THE IDAHO BIRTH
INJURY LAWYERS

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SOME PREVENTABLE CAUSES OF BIRTH INJURY

Oxygen Deprivation

Oxygen deprivation is caused by failure to monitor labor and delivery. Nurses and obstetricians should be monitoring fetal monitors and should be able to interpret the tracings to ensure the baby has enough oxygen.

Pre-eclampsia

Pre-eclampsia is diagnosed after 20 weeks of pregnancy when high blood pressure is accompanied by other characterizing symptoms, including proteinuria. In pre-eclampsia cases, high blood pressure slows the rate of oxygen and nutrients that reach the baby. Gradually, the baby becomes starved and its growth can be affected. This can result in an early or premature birth.

Pre-eclampsia should be treated before or during labor and delivery. If the condition is left untreated, the mother may have seizures during delivery.

Gestational Diabetes

Gestational diabetes develops during pregnancy. If the condition is not properly controlled, the baby will end up producing too much insulin, which puts the baby at risk for a number of serious conditions and injuries.

For example, the baby could grow excessively large. In this case, a doctor may recommend an early birth. Unfortunately, babies born pre-term have a greater risk of respiratory distress syndrome. Also, babies that weigh 9 or more pounds have an increased risk of birth injury since they are more likely to get stuck in the birth canal.

Cephalopelvic Disproportion

Cephalopelvic disproportion is when the baby’s head is too big to fit through the mother’s pelvis. This is a condition that should be diagnosed and treated before or during labor and delivery.

Not Following Procedure

Some birth complications may be missed by failing to do procedures such as blood tests, brain-cooling treatments, and ultrasounds.

Negligence

Not informing the mother of the benefits and risks of certain procedures may also be considered negligent care. For example, if Pitocin is used to induce labor and the mother isn’t warned of the potential side effects if the drug is not administered properly, this could be a form of negligence, especially if it causes complications during birth.

Delayed Treatment

Delaying treatments such as a necessary C-section may also cause birth complications and injuries.

Incorrect Treatment

Providing incorrect treatment for a procedure and the improper use of delivery tools may also cause birth injuries.

* While these are not the only causes of birth injury, they are very common and often result in serious injury.

COMMON BIRTH INJURIES

01

Brain Damage & CP

Brain damage is usually caused by hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). HIE is the most common form of birth asphyxia and is due to the baby’s brain not getting enough blood flow or oxygen close to or at the time of birth. If oxygen is lacking, brain cells may die, resulting in brain damage. Brain damage causes physical and mental disabilities.

Cerebral palsy is often referred to as CP. CP is actually a class of disorders that affect the nervous system and the brain functions. Thinking, hearing, movement, seeing, and learning are activities that may be impaired.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

This is also known as Erb’s palsy. Injury to the group of main nerves in the upper arm causes the arm to be weak or paralyzed. Generally, this is caused by a difficult birth where the baby’s shoulders have trouble going past the mother’s pubic bone.

02

Seizures

Seizures are usually caused by oxygen deprivation, nerve damage, problems with brain chemistry, or high fever. Generally, you’ll see seizures in children who were injured during birth. The seizures usually appear just after birth.

03

04

Intracranial Hemorrhages

Otherwise known as brain bleeds, intracranial hemorrhages happen due to a medical error or mismanaged labor and delivery.

DAMAGES YOU MAY BE ENTITLED TO

01

Medical Expenses and/or Rehabilitation

You may be entitled to reimbursement of medical expenses for the labor and delivery, plus current and future medical expenses for treatment related to the birth injury.

You may also be reimbursed for rehabilitation, counseling, therapy, and special medical equipment costs.

Suffering

You may receive a measure of comfort when compensated for emotional distress, pain, and suffering.

02

Lost Wages

You could recover wages lost due to being unable to work, since you have to care for the disabled child.

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04

Life Care

Birth injury lawsuits may also be able to provide you with a life-care plan. This plan covers lost wages, medical expenses, adaptive equipment, in-home care, or even the costs of an institution.

HOW TO PROVE A BIRTH INJURY LAWSUIT

01

Get treatment ASAP.

Make sure your child is being treated for his or her brain injury complications. Don’t wait for a settlement to get treatment or the baby’s condition could worsen.

Hold on to all medical records.

Keep all information regarding doctors appointments and other medical needs, including copies of hospital bills.

02

Give proof of responsibility.

To have a valid medical malpractice lawsuit, you must show that the doctor or hospital was responsible for your baby’s care at the time the birth injury happened.

03

04

Provide evidence of a breach.

You must have evidence that the hospital staff, doctors, or other medical staff who caused the birth injury were not being responsible while you and your baby were under their care. You must also be able to prove that those responsible breached their duty of care.

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STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS

According to Idaho law, you must file a lawsuit within two years of your child’s injury. However, there are some special cases.

 

A one-year countdown starts when you discover (1) a foreign object left inside your child’s body or (2) the concealment of malpractice. These exceptions only apply if you did not already have reason to suspect malpractice.