could have been prevented during delivery.
- Nerve damage, particularly the facial nerve - Also known as Bells' palsy, nerve damage can occur by pressure on the infant's face during the passage through the birth canal. It can also be caused by the use of forceps by the physician during delivery.
How Our Pennsylvania Birth Injury Lawyers Can Help
For almost 20 years, the Pennsylvania birth injury lawyers at Fellerman & Ciarimboli have been dedicated to helping those injured by the carelessness of medical professionals. With more than $110 million in settlements and verdicts for personal injury victims, we are ready to be your voice inside and outside the courtroom. We’ll make sure those who caused your child’s pain are held accountable.
Once we are hired, our attorneys will get right to work by reviewing the medical records to determine what went wrong before, during, and after birth. We’ll consult medical experts to see if negligence was involved in your child’s case. Once we make a determination of your case, Fellerman & Ciarimboli will fight on your family’s behalf until a proper settlement or victory is secured.
Don’t Wait. Contact Fellerman & Ciarimboli Now
As with any injury claim, time is of the essence. In Pennsylvania, you have until your child’s 20th birthday to file a claim; however, the longer you wait to file a claim, the harder it will be to prove your case.
At Fellerman & Ciarimboli, we fight for the injured and that includes your children. Our Pennsylvania birth injury lawyers will work nonstop to make sure you receive compensation for your child’s injuries so you can continue with your lives.
If you believe your child was injured by the negligence of a healthcare professional, now is the time for action. Contact our personal injury lawyers now to schedule a free consultation.