The birth of a child should be a wondrous event, the beginning of a new and exciting chapter in your life. However, when birth injuries occur, that lifetime with a healthy child could be in jeopardy. Often, the expenses associated with the medical treatment necessary to address a breech birth injury are astronomical.
Breech births occur more often than you might imagine. Doctors and other medical professionals should monitor your pregnancy and be prepared to deliver your baby safely. When an obstetrician or other healthcare provider makes an inexcusable mistake, your child suffers. When medical professionals are negligent in their duty to provide reasonable care, they should be held accountable for the injuries they caused. If your child suffered an injury during delivery, contact our Maryland breech birth lawyer immediately. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
Types of Breech Births in Maryland
As your delivery date approaches, the baby will begin to shift, so their head is closer to the birth canal. This movement will make birth easier for both you and your child. Medically, this is known as the vertex presentation. Unfortunately, not every child properly shifts position. Because of this, their feet or buttocks will be pointed towards the birth canal. This position, known as a breech presentation, is a challenge to the mother and the attending doctor.
The most dangerous aspect about a breech presentation is that it could result in the baby’s head becoming stuck in the birth canal. Any infant distress that affects the child’s head often causes serious birth injuries.
Breech births are not uncommon and affect one out of every twenty-five births, according to the American Pregnancy Association. Typically, obstetricians will encounter four types of breech presentations.
A complete breech occurs when a child’s legs are folded and both their buttocks and feet are pointed towards the birth canal.
When a child’s legs are near their body or head and the buttocks face the birth canal, the baby is experiencing a Frank breech.
This type of breech occurs when one or both of a child’s feet are near the birth canal entrance.
This is the least common type of breech presentations doctors see. In this position, the baby’s knees are pointed towards the birth canal while the legs are tucked behind the thighs.
Suing for Breech Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice in Maryland Hospitals
When a baby is in a breech presentation, it presents a challenge to the doctor and their medical staff. It is the responsibility of the attending obstetrician to address any birth complications associated with a breech delivery.
Depending on the type of breech, the condition of the mother, and the status of the child, there are a number of options available to assist with the birth. A doctor could perform an external version. This procedure requires the doctor to manually reposition the child by pushing against the mother’s womb. If too much force is applied, the child could suffer a head or neck injury. Additionally, there is a risk that the doctor places the child in a more dangerous position that could lead to a preventable birth injury.
In some cases, a breech birth will require a cesarean section. When a doctor fails to order the procedure in a timely fashion or does not order one at all, a breech birth could place a child at an unreasonable risk. A baby undergoing a breech delivery will experience serious pressures exerted on their body and umbilical cord. When a doctor does not adequately assess the dangers of a breech birth, a child could lose nutrients and blood flow to their brain if the umbilical cord is compromised.
Head injuries are always a risk during a breech delivery. A child could suffer a severe injury if their head is trapped during the birth. This occurs because a baby’s feet are smaller than the head and a breech birth does not always adequately stretch the birth canal to allow the head a safe passage. It is not uncommon for a baby to become asphyxiated during a breech delivery.
Doctors will sometimes resort to using surgical instruments, such as forceps, to assist with a problematic delivery. When too much pressure is placed on the child’s head, birth injuries are likely.
Who Is Liable for a Breech Birth Injury in Maryland?
A breech delivery could result in many harmful complications, such as umbilical cord problems, brain bleeds, and head trauma. One of the most common medical complications associated with a breech birth is a deprivation of oxygen. When a breech presentation is not addressed promptly and correctly, the child is likely to experience any number of life-altering injuries, including nerve damage, spinal cord injuries, birth asphyxia, or fetal distress.
It is the responsibility of the attending obstetrician and other medical professionals to determine what risks the baby’s breech position presents and appropriately address the situation.
When a doctor’s decisions or conduct results in a preventable birth injury, you are entitled to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. To prevail in a medical malpractice claim in Maryland, you must prove that the child’s injury was directly caused by a medical professional’s negligent conduct or failure to act.
To establish negligence, you must demonstrate that a prudent medical professional practicing in the same specialty would have acted differently under similar circumstances. Under Maryland law, healthcare providers have an obligation to provide their patients with a certain standard of medical care. Because birth injury cases usually involve several parties, including gynecologists, obstetricians, nurses, technicians, and other medical professionals, the exact standard of care will differ depending on the professional and their role in the delivery and breech birth injury. Our Maryland breech birth attorney will turn to expert medical opinions to help demonstrate that your child’s injury was preventable and the result of medical malpractice.
Call Our Maryland Breech Birth Injury Lawyer to Schedule a Free Consultation
Breech births are more common than you think. Unfortunately, so are birth injuries associated with a breech delivery. Our Maryland breech birth lawyers provide professional and sympathetic representation to people who have suffered because of a doctor’s negligent conduct. The Maryland birth injury attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice are dedicated to holding medical professionals accountable when they fail to meet their appropriate standard of care. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation to review your legal options.