The placenta is an organ that develops during pregnancy and attaches to the wall of a pregnant mother’s uterus. From the placenta, a baby receives oxygen and nutrients. Placental abruption occurs if the placenta is either partially or fully detached from the inner uterine wall. When an abruption occurs and is left untreated, a baby may experience serious birth injuries due to the lack of oxygen and vital nutrients. If your baby sustained birth injuries due to a placental abruption that was left undiagnosed or untreated by your health care provider, you should consult the Syracuse birth injury attorneys of DeFrancisco and Falgiatano.Birth Injuries Resulting From Placental Abruption
Some risk factors for placental abruption include traumatic injury, the age of the mother, multiple births, cigarette smoking or illegal drug use, certain pregnancy complications, and a history of high blood pressure. When a placental abruption occurs, a baby may not receive enough oxygen or nutrients prior to birth. A pregnant mother may experience harmful bleeding. Placental abruption is considered an obstetric emergency.
Treatment for placental abruption will be determined by how severe the abruption is. Generally, when an obstetrician realizes there a severe placental abruption has occurred, she should immediately deliver the baby. Placental abruption can cause birth injuries such as cerebral palsy, seizures disorders, developmental delays, learning disabilities, and permanent brain damage. The severity of the injury depends on the length of time the baby went without oxygen.Liability in a Birth Injury Lawsuit
If your lawyer is able to establish liability for birth injuries arising out of a provider’s failure to diagnose or treat placental abruption, you may be able to recover damages. However, not all harm arising out of placental abruption results in a settlement or award. Establishing a health care provider’s liability for birth injuries requires us the plaintiff to show: (1) the defendant owed you and the baby a professional standard of care, (2) breach of this standard, (3) causation, and (4) damages. It is usually necessary to hire an expert to provide opinions about what the professional standard of care was, how it was breached, and whether the breach caused your child’s birth injuries.
In New York, the professional standard of care is the accepted medical practices of those in the same specialty and in the same geographic region as the defendant. Obstetricians, nurses, and other health care providers are supposed to use the reasonable skill and learning used by others practicing in the same specialty and location. Your attorney must consider what other obstetricians in Syracuse would have done with regard to a placental abruption to determine whether your provider lived up to the professional standard of care.
You will need to file a certificate of merit with any medical malpractice complaint, including one involving birth injuries. The exception is if you are relying on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur to prove the case. The certificate of merit must state that your lawyer consulted with a medical expert, such as a board-certified obstetrician, who is knowledgeable about the issues and has concluded a reasonable basis for your lawsuit exists.Damages
Compensatory damages may be recovered if you can establish your provider’s liability for birth injuries. These damages can include tangible and intangible losses sustained both by the baby and the baby’s parents. Tangible losses could include past and future medical bills, rehabilitation, therapy, and out-of-pocket costs. Intangible losses could include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and mental anguish.
The type and amount of damages will be determined by the nature and severity of the birth injury. For instance, if a baby suffers cerebral palsy as a result of placental abruption that is left untreated, you may be able to recover the costs of lifelong medical care, rehabilitation, and therapy. When the cerebral palsy is severe such that a parent needs to stop working to care for the baby, it may be possible to recover lost income. If a baby’s injuries include severe brain damage such that around-the-clock care will be needed for the rest of her life, it may be possible to recover those costs.Speak With an Attorney in Syracuse
The birth of a baby is usually a joyous occasion. However, when serious birth injuries occur, many parents may feel emotionally unprepared and financially devastated by the consequences. If your baby was injured as a result of a failure to diagnose or treat a placental abruption, you may be able to recover damages in a birth injury lawsuit. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, we provide legal representation to babies and their families in Upstate New York, including cities such as Rochester and Syracuse, along with Cooperstown, Watertown, Oneida, Canandaigua, Auburn, Oswego, Lyons, Wampsville, Binghamton, Elmira, Ithaca, Lowville, Herkimer, and Utica. Contact DeFrancisco & Falgiatano at 315-479-9000 or via our online form.