In Atlanta, Georgia, mothers and babies often receive inadequate healthcare. Rates of both maternal and infant mortality are very high, especially for African Americans. Moreover, premature birth is extremely common: in 2018, 11.9% of babies in Atlanta were born prematurely. The March of Dimes recently gave Atlanta an “F” grade for its efforts to reduce this rate, indicating that the city needs to be doing a lot more to improve (1).
Babies who are born prematurely are at high risk for associated health complications, including birth injuries, because their organs are underdeveloped and vulnerable to damage. Examples of such birth injuries include the following (2):
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): a form of brain damage caused by a restriction in the flow of oxygenated blood to the brain
- Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL): damage to the brain’s white matter
- Birth trauma: a type of birth injury caused by excessive mechanical force during the birthing process
- Cerebral palsy (CP)
- Seizure disorders/epilepsy
- Intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DDs)
- Vision and hearing impairments
Birth injuries and medical malpractice
In many cases, birth injuries occur because medical professionals miss opportunities to prevent premature birth, as discussed in the previous section. However, there are a variety of medical errors that can cause birth injuries. These are just a few examples (3):
- Mismanagement of an abnormal fetal presentation
- Improper fetal monitoring/failure of the medical team to recognize signs of fetal distress
- Misuse of forceps or vacuum extractors
- Delayed emergency C-section
- Failure to recognize and promptly respond to medical emergencies such as placental abruption and uterine rupture
- Mismanagement of a baby that cannot fit safely through the mother’s pelvis (see cephalopelvic disproportion and macrosomia)
- Medication errors
- Mismanagement of a high-risk pregnancy
- Mismanagement of a maternal or newborn infection
- Mismanagement of neonatal jaundice
- Mismanagement of an umbilical cord complication
If a doctor or nurse fails to meet standards of care (defined as what a reasonably competent peer would do if placed in their position), this is medical negligence. If their negligence causes permanent injury to a patient, it constitutes medical malpractice (4).
Legal help for birth injuries in Atlanta
Did your baby sustain a preventable birth injury in Atlanta, Georgia? You may want to consider pursuing a birth injury lawsuit.
Children with birth injuries often require lifelong medical and personal care, which can be extremely expensive, even with insurance. Pursuing a birth injury case can not only help families get justice for their child, but also obtain enough settlement money to ensure that the child is provided for throughout their lifetime.
The team at ABC Law Centers focuses exclusively on advocating for children with birth injuries, and we have both the legal and medical knowledge necessary to win these complex cases. Although our office is based in Michigan, senior attorney Rebecca Walsh is licensed to practice in Atlanta and throughout the state of Georgia. Rebecca has been practicing law since 1992, and has won many awards for her work advocating for children with birth injuries. Rebecca spends a great deal of time getting to know each child and family she works for, and fights hard to ensure that her clients receive access to the resources they need for a secure, healthy future and good quality of life.
Do you have a case?
Please contact us today to learn more about our firm, the legal process, and whether you may have a case. We have numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements that attest to our success, and you pay nothing unless we win or favorably settle your case.