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Why are birth injuries still happening in the United States, with rates especially high in the black and Hispanic communities? Birth injuries can be devastating to mother and child alike, causing physical and emotional trauma that can last a lifetime.
If something has gone wrong in the delivery room, how do you know if malpractice occurred? What should you do next?
We spoke to Lyle Griffin Warshauer, a birth injury attorney based in Atlanta, Georgia, to learn more. She explained that a lawyer can provide valuable guidance in the aftermath of a traumatic birth.
If you’re looking for answers after something went wrong during the birth of a child, contact her now by calling 888-981-5602 or by submitting a contact form on this page.
We have malpractice in a variety of contexts, but we’re seeing a lot of maternal problems relating to maternal and delivery processes. Part of the issue is that mothers might have other health crises that are only made worse during the childbirth process. We’re also seeing problems in community hospital settings and urban hospital settings where for some reason, medical staff is not paying proper attention to the problems their patients are experiencing.
Prenatal care is essential for healthy deliveries, and if the hospital fails to pick up on problems in the prenatal period, problems can occur with both Mom and baby prior to the labor period. Hospitals must make sure that they are fully monitoring both the mom’s and the baby’s health conditions in the months leading up to the delivery to best prevent birth injuries.
Warshauer represented a family who lost a child as a result of complications in the labor process. The delivery took place in a community hospital. She had had a cesarean section for her first child, and for women who’ve previously had a cesarean section, there is a risk that the scar could rupture during birth. This happened in this case, and since it happened at a small community hospital, they were not properly equipped to handle the situation. They didn’t have the right equipment, there was no anesthesiologist, so they could not perform the cesarean. By the time the baby was born, it had died. This was a preventable tragedy.
There was lengthy litigation that resulted from this incident that was resolved favorably for the family.
There are some occasions where the hospital is upfront about the fact that it made an error and will make an attempt to set things right, but that is extremely rare. An attorney will need to launch a lengthy investigation to determine if something went wrong. There are a few signs that indicate that malpractice occurred.
The first sign is an adverse consequence of the labor and delivery process. The baby, the mother, or both must have suffered some kind of harm. Sometimes the baby is not breathing and comes out looking blue, requiring resuscitation. They could be having a seizure after the delivery. The mother could be bleeding profusely or going into a coma. In these cases, it’s usually pretty obvious that something is wrong.
The next question to assess is, why did this happen? This is the point where you have a lawyer get involved to find out what happened, and why.
In short: the sooner, the better. The most important thing is to make sure that everyone who needs medical care receives it. After that, you can start looking into hiring a lawyer.
Time is of the essence, however. A lawyer needs to start investigating before the health records are changed and the memories of what happened are still fresh. An attorney can help the family gather all the information necessary to bring about a case. Sometimes issues come up after the delivery for the mother, which can affect the development of the case.
If you’re not sure about what to do, an attorney can help provide a knowledgeable and impartial viewpoint about what your best options are moving forward. In cases like this, lawyers can serve as counselors. They can be a great help to a family that’s suffered a tragedy to both understand what happened and the best way to remedy that situation. They can also help people understand why bad things happened. Sometimes there isn’t a “bad actor” or negligence involved. It can be helpful to know that it isn’t someone’s fault. If it is and someone failed to provide a standard of care, then there are means of redress and lawyers can help guide families through that process.
Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.
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