Birth Injury FAQ

Common Questions about Birth Related Injuries

Birth Injuries: Frequently Asked Questions

If your newborn has certain signs or symptoms that don’t feel “right” to you, and your doctors are avoiding your questions or not giving adequate answers, it’s possible your baby is a victim of negligence or incompetence by medical personnel during the birth procedure. While not always, sometimes even prolonged labor can be an indication that there was improper care during labor or delivery. If you suspect this, becoming better informed as soon as possible about negligence at birth can be the best move you can make. Lawyers at our firm are here to help parents with questions about birth injuries.

Some of the most common questions people have are:

Q: Can a lack of oxygen during labor lead to cerebral palsy in my child?

Since one known cause of cerebral palsy is trauma to the brain caused by lack of oxygen or poor blood flow, it is wise to question whether a birth injury is to blame in some instances. During a normal labor, the unborn baby receives oxygen from the mother’s own circulation, by way of the placenta. But several conditions can occur to disrupt this natural flow of oxygen. Too many contractions may occur, or the mother may not be encouraged to adequately rest in between contractions. The drug Pitocin, while often administered in labor, may be given in too large a quantity. The company that manufactures Pitocin even warns that improper dosage of the drug can lead to lack of oxygen and brain damage to the unborn child. But doctors and nurses continue to administer it, sometimes without carefully monitoring during labor, and a tragic lack of oxygen can occur.

Q: What does a diagnosis of cerebral palsy mean for the parents or child?

Cerebral palsy affects parts of the brain that control the muscles, resulting in poor coordination and motor skills. Each case and its severity differs, but cerebral palsy can have a lifelong effect on a child, as well as bringing on exorbitant medical costs for care.

Q: I feel something is wrong with my baby, but the doctors say they can’t explain it. What signs can I look for to see if a birth injury might be the cause?

Each case must be treated individually, but babies with a severe birth injury caused by lack of oxygen or poor blood flow usually exhibit signs of  “neonatal neurologic syndrome” due to trauma during labor or delivery, or as a result of asphyxiation (lack of oxygen). This syndrome can lead to seizures, apnea, stupor or irritability, among other symptoms.

The birth injury isn’t necessarily a visible one. It can be silently causing bleeding in the brain, swelling or edema (fluid accumulation) of the brain. If doctors suspect this, tests such as a CT scan, an MRI or an ultrasound would detect these conditions. Our attorney Josh Tolin is experienced in searching medical records to see if these tests were performed, what the results might show, and if medical malpractice or negligence played a role in a devastating birth injury to your child.

Q: How do I know whether to file a birth injury lawsuit?

Determining whether you have a legitimate case for a lawsuit requires expert legal advice. Your child’s medical records should be carefully examined for signs of medical errors. Our highly experienced attorneys at Connon & Tolin know the importance of filing a suit based on a careful investigation, and of course we only go forward in cases where suspected harm has been done – we are not looking to sue an innocent doctor or hospital. If we determine your case is justified, we will help you seek the justice you and your child deserve.

As to why a lawsuit may make the difference in your life: even if your child qualifies for government programs for special needs children, these programs won’t provide the 24-hour care that most birth injury patients will need their entire life, and being able to afford the cost for providing care for their child is a major fear for many parents. They also worry about what would happen to their child if they were not around to care for them.

The attorneys at Connon & Tolin have represented some of the most severe birth injury cases nationwide. Taking on mega-insurance companies that represent doctors and hospitals can be intimidating to non-professionals, but our team has the experience and resources to fight.

To determine whether your child may be suffering from a birth injury caused by medical negligence, contact our office as soon as possible for a FREE consultation.