Breech births happen when a fetus does not turn and presents headfirst when it is about to be born. If labor progresses with a breech birth, the baby would be born with its feet or buttocks coming out first. This type of presentation makes it more likely that the baby will get stuck in the birth canal and that labor will be challenging, and in a worst-case scenario, it can result in death. A breech birth can cause serious birth injuries. The Syracuse birth injury lawyers at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano may be able to help you recover damages for injuries arising out of a breech birth.Injuries Caused by Breech Birth
Babies in a breech presentation face the possibility of serious birth injuries. For example, if they get stuck in the birth canal, they can have Erb's palsy or brachial plexus injuries, or they may have limb weakness. They may experience spinal injuries that can also result in weakness or spastic movements, or on the more serious side, permanent paralysis or stillbirth. In some cases, when doctors try to reposition a baby, there are skeletal injuries, and in other cases, when a baby is stuck for too long in the birth canal because of being breech, there may be brain damage caused by lack of oxygen. Sometimes a parent notices a birth injury right away, while in other cases, such as when there are developmental injuries, it may take some time to notice.
Many researchers believe that birth injuries, including breech birth, could be avoided through careful planning related to risk factors. Usually, doctors perform ultrasounds before delivery to detect the positioning of the baby and determine whether there is a risk of a breech complication. Early detection allows the doctor to make an assessment of whether it is possible to do an assisted breech birth or whether a C-section is necessary to protect the mother and baby.
The doctor is supposed to let you know if they discover that the baby is breech before delivery, and they must provide risks and warnings about complications if a breech birth proceeds without intervention. In some cases, a breech birth turns out fine, but in many cases, it is essential for a doctor to help with the delivery midway through, for a doctor to manually extract the infant, or for a C-section to be performed.
If your obstetrician or other health care provider fails to notice the breech positioning or take proper steps to address it, and your child is injured as a result, you may be able to bring a birth injury lawsuit. To establish a birth injury lawsuit, your attorney will need to show by a preponderance of the evidence that there was a doctor-patient relationship, the delivering doctor or health care provider acted in a way that deviated from the accepted standard of care in their specialty and geographical location, the deviation caused injuries, and they resulted in actual damages.
Usually, it is necessary to retain an OB-gyn to serve as an expert witness about the standard of care, given the breech presentation. The expert will also need to testify that the doctor's actions or omissions led to the baby's injuries. Often, birth injury cases are battles that come down to the credibility of the plaintiff's and defendant's respective experts.
Sometimes, a breech birth also results in harm to a mother. In that case, the mother's claim against the health care provider is distinct from the baby's claim for their birth injuries. However, if the breech birth results in a stillbirth due to medical malpractice, the mother may sue for her emotional distress arising from the stillbirth. As with the birth injury claim, it will be necessary to retain a credible and qualified expert.Explore Your Options with a Syracuse Attorney
If your baby suffers injuries or dies due to a doctor's failure to appropriately handle a breech birth, our attorneys may be able to help you recover damages from the responsible health care providers. We represent injured patients and their families in Syracuse, Rochester, Binghamton, Auburn, Elmira, Norwich, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Watertown, Lowville, Oneida, Wampsville, Utica, Canandaigua, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Lyons, and all of Upstate New York. Call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.