Cleveland Birth Injury Attorneys
Holding Negligent Doctors Accountable for Causing Lifelong Harm to Mothers and Children
Doctors and nurses are trained to identify and react to conditions during pregnancy, labor, and delivery that can cause severe injury to the mother, the child, or both. When they miss something important or don’t react quickly enough, the consequences can be catastrophic. Injuries from medical negligence near the time of birth can cause death or a lifetime of disability and heartache. Profound and permanent injuries can also be financially devastating. The Cleveland birth injury attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm have helped families begin the process of healing for nearly forty years. We understand the harm that has been done to your infant and do everything we can to ensure you receive the resources you need for their ongoing care.
What causes a birth injury?
The U.S. is considered a leader in medical science and treatment, but it ranks 37th in the World Health Organization’s health systems ranking. Why do we rank so low? Often, medical professionals make serious errors in judgment that cause injury to their patients. These mistakes occur way to frequently to be dismissed as “flukes.” Mistakes that result in birth injuries include:
- Incorrect monitoring: A baby’s heart rate must be frequently checked during labor. If doctors and nurses neglect to do this or do it improperly, they may not recognize indicators of serious issues.
- Insufficient prenatal care: Doctors and nurses need to ensure prior to birth that both mother and baby are in good health. They must also take care to address any risky conditions. If health conditions such as placental abnormalities and maternal infections are not monitored closely and treated appropriately, the mother and/or child may be injured.
- Poor timing of delivery: If an infant is delivered prematurely, it may develop breathing problems or experience other complications. Issues such as this necessitate a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit, or NICU. If a baby is delivered late, the birth may be far more difficult, and both mother and baby may experience lasting injury.
- Unsafe use of tools during birth: Doctors should avoid using forceps or a vacuum to assist with the delivery of an infant unless absolutely necessary. In many cases, misuse of tools for “assisted delivery” is a key causative factor of the birth injury.
What is considered a birth injury?
Any damage that a newborn suffers near the time of birth constitutes a birth injury. Some of the most common birth injuries are listed here:
- Facial paralysis
- Cerebral palsy
- Perinatal asphyxia (damage to the brain as a result of an oxygen deficiency)
- Bone fractures
- Spinal cord injuries
- Brain injuries
- Intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull)
- Brachial plexus palsy (possible lasting damage to arm muscles)
- Cephalohematoma (hemorrhaging between skull and skin)
- Caput succedaneum (pressure from the cervix that results in fluid accumulation in the skull)
These injuries can have long-lasting effects on a newborn. Cerebral palsy, for instance, often causes permanent, severe damage that requires constant care throughout the child’s life. These injuries are often completely avoidable with proper medical care.
Understanding whether you have a malpractice case for injuries to your child during childbirth in Cleveland
It is nearly impossible for patients and their families to discover that a birth injury is due to a medical mistake. Medical records are written in “doctorese,” and doctors and nurses are trained to avoid using words like “mistake” or “negligence.” Families often are told that “sometimes this just happens” or “this was probably something that happened during the baby’s development.” Sometimes families are reluctant to even ask questions because they are worried that their doctors and nurses will treat them differently in the future.
How do I know if my child’s birth injury was the result of medical negligence?
Parents whose children were injured at birth are often told that there were “complications” during the birth, or that their newborn’s injuries were “unavoidable.” They are almost never told that in fact the injuries were caused by a doctor or nurse who failed to provide care that was consistent with the standard of care. Yet substandard care is frequently the cause of a child’s birth injuries.
Signs that your child suffered a birth injury may be evident immediately after birth. Sometimes, however, signs of injury may not appear for weeks, months, or even years. In Ohio, parents have until their child’s 19th birthday to file a medical negligence claim. However, there are a multitude of strategic reasons that suggest filing a suit earlier, rather than later, is the best approach.
If your child suffered a birth injury, and you believe negligence may have played a role, you should consider filing a claim. However, Ohio has an extremely convoluted system in place when it comes to filing and pursuing claims of birth negligence. Birth negligence attorneys can help you navigate the system by carefully reviewing medical records and other evidence to determine whether a medical professional neglected their responsibilities.
Does my situation qualify for a birth injury claim?
A successful birth injury claim must show that:
- The medical professional was responsible for providing the patient with reasonable care;
- The professional breached their duty (negligence); and
- Due to that negligence, the patient suffered damages.
Our attorneys use a wide range of evidence to prove the above elements. Examples of such evidence include:
- Medical records
- Expert medical professional consultations and reports
- Medical literature (textbooks and scholarly publications)
- Medical guidelines from professional societies
- Internal hospital policies and procedures
- Internal hospital and physician communications (including emails an texts)
- Medical bills
- Autopsy reports and records from the coroner or medical examiner
The attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm have the compassion to discuss with you what happened during labor and delivery, and the expertise to analyze the medical records and get real answers. It simply does not make sense for a family to rely on an explanation given by the very people who may be responsible for the injuries. If a medical mistake caused a birth injury, we can help you find out the truth, and obtain the lifelong financial resources your child needs to maximize his/her potential.
Contact our Cleveland birth injury attorneys today for a free initial consultation to discuss your negligence case
There is little time to waste if you think your child may have been injured due to the negligence of a doctor during pregnancy, labor or delivery. The medical malpractice lawyers at The Eisen Law Firm are on your side, working to bring closure and understanding to what happened to your baby. Call us at 216-687-0900 or contact us online to schedule a free initial consultation and case review. We are proud to represent injured victims in Cleveland, Lorain, Columbus, Toledo, Akron and all across Ohio.