Labor sometimes takes longer than expected. Long labors in particular can be rife with risk, and healthcare providers are supposed to be on the alert for any complications that could arise in order to avoid any preventable harm to either the mother or baby. If you or your child suffered injuries as a result of prolonged labor, you may have a claim for compensation to cover the expenses you are now likely facing. At DeFrancisco & Falgiatano, our experienced Syracuse birth injury lawyers may be able to help you recover damages.Prolonged Labor
Prolonged labor is also known as failure to progress. It happens when a first-time mother experiences labor for about 20 hours or more, but it can also happen when a mother who has given birth before labors at least 14 hours. Sometimes a prolonged labor involving a long first stage of labor is exhausting, but doesn't necessarily cause harm. However, prolonged labor while actively giving birth may cause injuries.
A healthcare provider confronted with failure to progress is supposed to run tests to figure out why the failure may be occurring. Sometimes, a doctor or nurse should immediately order an emergency C-section, such as where a child has hypoxia because of oxygen not reaching their brain. In other situations, if a woman's pelvis is too small, delivery may also fail to progress, necessitating a C-section. Other causes of prolonged labor include weak uterine contractions and carrying multiples, as well as stress, worry, and certain pain medications.Injuries Arising Out of Prolonged Labor
Prolonged labor that is allowed to go on can contribute to serious injuries during labor. A C-section is often used to address prolonged labor in order to avoid more serious issues. Harm to the baby may include asphyxia that results in brain damage, premature detaching of the placenta from the uterine wall, low fetal heart rate, and compression of the umbilical cord. A baby may suffer brain damage, cerebral palsy, or another injury as a result of these harms. Sometimes complications require a doctor to use forceps or vacuum assisted delivery, and if these are used improperly, serious head injuries may result.Liability for Injuries Arising Out of Prolonged Labor
Many injuries that result in long-term injuries to babies are preventable through proper monitoring and tests. If your child was injured as a result of prolonged labor, you may be able to establish a medical malpractice case. However, you'll need to show by a preponderance of the evidence: (1) a healthcare provider owed you and your child a professional duty of care, (2) breach of the professional duty of care, (3) causation, and (4) actual damages.
You will need to consult with a health care expert that understands the issues associated with prolonged labor before suing the potentially responsible health care providers, and a seasoned birth injury lawyer will be able to help you consult such an expert. Your expert will review the records and other evidence to figure out whether there is a reasonable basis to sue. Not all acts or omissions that result in injury during labor are considered to fall below the professional standard of care. When filing a lawsuit, you will need to file a certificate along with the initial complaint under Rule 3012-a. This certificate will say we went over the case, consulted with a licensed health care expert, and that we reasonably believe the expert is knowledgeable about medical issues relevant to the plaintiff's claims. It will also say that based on this, we have determined that there is a reasonable basis to sue.Damages
Damages you can recover in a birth injury case arising out of prolonged labor include amounts for medical bills, therapy, rehabilitation, medical equipment, and pain and suffering. It may be possible to recover lost wages if you or your co-parent had to reduce work hours in order to care for an infant with birth injuries. The costs of getting in-home care or special education may also be covered.Birth Injury Lawyers Helping Victims in Syracuse
If you or your child were injured because of prolonged labor that wasn't properly handled by your health care provider, you may be able to sue for damages. The attorneys at DeFrancisco & Falgiatano represent injured babies and their families in Syracuse, Rochester, Lyons, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Canandaigua, Utica, Oswego, Wampsville, Watertown, Oneida, Cortland, Delhi, Herkimer, Lowville, Norwich, Oswego, Cooperstown, Ithaca, Binghamton, Auburn, and Elmira. Please call us at 315-479-9000 or contact us via our online form.