Seattle Broken Bone Birth Injury Lawyers
Bone Fractures During Labor and Delivery in Seattle
Labor and delivery can be dangerous times for both the mother and the baby. An injury at birth can leave a child with lifelong injuries and parents with mounting medical bills and nagging guilt. One type of birth injury that can happen to a child during labor and delivery is the fracturing of bones. Research shows that broken bone injuries occur about once in every one thousand births. While this figure is relatively low, it's high enough to be a worry to expectant parents.
Unfortunately, many of these infantile bone fractures could have been prevented through proper medical training and procedure. If your child has suffered a broken bone during labor and delivery, you may be entitled to compensation. To get the settlement you deserve, it is crucial that you have a skilled Seattle obstetric malpractice attorney on your side.
Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. has been successfully representing Seattle, Washington area residents for 40 years and will put their experience and knowledge to work on your claim. Call (888) 228-3860 for a free case evaluation.
Causes of Bone Fractures During Birth
Bone fractures in babies typically occur during complicated deliveries or breech deliveries, when the fetus doesn't enter the birth canal head first. This can require the delivery physician to pull on the baby more forcefully or attempt to reposition the baby. If the physician isn't gentle enough, they may break the baby's arms or legs. This is a particular concern for infants that are born prematurely because their bones may not be as fully developed as a full term baby. Larger babies can also be more susceptible to broken bones because they can get stuck in the birth canal.
In some cases, labor and delivery doctors are allowed to use surgical instruments like vacuum extractors or forceps to assist the delivery of the baby from the birth canal. Detailed guidelines form the standard of care for use of vacuum extractors and forceps. Physicians may not have privileges to use these tools without proper training and experience. If these instruments are used improperly, they can cause skull fractures. There is also a high risk of bone fractures when the baby's head gets lodged behind the mother's pelvic bone.
It is always part of the standard of care for doctors to consider delivery by cesarean section. With the use of epidural and drugs like Pitocin, the forces of labor may be abnormally high. If those forces are not healthy for the baby or mother, as shown on a fetal heart rate monitor, delivery by cesarean section should be considered. C-section delivery is almost never a cause of fracture during birth.
On rare occasions, an infant may suffer bone fractures when dropped by a doctor, nurse, or midwife.
Symptoms of Bone Fractures in an Infant
Infant bone fractures are not always noticed immediately. Parents may take their newborns home without realizing they are injured. But parents should be observant and bring their child in to the hospital for an X-ray or an ultrasound if they notice any of the following symptoms:
- Abnormal bumps
- The baby appears to be in pain when held in certain positions
- Crying excessively
- The baby is unable to move certain body parts
Compensation for Broken Bone Birth Injuries in Washington
If your child suffered a broken bone during labor or delivery, you may be entitled to compensation for current and future medical bills, pain and suffering, permanent injury or handicap, special equipment to care for your child, physical therapy, scarring and disfigurement, and more.
But medical malpractice claims can be complex and will require dealing with a physician's malpractice attorneys. To ensure that you get the best settlement possible, you'll need the representation of a qualified Seattle medical malpractice lawyer. Call the legal team at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. and let them put their four decades of experience behind your claim. Dial (888) 228-3860 for a free consultation.