Multiple Births and Birth Injuries

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Birth Injuries and Multiple Gestational Pregnancy

Multiples, or more than one baby,  most commonly refers to twins or triplets. Multiple births can absolutely lead to risks for mom and babies.

Your medical team must be 100% experienced and skilled in handling multiples before, during and immediately following the birthing process. Careful planning and preparation goes into every pregnancy, but with any high risk case the experience of your medical team is critical.

Pregnancies with multiples occurs frequently thanks to science and medical advancement in, in-vitro fertilization. Twins occur in 1 in every 80 pregnancies, while triplets occur in 1 in every 7,000 pregnancies.  With this comes a classification of a high risk pregnancy, and an increased risk of a variety of known complications.

Common Multiple Gestational Risks

  • Pre term labor – Anywhere from 4-6 weeks early delivery is considered normal … About 90% of triplets are preterm births, and about 60% of twins.
  • Placental complications – Most commonly placenta abruption
  • Umbilical prolapse – Compression of the umbilical cord before or during delivery
  • Hemorrhage – The possibility of prolonged and increased bleeding during and after childbirth
  • Growth Restrictions – Your babies growth is restricted because your placenta simply cannot accommodate
  • Gestational Diabetes – A potentially dangerous diagnosis for mom during the pregnancy
  • Preeclampsia – High blood pressure and toxemia in pregnancies
  • TTTS – Twin to Twin Transfusion, a medical condition whereby which multiples may share blood
  • Cerebral Palsy – Severe, lasting mental and physical limitations
  • Low birth weight – Babies born less than 5 pounds, 8 oz.

Planning for a health pregnancy and delivery

A birth injury or trauma following delivery is one of the most tragic experiences any family can go through.  Unfortunately, failing to properly plan for a healthy pregnancy and safe delivery is commonly a factor.  In multiple births, delivery can be even more complicated.  The position, order of the babies and other critical factors are used to determine a birthing and delivery plan.  While twins may be able to be safely delivered via natural child birth, triplets and beyond are typically delivered via C-section.

All of these and other potential scenarios are very dangerous, for both mom and babies. If you or a loved one experienced injury, loss or issues with a multiple gestation pregnancy, you must call my offices today.

As your Ohio birth injury attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

The Risk of Birth Injuries with Midwives

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Home Births and the Risk of Birth Injury

Home births are often the center of heated debates with advocates citing a long list of benefits, while adversaries use common statistics to support the argument against.  In general, home births are largely associated with a higher risk of deaths, both perinatal and neonatal.

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, it is estimated that about .9% of births occur at home annually, a total of about 35,000. That is less than 1% of all births across the country!

It is further estimated that 25% of these are unplanned or emergency home births, which is also at the core of the debate, as they may skew the results.  Not planning for a home birth can ultimately equate to higher risks, complications and fetal mortality.

While we know there is no guarantee, even in a hospital setting – it is hard to deny the inherent risk associated with a home birth.  Things can go tragically wrong, even in a hospital setting with your OB-GYN at the helm.  Unfortunately however, the likelihood and ease of emergency response is simplified when already in the hospital environment.

Home Births 101

Choosing a midwife and/or a doula to help with your birth plan can be a complicated process.  The laws vary, and the International Confederation of Midwives’ Global Standards for Midwifery Education is a great resource.  From educational information to standards for certification, the ICM is a good baseline for a starting point of reference.

Midwives may also vary in their thought processes and practices, so it may be important to consult several before making a decision! You will also likely still want the involvement of an OB-GYN and pediatrician as well.

Commonly Cited Benefits of Home Birth:

  • Historical relevance
  • Less stress
  • Comfortable environment
  • Family / friends
  • Cited lower risk of infection
  • Avoiding epidural, etc.
  • Costs

Home Birth Criteria;

  • Healthy, low risk pregnancies
  • No known medical complications
  • No preterm labor
  • No history of birth complications

Home births are NEVER recommended for

  • Fetal malpresentation
  • Multiple gestation
  • Prior cesarean

Unfortunately, in my career I have often seen the lack of predictability during the birthing process, and the results can be devastating.

The risks and tragic outcomes are very real;

  • Stillbirth or death – Increased risk for mother and baby
  • Hemorrhaging risk
  • Brain injuries
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Anoxic or Hypoxic Injuries
  • Erb’s Palsy
  • Developmental and learning impediments

Pursuing a Medical Malpractice or Birth Injury Claim

Filing a claim against a midwife is complicated. In addition, midwives may or may not be required to carry malpractice insurance which can further complicate the case. These are the three most common grounds for filing;

  • False credentials / misrepresentation
  • Financial motivation or negligence to ignore complications, warning signs or issues..
  • Failure to have an emergency plan.

If your child has suffered a birth injury, call my offices immediately.  As your Ohio birth injury attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

 

 

 

 

New Studies in Cerebral Palsy Site New Risk Factor

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New Studies in Cerebral Palsy Focus on Maternal Weight

The newest round of cerebral palsy studies will almost certainly be cause for concern.  Many risk factors come into play with cerebral palsy, and many instances are due to negligent hospital care before or during the birthing process.  Of course your physician will be quick to shine the spotlight on the risk factors that are outside of THEIR control.

Risk Factors for Cerebral Palsy

A recent study found a link between maternal weight and an increased risk of cerebral palsy.  The Karolinska Institute in Sweden and the Michigan School of Public Health recently announced findings that link obesity with a 22% increased rate of cerebral palsy.  While the credibility of the study and subsequent findings is not called into question, the motivation of careless, negligent physicians may be.

Physicians and medical staff are quick to site non-negligent reasons as the cause for any birth injury.  This effectively shifts the blame off of the physician or hospital, and will often leave parents confused and devastated.

A Review of Common Causes of Cerebral Palsy

  • Negligent Breech Birth
  • Complicated Labor or Delivery
  • Incompatible RH Blood Type
  • Low Birth Weight
  • Infections
  • Traumatic Injury
  • Twins / Multiples

Other Widely recognized risk factors:

  • Exposure to Toxins
  • Syphyllis, Herpes
  • Rubella or Chick Pox
  • Viruses like Zika, Cytomegalovirus
  • Toxoplasmosis
  • Seizures
  • Thyroid Problems

What to do if you Suspect Your Newborn has been Injured

Regardless of any pre-existing risk factors, or anything that your medical staff claims, it is important to seek legal help immediately.  The hospital and medical facility will not claim fault, and can easily overwhelm any parent in a time of crisis.

If your child has suffered a birth injury, or has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy, call my offices immediately.  As your Ohio birth injury attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.

Birth Injury: Why Risks Can be Higher for Larger Babies

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Birth trauma in the United States happens to approximately 29 out of every 1,000 babies. Birth injuries are not common but can happen at any moment.

Statistics show a higher number of these traumas occur to larger babies, but the question is why?

Health issues such as high blood pressure, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or preterm birth may occur if a mother is not careful with her diet during the pregnancy.

Dietary choices can be significant in a baby’s health; if a mother is eating food high in fat, her chances for gestational diabetes can increase and may even affect the baby’s weight. An overweight infant may have increased risk of birth defects and birth injuries.

Bigger babies can present several types of risks during the birthing process. Oftentimes a large infant is much bigger than the mother’s birthing canal and for this reason, other measures must be taken.

These birthing methods may be necessary to safely deliver a larger baby:

  • Cesarean section: doctors have to surgically remove the baby from the womb.
  • Obstetric forceps: this birthing tool looks similar to tongs and a doctor may use it to grab or maneuver the infant during delivery.
  • Vacuum extraction: a vacuum delivery allows a doctor to guide the baby out of the birth canal

Birthing a larger infant may require some of these steps to be taken. However, if the tools are not used properly it can have serious effects on your child!

Oxygen deprivation, Brachial Plexus, Bell’s palsy, and bone fractures are just a few of the possible consequences of the mentioned birthing methods.

There are always risks associated with childbirth, but these types of birth injuries can occur due to the doctor’s own medical error or substandard care. In other words, your baby’s injury may have been preventable.

If your baby was delivered using any of the methods above and has suffered severe injury, you need to call me immediately. It will take an experienced attorney to identify the substandard care and the consequences on your child.

As your Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

How Can My Newborn Child’s Apgar Score Detect a Birth Injury?

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Each hospital follows specific procedures after the birth of a child, and these procedures are significant in keeping your baby safe and healthy.

Many parents I’ve spoken with don’t know the signs of a possible birth injury to their child. When you aren’t a trained medical professional, it makes it much more difficult to identify a medical mistake that could have been prevented.

My duty as a birth injury lawyer and a father is to educate parents on the risks and signs of birth injuries.

The most common type of birth injury is brain injury due to lack of oxygen before or during delivery. Not only is this an immediate threat to the child’s life, but it may cause permanent consequences that will affect both the infant and the family.

It is for this reason the Apgar score must be done immediately after your child is delivered.

The Apgar score is used to determine your newborn child’s general birth condition. The test measures the following factors:

  • Breathing
  • Heart rate
  • Reflex response
  • Color
  • Muscle tone

The test is done twice; the first time is 1 minute after birth and the second 5 minutes after birth. A conventional Apgar score is 7-10. A score between 4-6 typically means your child may need assistance breathing, and a score lower of 3 or less means the newborn needs immediate medical attention.

If your child’s Apgar score was low, a doctor may require an MRI to check for any cerebral injury. Additionally, if your newborn baby had an MRI or any known brain injury, I encourage you to contact an attorney immediately.

It is possible that your child can develop birth injuries months after birth varying from minor developmental or motor issues, to severe permanent injury such as Cerebral Palsy.

A low Apgar score, brain injury diagnosis, or delay in developmental milestones should all be red flags for parents. I urge you to always contact an experienced birth injury attorney for a consultation if you feel a doctor was negligent in your child’s birth.

As your Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

 

How Newborn Jaundice Can Lead to Brain Injury If Untreated

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Childbirth brings a number of emotions for families; from excitement, concern, worry, and joy, it is a roller coaster of an experience. For many newborns, the process goes smoothly and without problems, but as a birth injury attorney with 34 years of experience, I know not every family is so lucky.

While childbirth is miraculous and beautiful, it can also turn dangerous quickly. For new parents and experienced parents alike, I cannot stress how important it is to do research beforehand and understand the possible complications that may lie ahead.

Understanding the difference between a common occurrence and a life-threatening issue can make the difference in your newborn’s medical care.

Oftentimes, I tell parents to ask questions! A mother knows best, so it is imperative that a mother or father questions the doctor when they feel their baby’s health and well-being is at risk.

One specific medical concern that parents should recognize is the onset of newborn jaundice.

In simplest terms, newborn jaundice is the yellowing of an infant’s eyes and skin.

Jaundice is common in newborn babies and occurs when the infant has high levels of bilirubin—a yellow substance the body produces when it breaks down red blood cells. If jaundice is left untreated for too long, the bilirubin levels in the baby’s blood may become so high that causes a severe brain injury!

Look for the following symptoms in your child and notify the doctor immediately:

  • Yellowing of the skin, whites of eyes, inside the mouth, on soles of feet or palms of hands
  • Dark yellow urine
  • Pale colored feces
  • Limp
  • Poor with feeding
  • Have a high-pitched cry

A newborn should typically be examined for jaundice within 72 hours following their birth but can be more difficult to detect in premature infants.

Although newborn jaundice is typically not life-threatening, delaying treatment for it can have severe consequences on your child. If your baby has suffered permanent brain injury due to this, you need to call me immediately.

As your Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

What Type of Birth Injuries Can Lead to Your Baby’s Brain Injury?

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Brain Injury Awareness Month is coming to an end, but as a father and brain injury attorney, I believe education on these types of injuries should never stop.

We often think of brain injuries as incidents resulting from sports or catastrophic injuries like car and motorcycle accidents. However, brain injuries can happen to even the tiniest of humans.

Whether you’re a parent, soon-to-be-parent, grandparent, or family friend, understanding the signs of brain injury in an infant are crucial. A small percentage of birth injuries, especially injuries that affect cognitive development, are diagnosed at birth.

Close to 14% of children are not diagnosed until they begin school when cognitive abilities are displayed. Only 7% of birth injuries are diagnosed shortly after birth.

What does this mean for parents?

Many clients are concerned it is too late to pursue by the time their child is diagnosed with a condition resulting from a birth injury. However, the statute of limitations in the state of Ohio for birth injury claims begins when the child turns eighteen. The parent(s) or child will have until the child’s nineteenth birthday to file suit.

What types of brain injuries can occur from a birth injury?

There are several kinds of birth injuries that can lead to traumatic brain injuries in infants:

Cerebral Palsy– CP is one of the most common types of birth injuries and is caused by an injury to the child’s brain before or during birth. This brain injury can lead to a disorder of muscle movement and coordination in your child. It is not curable but can be treated, if early enough, to give your child a better quality of life.

Eclampsia– Preeclampsia is a birth complication caused by high blood pressure. If it is not controlled, it can lead to eclampsia. Consequences of this include kidney failure, liver rupture, blindness, placental abruption or brain swelling. If left untreated, brain swelling could lead to more severe brain developmental issues.

Oxygen Deprivation– When a baby is born and does not receive the right amount of oxygen needed (also called anoxia), it can affect the infant’s brain ultimately leaving them mentally and/or physically disabled for the rest of their life.

Failure to Treat an Infection– if you or your child develops an infection while the baby is still in the womb, failure to treat it immediately could allow the infection to spread to the child’s brain. This could potentially cause permanent brain injury if left untreated.

Brain Injury Awareness should not be limited to one month and can occur to anyone, including our sweet children. If your baby was severely injured due to a birth injury, call me immediately. I will fight for your family’s justice.

As your Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Birth Injuries- Understanding Cerebral Palsy in 2016

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As we progress further into 2016, doctors and lawyers alike are learning more about birth injuries and how these injuries can be reduced.

However, new studies show the prevalence of certain birth injuries has not decreased just yet; specifically, the prevalence of Cerebral Palsy. In 2015, there was no drop in CP prevalence.

Cerebral Palsy is a common disorder that affects motor deficiency and the brain. According to recent statistics, 1 in 323 children have been diagnosed with it.

There are three types of CP:

  1. Spastic cerebral palsy results in stiffness in the limbs.
  2. Ataxic cerebral palsy causes problems with depth-perception, balance and walking.
  3. Athetoid cerebral palsy includes involuntary and uncontrolled movements.

Cerebral Palsy is an injury to an infant’s brain before, during or after delivery.

As a birth injury attorney, many parents ask me what causes CP and if it can be avoided. My answer is yes; it can be avoided!

Injuries to the brain that can eventually lead to birth injury include:

  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Labor lasting longer than 18 hours
  • Instrument related injuries (forceps or vacuum extraction)
  • Maternal infection before the delivery

A doctor must provide a certain standard of care by making proper decisions, performing required procedures, and providing any follow-up care in a timely manner. Each of these injuries can be avoided with proper medical care!

How will you know if your child’s injury resulted in Cerebral Palsy?

If you suspect or know that your child suffered an injury at birth affecting the brain, it is very possible to result in Cerebral Palsy.

Most children are diagnosed at an average age of 18 months and may have symptoms including: limited or no ability to walk, epilepsy, stiff muscles, intellectual disability, and/or impaired vision.

Tests that can be done to determine if your child has CP are CT scans, MRIs, cranial ultrasounds, and blood tests. If you think your child is at high-risk for CP or has been confirmed with CP, call me immediately.

Not only can a doctor’s negligence result in this serious birth injury, but their negligence will forever change the life of your child and family. You and your loved ones should not have to fight this alone!

Make Them Pay

As your Cleveland, Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and will fight on your behalf. My clients deserve justice and I will do everything I can to Make Them Pay.

Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Breaking Down Brachial Plexus

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Birth trauma can be one of the most devastating, life-altering events that can happen to a family. Many parents, new and experienced alike, may not even be aware of birth injury risks until it is too late. My hope as an birth injury attorney and parent is to make others aware of these risks before they happen. If a doctor tells you your newborn child’s injury could not have been avoided, you should begin to ask questions.

One of the most common birth injury is Brachial Plexus; with a rate of 0.3 to 2 occurrences per every 1,000 births.

Brachial plexus is typically caused by shoulder dystocia, a birthing injury in which the infant’s shoulder bone catches on the mother’s pelvic bone. A doctor must work quickly to avoid any serious or permanent injury, but a delay in decision-making or diagnosis may result in several types of injuries:

  • Limp arms
  • Paralyzed arms
  • Mild stretch injury
  • Nerve rupture
  • Avulsion

Some mild injuries will heal with time as your baby grows, but in more severe injuries, surgery may be the only option. It is imperative that the doctor diagnoses your child as soon as possible and that you ask questions even before giving birth!

A recent study has recognized new characteristics in Brachial Plexus.

New research has determined these additional characteristics in Brachial Plexus:

  • Brachial Plexus injuries are just as common for new mothers as those who had given birth at least once
  • Healthcare providers significantly underestimate the birth weight

Other factors associated with shoulder dystocia include prolonged labor, breech delivery and premature birth.

If you think your child’s brachial plexus injury was caused by medical malpractice, call me today at 1-800-55 MISNY to discuss your case. I will fight to give your child the proper treatment necessary to live a happy and full life.

As your Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay! ®

Author: Tim Misny | For more than 34 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injurymedical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.

Decline in Infant Death Rate – for Some

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Reported Decline in Infant Death Rates Yields False Positive

For the first time in over 70 years, Ohio infant mortality rates have declined according to The Department of Health. This study reports that in 2014, fewer than 1,000 infants died before reaching their first birthday. This 2014 infant death rate was 8% lower than the infant mortality rate in 2013! So where is the cause for concern?

This same study also revealed a frightening difference in the rate of death for African Americans compared to Caucasians. The ever-widening gap between the infant mortality rate of Caucasian babies and African American babies is tragic and concerning.

Top Causes for Infant Deaths in Ohio

In Ohio, the top causes of infant death are; birth defects, sleep related issues and pre-term births. The largest contributing factor to the gap between race-related infant death statistics is death resulting from pre-term births. This is due to the fact that pre-term birth complications are more common in African American women.   The question is whether or not the quality of care is also factoring into this equation.

In Ohio, African American babies are 25% more likely to die before their first birthday than the national average.

The overall average for infant death rates in the state of Ohio is 12% higher than the national average.

As both a parent and a birth injury attorney, these statistics are tragic and unacceptable. Care should not vary based on race, religion, geographic location or any other factor! If you have suffered the unimaginable heartbreak of losing your child, you must call me immediately.

As your Cleveland, Ohio birth injury lawyer, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
 
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “ClevelandAkron/CantonColumbusDayton and neighboring communities.” You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.