When you give birth, you expect the experience to be one of the most memorable and life-changing moments you’ll ever have. You painstakingly choose an OB-GYN, a birthing hospital, and a birth plan. While many child births are successful and happy experiences, an increasing number are fraught with physician, nurse, pharmacist, and hospital errors that cause permanent and severe injury or even death to the mother and the child.
At Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP, we have dedicated our careers for the past fifty years to helping families that suffered traumatic injuries during child birth at the hands of negligent medical professionals. Our team of skilled and accomplished New York City birth injury attorneys provides zealous and compassionate medical malpractice legal assistance to mothers and children injured by careless physicians and nurses. We have helped countless families hold hospitals responsible for their negligence, earning our law firm a spot in the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. To speak with a New York City personal injury attorney about your case, call us now at (212) 986-7353.
Anoxia is the absence of oxygen in the brain, which can lead to developmental disabilities and even death. Anoxia can be caused by either restricting the airflow of the infant or by restricting the flow of oxygen-enriched blood to the brain. Anoxia, as well as hypoxia (reduced oxygen to the brain), occurs when the umbilical cord is wrapped around the infant’s neck or the infant’s airways are blocked. It is imperative that medical professionals vigilantly monitor the supply of oxygen to the brain during childbirth.
Care During Pregnancy
Comprehensive prenatal care is essential for a healthy baby, a healthy mother, and an easy and successful pregnancy. The level of care provided during pregnancy has a great impact on the success of the delivery and overall health of the newborn. While many mothers eat healthy, take prenatal vitamins, and take other steps to care for themselves during pregnancy, OB-GYN physicians play a key role in dictating and providing for proper pre-natal care. Failure to provide proper advice (or providing incorrect advice), prescribing the wrong medication, and more can lead to medical malpractice.
Delayed Cesarean Section
Natural child birth involves a birth canal delivery. However, often times, complications arise. For instance, the baby may become rotated during delivery. In order to ensure the health of the baby, it is necessary for doctors and nurses to constantly monitor the welfare of the baby during the delivery and proceed to a cesarean section delivery if complications arise. If a hospital either orders a cesarean section too late or fails to perform one when it is medically necessary, the hospital and medical professionals may be liable for negligence.
Forceps or Vacuum Extraction
During delivery, sometimes complications arise where the mother is unable to give birth without assistance. If a baby’s shoulders become rotated, causing difficulty with birth through the birth canal, the doctor may use forceps to rotate the baby back into alignment or to pull the baby’s arm out of the birth canal. The doctor may also resort to other methods, such as vacuum extraction. These methods are commonly associated with permanent and serious birth injuries, such as Erb’s Palsy in which the child suffers life-long shoulder issues. Injuries caused by the use of forceps or vacuum extraction may be compensable under medical malpractice law.
When an infant first enters the world, they are no longer protected by thir mother’s immune system, leaving them fragile and susceptible to illness and infection. Though hospitals claim to be sterile environments, a growing number of infants, especially preterm babies, have begun contracting dangerous and even deadly infections that cause serious injuries and may lead to months spent in intensive care. A hospital may be liable for any infections or illnesses contracted by the newborn or mother.
For babies that are larger than normal, such as due to a late-term childbirth, doctors must take extra caution to ensure the health and safety of both the mother and child. This includes evaluating whether a cesarean section delivery is safer than via birth canal, monitoring the oxygen flow of the baby, and more. The medical team must anticipate and prepare for difficulties, as well as respond quickly when issues arise.
While most mothers experience several hours of labor, prolonged labor may be the sign of more serious issues with the child. In addition, a longer labor may result in injuries to the child or mother, such as anoxia or pain and suffering. The medical team is responsible for monitoring and aiding the pair and may be liable for any negligence.
A premature baby is an infant born before 37 weeks of gestation. Newborn babies are underdeveloped, causing breathing and immune system issues. They must be constantly monitored and cared for by the hospital in order to ensure their wellbeing.
Quality of Care at Birth
Hospitals are responsible for providing the right medical personnel, equipment, medication, and sterile environment to bring healthy babies into the world. When the hospital fails to provide quality child birth care, such as through malfunctioning equipment, the mother or child may face injury and may have a claim for medical malpractice.
When using forceps, vacuum extraction, or any other means of force during delivery, a doctor may injure the infant by putting pressure on the infant’s arm. This may result in shoulder dystocia, a severe and debilitating shoulder injury caused by rough manipulation of the infant’s underdeveloped joint. The parents of the infant may have a claim against the physician for malpractice.
Umbilical Cord Entrapment
During child birth, the umbilical cord may become tangled or wrapped around the baby’s neck or chest. Anoxia may occur, and doctors and nurses must closely monitor the child for signs of umbilical cord issues. If the baby is deprived of oxygen, he may suffer irreversible brain injuries, resulting in an intellectual or developmental disability, or even death. If a physician fails to act in time, the family may have a claim for negligence.
If you or your loved one was injured by a medical professional’s negligence during child birth, you may have a cognizable claim for medical malpractice. The New York birth injury attorneys at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP can assist you with reviewing your case and exploring your legal options. To schedule a free consultation, contact us at (212) 986-7353.
WRSH Partner Philip Russotti obtained a $10 Million mediation settlement for failure to timely perform a Cesarean Section. The case was venued in Orange County, NY.
WRSH Partner, Phil Russotti, obtained a $6 million settlement for our client whose child suffered severe brain damage during birth.
We claimed that the baby should have been delivered by emergency C-Section or forceps delivery. He was ultimately diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spastic quadriparesis.
Partner Philip Russotti argued that as a result of this negligence, the child suffered hypoxia which resulted in mild retardation, severe ADHD and social isolation as well as difficulties with fine motor skills.
WRSH obtained a $1,300,000 jury verdict, after a three week medical malpractice trial in Staten Island, on behalf of a 6-year-old girl who suffered a brachial plexus injury known as Erb's palsy.
We claimed that the hospital was negligent for not intervening and performing a cesarean section in light of the mother's failure to adequately progress in labor.