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Labor and delivery
December 15, 2023

What Does ‘Birth Injury’ Mean?

Recent statistics reveal that approximately 28,000 babies in the United States suffer from birth injuries annually. This number is staggering. It’s also unacceptable—and the Providence birth injury attorneys at our firm are here to hold those responsible to full account.

If your family is grappling with the aftermath of a birth injury, it’s important to understand your rights. When a birth injury results from a healthcare provider’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical expenses, ongoing care, and other damages. The team at Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell is here to listen to your story and help you determine how best to seek the compensation your child—and family—deserves.

If you are dealing with the consequences of a birth injury, call Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell at (401) 273-8330 to schedule a FREE and confidential case review today. Our Providence birth injury attorneys serve families living throughout Rhode Island.

What Is a Birth Injury?

Birth injury refers to harm or damage that a baby sustains during the prenatal period, labor, delivery, or shortly after birth. These injuries are not limited to physical harm but can also include neurological and cognitive impairments, which may not be immediately evident. The range of these injuries varies greatly, from mild, temporary conditions to severe, lifelong disabilities.

During the prenatal period, factors such as maternal health, medication, or inadequate prenatal care can contribute to birth injuries. For instance, if a mother’s health condition is not properly managed, it can lead to complications that harm the fetus. Prenatal care must be closely examined when investigating birth injury to determine if problems should have been caught long before labor began.

While some birth injuries can be avoided with proper prenatal care, most birth injuries happen during labor and delivery. These can have various causes, including:

  • Prolonged or Difficult Labor
  • Improper Use of Delivery Tools
  • Failure to Notice Fetal Distress
  • Umbilical Cord Complications
  • Inadequate Monitoring
  • Incorrect Medication or Dosage
  • Delayed Decision for Cesarean Section (C-Section)

In addition to injury during labor and delivery, newborns remain highly vulnerable in the moments after they are born as well. Birth injury at this point can occur due to mishandling of the baby, failure to diagnose and treat conditions promptly, and similarly negligent actions.

At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, we understand that the causes of birth injuries are varied and complex. Our Providence birth injury attorneys are skilled at investigating these cases, identifying whether medical negligence played a role, and helping families seek the justice and compensation they deserve. If you suspect your child’s birth injury was caused by medical negligence, reach out for a complimentary case review today. We are here to help.

Types of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries vary in severity and type, each presenting its own set of challenges and long-term consequences. Our Providence birth injury attorneys can help with all types of cases, including those involving:

Brain Injuries

Brain injuries can occur when the baby’s brain is harmed during birth, often due to oxygen deprivation. Brain injuries can lead to lifelong complications like developmental delays or neurological disorders.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders affecting a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture. It is often caused by brain damage before or during birth and can impact motor skills, muscle tone, and coordination.

Hypoxia/Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Hypoxia refers to insufficient oxygen in general. HIE is a specific type of brain damage that occurs when the baby’s brain doesn’t receive enough blood and oxygen. HIE can lead to significant developmental and physical disabilities.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy results from nerve damage in the baby’s upper arm. It can cause weakness or paralysis in the arm, affecting the child’s range of motion.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

Brachial plexus injuries occur when the brachial plexus—a network of nerves that sends signals from the spine to the shoulder, arm, and hand—is damaged. Some babies may recover movement and feeling in the affected arm within a few months, while others may suffer from long-term or even permanent disability, requiring physical therapy and sometimes surgery.

Spinal Cord Damage

Spinal cord damage can result from excessive pulling or twisting during delivery. It can lead to paralysis or other severe neurological impairments.

At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, our Providence birth injury attorneys understand the complexities and sensitivities of these cases. If your child experienced an injury during birth, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, ongoing care, and other related costs. Reach out to us for a cost- and obligation-free consultation, and let us help you seek the justice and support your family deserves.

What Is Medical Malpractice?

Medical malpractice occurs when a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse, or other medical staff, fails to provide the standard of care that is expected in their professional capacity, leading to harm or injury to a patient. This standard of care is defined by what a reasonably competent medical professional would or would not have done under similar circumstances.

When deviations from the standard of care result in birth injuries, the consequences for children and their families can be devastating. They can also be hard to identify. Our Providence birth injury attorneys work closely with medical experts who specialize in maternal-fetal medicine, neonatology, and other relevant fields to thoroughly review and analyze all medical records and procedures. This enables us to identify any deviations from the standard of care that may have contributed to your child’s injury. We understand the intricacies of medical standards and are committed to holding all responsible parties accountable.

How Can I Tell If My Child’s Injury Resulted from Malpractice?

Determining if a birth injury resulted from medical malpractice is a complex and nuanced process. It requires a detailed analysis of the medical care provided before, during, and after the birth. This analysis involves examining prenatal records to check for proper monitoring and management of the pregnancy, labor records to assess how the delivery was handled, and postnatal records to evaluate the care given to the newborn.

At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, our experienced and award-winning attorneys are adept at navigating these complex cases. We understand the emotional and physical toll a birth injury can have on a family and are prepared to fight tirelessly on your behalf to seek the justice and compensation you deserve.

Why Choose Our Providence Birth Injury Attorneys?

Choosing the right legal representation is crucial when facing the challenges of a birth injury case. With over a century of combined legal experience, our lawyers have a proven track record in birth injury and medical malpractice cases. We offer:

Specialization in Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice cases, particularly those involving birth injuries, are often very complex. This is where our firm excels. Unlike many law firms that may hesitate to delve into the intricacies of medical malpractice litigation, we embrace these challenges head-on.

Focus on Women’s Health Issues

Attorney Yvette Boisclair, a partner at our firm, specializes in women’s health issues. She has extensive experience in handling negligence claims related to obstetrics, gynecology malpractice, failure to diagnose breast cancer, and more. This specialization makes her uniquely qualified to understand and advocate for clients facing birth-related medical issues.

Extensive Medical Knowledge

Our legal team is not only well-versed in the law but also possesses a deep understanding of medical principles. This knowledge is critical in effectively presenting medical evidence, selecting the right experts, and building a compelling case for our clients.

Wide Range of Malpractice Claims

Our knowledge isn’t limited to a single type of medical malpractice. We handle a variety of claims, from misdiagnosis or delayed diagnosis of severe conditions to concerns about neonatal care and delivery methods. This breadth of experience allows us to address the unique aspects of each case with insight and precision.

Commitment to Our Clients

At Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell, we are fully dedicated to each client we represent. From your complimentary case review through the completion of your case, we will stand by your side and provide the support and representation you deserve. Our attorneys are available around the clock to answer questions and address concerns—and you won’t pay a dime for our services until the successful resolution of your case.

Contact Us for a FREE Case Review

If your family has been affected by a birth injury, contact Mandell, Boisclair & Mandell online or call us today for a FREE consultation. Located in Providence, we serve clients throughout Rhode Island. If your child’s injury makes travel cumbersome, we can come to you. We are here to listen, provide straightforward advice, and assist you in getting the fair and full compensation you are entitled to.