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Atlanta Birth Injury Attorneys
Georgia Birth Injury Claims
Having a child can be an exciting and frightening experience all at once. Mothers-to-be often depend on doctors, nurses, and other hospital staff to make sure that the childbirth process goes as smoothly and safely as possible, with both mother and baby healthy and happy afterward. However, people who work in a hospital are only human and can make mistakes like everyone else. Sadly, these mistakes can result in devastating injuries for the mother, baby, or both. Many injuries that occur during childbirth may cause long-lasting effects and may sometimes even be fatal.
If you or your child has suffered an injury during childbirth, you should always contact an experienced Atlanta birth injury lawyer to see how you can recover.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries in GA
Birth injuries can result from a variety of factors, including medical negligence, complications during labor and delivery, and pre-existing medical conditions.
Common causes of birth injuries in Atlanta may include:
- Medical Negligence: Errors and mistakes made by healthcare providers, such as doctors, nurses, and midwives, can lead to birth injuries. This may include misdiagnosis, delayed treatment, failure to monitor the baby's vital signs, and improper use of medical equipment.
- Prolonged Labor: If labor lasts too long, it can put stress on the baby and lead to birth injuries. Medical interventions, such as vacuum extraction or forceps delivery, may be necessary to expedite the delivery process safely.
- Failure to Monitor Fetal Distress: Healthcare providers must continuously monitor the baby's heart rate and other vital signs during labor. Failure to detect signs of fetal distress can result in oxygen deprivation, leading to brain injuries like cerebral palsy.
- Shoulder Dystocia: This occurs when the baby's head passes through the birth canal but the shoulders become stuck behind the mother's pelvic bone. It can cause brachial plexus injuries, which affect the baby's arm and hand movements.
- Use of Medications: Medications such as Pitocin (used to induce labor) or epidurals (used for pain relief) can sometimes have adverse effects on both the mother and the baby.
- Breech Births: When a baby is in the breech position (feet or buttocks first), it can increase the risk of birth injuries. In such cases, a healthcare provider may need to perform a cesarean section (C-section) to reduce these risks.
- Infections: Maternal infections, if not properly managed during pregnancy, can lead to birth complications and injuries in the baby.
- Pre-existing Medical Conditions: If the mother has certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, they can increase the risk of birth injuries. Proper management and monitoring are essential in such cases.
- Multiple Births: Twins, triplets, or other multiple births can be more complex and carry a higher risk of complications and injuries to both the mother and the babies.
- Fetal Abnormalities: Some birth injuries may result from congenital abnormalities or genetic conditions in the baby, which may not be preventable.
- Cord Complications: Umbilical cord problems, such as a prolapsed cord or nuchal cord (cord wrapped around the baby's neck), can disrupt the baby's oxygen supply and lead to injuries.
- Anesthesia Errors: Errors in administering anesthesia during a C-section or episiotomy can lead to complications and injuries.
Not all birth injuries are the result of medical negligence, and many healthcare providers in Atlanta work diligently to ensure safe deliveries. However, when negligence does occur and leads to a birth injury, legal action may be taken to seek compensation for medical expenses, long-term care, and other related costs. If you suspect that your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, it is essential to consult with a qualified Atlanta birth injury attorney to explore your legal options.
Common Birth Injuries in Georgia
Some serious injuries result from the following common mistakes made by doctors, nurses, and medical staff during childbirth:
- Umbilical Cord and Positioning Issues: Failure to identify problems related to the baby's umbilical cord or positioning within the birth canal can lead to serious birth injuries.
- Inadequate Monitoring of Oxygen and Heart Rate: Inadequate monitoring of the baby's oxygen intake and heart rate throughout the entire delivery process can result in harm to the newborn.
- Medication Errors in the NICU: Insufficient or incorrect administration of medication to premature or medically unstable infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) can have severe consequences.
- Postpartum Monitoring of the Mother: Neglecting to monitor the mother's condition after childbirth, which includes identifying issues such as excessive blood loss or a ruptured placenta, can lead to complications.
- Delay in Emergency Procedures: Failing to promptly respond to complications by performing emergency procedures like a cesarean section or other necessary interventions can result in birth injuries.
- Other Complications: Various other complications, both known and unforeseen, can contribute to birth injuries during the delivery process.
These mistakes could cause serious complications and conditions for both child and mother. For instance, a child who does not receive enough oxygen during birth may suffer from cerebral palsy or other permanent physical or developmental disabilities.
Seeking Damages in a GA Birth Injury Case
In a birth injury case in Georgia, families may seek various types of damages to compensate for the harm caused by the birth injury. These damages aim to address both the immediate and long-term financial, emotional, and physical consequences of the injury.
Damages in a birth injury case in Georgia can include:
- Medical Expenses
- Rehabilitation and Therapy
- Pain and Suffering
- Lost Wages
- Home Modifications
- Special Education and Tutoring
- Assistive Devices
- Punitive Damages
- Loss of Consortium
- Legal Fees and Costs
Georgia Birth Injury Statute of Limitations
According to Ga. Code § 9-3-73, if a young child, who is not yet 5 years old, experiences a medical mistake that causes harm (such as a birth injury), the parents have two years from the child's fifth birthday to start a legal case against the medical provider who made the mistake. This rule only applies if the mistake happened before the child turned 5.
Contact Shane Smith Law for Your Initial Consultation
If your child has experienced a birth injury, you might be eligible to receive compensation for your medical costs and other losses. To find out if you should take legal action, speak with our Atlanta birth injury lawyers at Shane Smith Law!
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