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Trauma During Delivery

California Birth Injury Attorneys Handling Delivery Trauma Claims

Experienced Los Angeles catastrophic medical malpractice injury lawyers protecting mothers harmed by negligence

Heimberg Barr LLP is a highly recognized medical malpractice and catastrophic injury firm in Los Angeles. The attorneys are a leading voice in advocating for the rights of patients who have sustained life-altering injuries as a result of medical negligence. Data shows that U.S. women are being injured at unprecedented rates during delivery and birth, and that the country’s maternal death rate is rising. If you or your loved one sustained a catastrophic injury during the labor and delivery process, contact the firm today.

Medical negligence can lead to catastrophic injuries

Delivering a baby can be traumatic, even under the best of circumstances. An act of medical negligence can increase the trauma and the risk, leading to catastrophic, life-altering injuries to the mother and the baby. Some of the most serious complications and conditions include:

  • Uterine rupture. If the uterus tears during delivery, the baby must be delivered immediately to avoid any long-term injury. The mother is also at risk of hemorrhage, which can be fatal to mom and cause severe oxygen deprivation and brain injury in the baby. It is often the result of a misuse of uterine stimulants or a delay in diagnosing a severe disproportion between the size of the baby (too big) and the birth canal (called cephalopelvic disproportion or CPD).
  • Umbilical cord injury. The umbilical cord is the lifeline between a mother and her child. If the cord is damaged, or if there is a complication, and if the condition is not immediately addressed, it will lead to oxygen deprivation which can cause permanent brain damage.
  • Vasa previa. A potentially life-threatening condition where “fetal blood vessel(s) from the placenta or umbilical cord cross the entrance to the birth canal, beneath the baby. Vasa previa can result in rapid fetal hemorrhage (occurs from the vessels tearing when the cervix dilates or membranes rupture) or lack of oxygen (if the vessels become pinched off as they are compressed between the baby and the walls of the birth canal).” Though rare, vasa previa has an estimated 95% fatality rate when it is not diagnosed and addressed in a timely manner.
  • Placenta previa. Placenta previa occurs when a baby’s placenta partially or totally covers the mother’s cervix, the outlet for the uterus. If not properly diagnosed and monitored, placental previa can lead to serious complications including life-threatening vaginal bleeding (hemorrhage) can occur during labor, delivery and immediately after delivery.
  • Placental abruption. An uncommon but serious complication, placental abruption occurs when the placenta partially or completely separates from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery. If not properly treated, it can lead to severe blood loss to the mother and premature birth, oxygen deprivation to the baby causing brain injury or even stillbirth.
  • Macrosomia. Refers to a condition where the baby is significantly larger than average. The condition often occurs due to maternal condition such as diabetes or due to genetic factors. When the baby is too large to be delivered vaginally, doctors should immediately prepare for a C-section. If they do not, or if they force labor through the use of drugs like Pitocin, the mother can suffer a pelvic fracture or a uterine rupture. Left undiagnosed, these fractures can complicate future pregnancies, or cause long-term damage to the mother, including incontinence.
  • Shoulder dystocia. When the baby’s shoulders get stuck inside the mother’s pelvis during labor, doctors must intervene quickly to move the shoulders through the canal. Long-term complications of shoulder dystocia, while rare, can include injuries to the mother and to the baby including oxygen deprivation which can cause brain damage.
  • Brachial plexus / Erb’s palsy. This refers to paralysis of one of the infant’s arms as a result of trauma to the armpit in trying incorrectly to move a baby where there is CPD. The baby is usually oversize, often as a result of undiagnosed or poorly monitored gestational diabetes. It is often associated with baby oxygen deprivation and brain injury because of the prolonged delivery.
  • Forceps and vacuum extraction. Forceps and vacuum extractors are useful tools during delivery, but only when they are handled correctly. If an OB/GYN, nurse, doula, or midwife is negligent, the baby can sustain serious, life-long injuries. Among the most catastrophic injuries to both child and mother is uterine rupture which could cause the mother to hemorrhage, can lead to oxygen deprivation leading to brain damage to the baby, and may even lead be fatal for the mom and baby.

Is it negligence?

Not all mistakes will rise to the level of medical malpractice, and not all negative outcomes are the result of acts of negligence. Mistakes can and do happen, and sometimes, even the best efforts by medical professionals will not be enough to protect a mother and child.

In order to be successful in a birth injury claim, you must be able to prove that the injuries you sustained were the result of an act of negligence by a medical professional who owed you a duty of care. You must also prove that you have suffered damages as a result. Heimberg Barr LLP is uniquely qualified to analyze these connections, and to present your case for damages.

How a Los Angeles catastrophic injury lawyer from Heimberg Barr LLP can help

For women and babies who sustain life-altering injuries due to delivery-related trauma, recovery time can increase exponentially – if they are able to fully recover, at all.

At Heimberg Barr LLP, your injuries are fully assessed by experienced trial attorneys who have dedicated their lives to protecting victims of medical malpractice. Led by partners Dr. Steven Heimberg and Marsha Barr-Fernandez, the firm handles complex injury and negligence cases that leave clients unable to support themselves, and burdens them with crippling financial expenses.

The attorneys can decipher complex medical records and analyze the full extent of your injuries, enabling them to assess the damages you are entitled to receive. When insurance companies deny or equivocate on offering a just settlement, they are able to build a case that a jury can easily understand, and to refute any assessments given by the experts hired by opposing counsel. This in-depth knowledge of both medicine and the law has led to multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements on behalf of clients throughout California.

Los Angeles catastrophic injury lawyers fighting for families

Living with a permanent, life-altering injury is hard. Choosing the right California medical malpractice lawyer for your needs should not be. Heimberg Barr LLP stands ready to answer your call when you or your loved one has suffered catastrophic injuries caused by medical negligence. Call the firm at (213) 213-1500, or fill out this contact form, to schedule a free consultation.

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