Having a baby is an amazing experience, and one that usually goes without complications. However, sometimes there are umbilical cord problems that lead to birth injury or death. Knowing why these issues occur can help you make decisions about finding a New York lawyer to pursue a birth injury claim.
Umbilical Cord Problems that Lead to Birth Injuries
Umbilical cords complications are not always caused by doctor error. First, it is necessary to understand what the umbilical cord does. The cord contains two arteries and a vein that move blood containing oxygen and nutrition, from the placenta to the fetus, then waste material from the fetus. These arteries and vein are the lifeline from the mother to the baby. Rarely, the umbilical cord has one artery and the one vein, causing fetal and birth problems. Sometimes cords are too short and cause difficulties such as leaving not enough “give” for the fetus to move around and grow.
Furthermore, with a short cord, a moving fetus can tear the placenta. There are many factors that cause short cords, Short cords occur in women who are of average weight or less, women who are pregnant for the first time, a fetus that is female, or a fetus that is small for its age. Women who are overweight, or who use tobacco products or who drink alcohol are more likely to have babies with short cords.
Long cords or cords that fall into the vagina (birth canal) before the descent of the baby during delivery can also cause birth injuries. Health care providers must be aware of whether the falling cord, called umbilical cord prolapse, descends within the birth canal. Usually cesarean section is done. Risks for prolapse occur with premature deliveries, multiple births, and breech deliveries.
Liability and Compensation for Umbilical Cord Related Birth Injuries
Liability for umbilical cord related birth injuries occurs when health care providers are not diligent about routine prenatal care, spotting potential problems with such tools as ultrasound, or not doing Cesarean sections. While nothing is more valuable than a healthy baby, statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) state the annual medical care costs, and therefore potential compensation, for a child with cerebral palsy from birth trauma will typically be $16,721. With cerebral palsy as well as an intellectual disability, it can be as high as $43,338, to nearly $1 million over the child’s lifetime. Compensation for birth injury claims comes from a New York state medical fund. The New York State Medical Indemnity Fund was established to help pay for treatment and care for those suffering from brain and spinal injuries, especially those with birth-related injuries.
The lawyers at Wingate, Russotti, Shapiro & Halperin, LLP are ready to help you and your family after any difficult, injury-causing birth. Please contact us at (212) 986-7353.