For all their training and technology, there are many ways that the careless actions or poor decisions of medical professionals can harm your baby during childbirth. If your newborn died or suffered serious injury, you have a right to know what happened. If the outcome was foreseeable and preventable, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The experienced and compassionate medical malpractice lawyers at Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP can help. We will investigate if you suspect that the negligence of doctors or nurses harmed your baby. If your case has merit, we have the skill and resources to pursue the monetary compensation you and your baby need for the lifelong difficulties ahead.
Long Island Birth Injury Lawyers
We are available to represent parents in Long Island, Nassau County, Suffolk County and Queens. Medical malpractice attorney, Richard Jaffe has more than 20 years of experience in medical malpractice litigation as an attorney and former paralegal.
Our legal team is sensitive to the emotional trauma you have suffered, and we understand the challenges, stress and hardships of caring for a child with disabilities and special needs. We are also knowledgeable about what causes birth injuries and how to hold doctors and hospitals accountable for failing you and your child.
We have brought successful lawsuits for negligence of OB-GYNs and nurses resulting in:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy and other nerve damage
- Profound brain injury
- Compromised lung function, vision or organs
- Stillbirth or neonatal death
What went Wrong in Labor and Delivery?
Obstetricians and obstetric nurses are trained to keep the baby safe and the mother safe, by anticipating problems and adhering to specific protocols. Birth injuries typically happen when these medical professionals fail to foresee dangers, stray from accepted practices, panic in urgent situations or simply fail to monitor their patients. Below are some of the most common lapses that constitute medical malpractice:
- Failure to diagnose and appropriately respond to fetal distress — Fetal distress is caused by a lack of oxygen getting to your baby in the womb. When your baby fails to get adequate oxygen while in the womb, the baby’s heart rate begins to fluctuate in an abnormal way. Your baby’s abnormal heart rate patterns should be detected on the fetal heart rate monitor. If your baby’s heart rate does not return to normal within a short time, your baby is said to be in fetal distress. Babies in fetal distress need to be delivered as quickly as possible. If not, they can develop brain damage as a result of inadequate oxygen. This brain damage can lead to permanently disabling conditions such as cerebral palsy. One of the leading forms of medical malpractice during childbirth is the failure to detect fetal distress and to deliver a baby who is in fetal distress quickly enough.
- Failure to respond appropriately to maternal bleeding — Vaginal bleeding should not occur during labor and delivery. If vaginal bleeding occurs during labor or delivery it can be a sign that something is wrong with your placenta or uterus, for example, placental abruption or uterine rupture, both of which are medical emergencies. If you experience vaginal bleeding during your labor or delivery, your baby should be delivered as soon as possible. Any unnecessary delay in the delivery of your baby after you begin to bleed vaginally is most likely due to medical malpractice.
- Delay in ordering or performing a C-section — There are many reasons why your doctor should interrupt your labor, order a cesarean section (C-section) and deliver your baby as quickly as possible. Vaginal bleeding or fetal distress are good examples. Other examples include umbilical cord prolapse (when the umbilical cord appears in the birth canal before the fetus) and umbilical cord entrapment (when the umbilical cord wraps around the fetus’s neck). In any of these situations, if the baby is not delivered as quickly as possible, brain damage (often resulting in cerebral palsy) and/or death can occur quickly. Any delay in the delivery of your baby under these circumstances as a result of the failure to timely order and carry out a C-section may constitute medical malpractice.
- Misuse of forceps or vacuum extractor — The use of forceps or a vacuum extractor is not, in and of itself, medical malpractice. However, great care must obviously be exercised with these devices. If too much force is applied to forceps or a vacuum extractor, serious brain trauma including intracranial bleeding, can result. These brain injuries can lead to the development of permanent harm such as cerebral palsy.
- Too much Pitocin — Pitocin is the brand name for synthetic oxytocin. Oxytocin is a naturally occurring hormone involved in the labor process. Pitocin is used to induce labor. However, too much Pitocin can result in serious maternal and fetal injury, such as uterine rupture, fetal asphyxia, fetal distress or fetal heart rate irregularities.
Compensation for Medical Malpractice Birth Injuries
If your child has physical disabilities, medical problems, cognitive disabilities or other lasting harm, he or she may require years or a lifetime of special care. Our medical malpractice lawyers work with many professionals to anticipate those needs and project the costs of nursing care or specialized day care; surgeries, physical therapy, medical equipment or medications; private tutoring and other accommodations. You are also entitled to damages for your own mental anguish as parents.
If we take on your case, our lawyers will meet with the other side and with a judge who specializes in medical malpractice cases. Sometimes we are able to reach a fair out-of-court settlement that covers your needs and spares you from the ordeal of a trial. Rest assured that Richard Jaffe and his team are prepared to take your case to a jury if necessary to establish the negligence and secure full damages.
There is no cost to you to have your case reviewed by our medical experts. If our Long Island birth injury lawyers do file a lawsuit, there are no attorney fees unless we recover compensation.
For a free consultation, call our New Hyde Park law firm at 516-358-6900 or contact us online. We speak Spanish and Russian.
For a free legal consultation with a birth injury lawyer serving Long Island, call 516-358-6900