Pennsylvania Birth Injury Attorneys
Trusted Legal Help for Birth Injuries, Cerebral Palsy and HIE in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania is home to highly-ranked newborn medical care programs, such as the one at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC. These experts are known for their quality of care and high U.S. News and World Report Rankings. However, professionals can still make errors, and, in the case of our youngest and most fragile population, these errors can cause serious injuries that can impact a child for the rest of their life. If you or a loved one suspect that your child may have had a birth injury, we encourage you to contact a birth injury attorney to help you pursue justice and ensure that you child will get the care they need throughout their life. The Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers can help you pursue a Pennsylvania birth injury case, whether you are in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, Scranton, or any of the other smaller cities in Pennsylvania.
At Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers, our Pennsylvania birth trauma legal team is dedicated specifically to representing children who have sustained birth injuries. As one of the only law firms in the world exclusively handling birth trauma cases, we have thorough knowledge and experience with the complex medical aspects of birth injury litigation. Our focus permits us to work with leading medical specialists, life care planners and experts throughout each individual birth injury case we handle. If your child experienced a birth injury, contact the Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys at Reiter & Walsh today at 888-419-2229.
Pennsylvania Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are devastating and complex diagnoses; understanding them fully requires the help of professionals well-versed in the medicine behind the diagnoses. They can be caused by numerous factors, some of which may seem unrelated to a layman’s eye, but are in fact highly inter-related. Furthermore, they may not be immediately apparent; sometimes parents begin to suspect a birth injury once a child has begun to miss key developmental milestones like crawling, making eye contact, rolling over, talking, or learning language. There are two crucial things parents must remember:
- Birth injury is often highly preventable
- The sooner a birth injury is caught, the sooner therapy and treatment can start. The sooner intervention starts, the likelier it is that the child will have improved outcomes.
There are three broad categories of events that can push a parent to investigate further into the events that happened in a child’s birth. These can be roughly divided into ‘concerning prenatal events,’ ‘concerning events during and immediately after labor and delivery,’ and ‘concerning events during a child’s growth and development’. If these events are present, the likelihood that a child suffered a birth injury increases. Examples of these events include:
Concerning events during prenatal care and before labor
- Mother’s ‘water breaks’ early (premature rupture of membranes)
- Mother has one of these high-risk health conditions but is not referred to a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for further care:
- High blood pressure
- Prior history of birth complications
- The mother has an infection like chorioamnionitis/villitis, Group B strep, a UTI, a sexually transmitted infection (disease), or bacterial vaginosis and it isn’t caught in time
- There were issues with the umbilical cord (the cord was too long, too short, wrapped around the baby’s neck, or knotted) that weren’t detected until labor
- The baby is too small (intrauterine growth restriction, or IUGR) or too large (macrosomia) to tolerate labor well
- The mother is diagnosed with placenta previa and undergoes a vaginal birth
- The pregnancy lasted more than 40 weeks
Concerning events during and after labor and delivery
- The baby has seizures
- The baby has an infection like encephalitis, meningitis, sepsis, or pneumonia
- The baby breathed in meconium (a sticky green fecal substance) while it was in the womb
- The baby’s blood sugar is too low in the first few days after birth (neonatal hypoglycemia)
- The baby has jaundice (yellow skin and eyes) or kernicterus
- The baby can’t breathe after birth
- The baby needed an NICU stay
- The baby was put under special blue lights during their hospital stay
- The baby was diagnosed with:
- The baby gets stuck during labor (shoulder dystocia)
- The baby comes out face-first or feet-first
- The baby had cooling therapy
- Labor was distressing or prolonged
- Attempts at vaginal labor follows by a delayed emergency C-section
- The baby didn’t cry at birth
- The baby was limp, cool, blue, pale or unresponsive at birth
- Medical staff used forceps or a ventouse (vacuum extractor) during birth
- The mother had a mishandled placental abruption or uterine rupture (torn uterus)
- The baby was born prematurely
- The baby’s heart rate dropped during labor
- Mother was given Pitocin or Cytotec to speed up labor
Concerning events during a child’s growth and development
- Evidence of cerebral palsy
- Developmental delays
- Baby doesn’t walk, talk, roll over or crawl at the expected times
- Baby develops an early preference for one hand over another
- Child shows signs of cognitive, intellectual, learning or developmental disabilities
If any of these events occurred during your child’s development and growth, it may be useful to talk to a birth injury attorney to help you understand what happened and ensure your child will be well cared for throughout their lives, no matter what.
Legal Help for your Pennsylvania Birth Injury Case
The Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys at Reiter & Walsh ABC Law Centers understand that having a baby should be a joyful experience, and when it is impacted by medical complications, it can be stressful and difficult to get answers for questions like how to pay for the costs of raising a child with disabilities. Our goal is to help you not only understand what happened during your child’s birth, but also to help you make sure that your child has the funds to get the care and therapy they deserve, in order to help you gain peace of mind.
Pennsylvania Hospitals and Medical Facilities
There are dozens of NICUs (neonatal intensive care units) located within Pennsylvania hospitals. Nearly all babies who sustain birth injuries are sent to the NICU for medical care and a range of medical procedures. Some care services and procedures offered through NICUs include hypothermia therapy (a kind of brain treatment that helps minimize brain damage from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy), along with supportive services and breathing assistance. Not all NICUs are equipped to provide all kinds of care, so it’s important to research hospitals individually to see whether they can provide critical hypothermia therapy care.
Usually, level III or level IV NICUs can provide the specialized care that a baby with a birth injury needs. According to standards of medical care, all hospitals, medical centers, and birthing facilities must provide immediate access to emergency labor, delivery and neonatal medical services such as hypothermia therapy and emergency C-section facilities. If a given medical facility does not provide these services or facilities in-house, immediate transportation to a facility that does is mandatory.
While the following is by no means a comprehensive list, there are several hospitals in Pennsylvania with Level III or IV NICU designations:
- Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP Newborn Care): This Level III NICU provides help for infants with conditions such as respiratory failure, very low birth weight, sepsis and prematurity. It is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
- Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh is part of a network of NICUs across the state of Pennsylvania, including the Level IV NICU at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UMPC, the NICU at Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC, the NICU at UPMC Mercy and the NICU at UPMC Hamot in Erie, Pennsylvania.
- Penn State Children’s Hospital: This hospital is located in Hershey, Pennsylvania.
- Lancaster Regional Medical Center: This location is the only full-service hospital in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania with a Level III NICU.
- St. Luke’s Hospital-Bethlehem Campus: This NICU provides care for multiple births, premature babies and full-term babies with medical problems. It is located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
- Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital: The NICU at TJU is a Level III tertiary referral unit – the highest-level accreditation granted by the Pennsylvania Department of Health.
- Chester County Hospital: Classified as a Level III NICU.
- PinnacleHealth (Harrisburg): This is the Harrisburg area’s only Level III, 32-bed neonatal intensive care unit (NICU).
- Einstein Medical Center Philadelphia and Einstein Medical Center Montgomery: This Level III NICU provides acute care, including hypothermia therapy, respiratory therapies, and imaging.
Pennsylvania Universities and Research Centers
Pennsylvania is home to several prestigious medical research programs, including the following:
- University of Pennsylvania’s Perelman School of Medicine (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- Penn State University Research Program (State College, Pennsylvania)
- Wistaria Institute (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- Lankenau Institute for Medical Research (Wynnewood, Pennsylvania)
- Thomas Jefferson University’s Jefferson Clinical Research Institute (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
The state also has research programs in partnership with the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, such as the Windber Institute for Molecular Medicine.
Pennsylvania Law Schools
Pennsylvania has numerous legal programs, including
- University of Pennsylvania School of Law (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- Villanova University School of Law (Villanova, Pennsylvania)
- Pennsylvania State University Dickinson School of Law (State College, Pennsylvania)
- University of Pittsburgh School of Law (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)
- Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- Widener University School of Law (Chester, Pennsylvania)
- Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
Pennsylvania Military Hospitals
Pennsylvania is also home to a number of military hospitals. While medical malpractice litigation differs for errors occurring at military hospitals, the Reiter & Walsh, P.C. team is licensed to handle medical malpractice and birth trauma cases involving military medical personnel in Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Scranton, and all cities across Pennsylvania. To learn more about Pennsylvania’s military hospitals, visit the USHospitals.info website.
Our Experience and Recognition | The Pennsylvania Birth Injury Attorneys at Reiter & Walsh, P.C.
Our firm focuses only on birth injury, providing us with over 100 years of combined experience in investigating these complex medical cases. We have an extensive record of successful verdicts and settlements that demonstrate our dedication to our clients and are one of the few firms to employ in-house medical staff that focus on investigating medical records. Our attorneys have consistently been placed on top attorney listings, including U.S. News and World Report’s ‘Best Lawyers in America,’ business Magazine’s ‘Top Lawyers in Metro Detroit,’ and in SuperLawyers Magazine. The firm as a whole has been consistently rated among U.S. News and World Report’s ‘Best Law Firms’ listings since 2008. Our attorneys serve as active members and leaders in groups including the Birth Trauma Litigation Group, the Pennsylvania Association for Justice, the American Association for Justice, and more.
Contact Reiter & Walsh Today
The Pennsylvania birth injury attorneys at our law firm focus solely on birth injury cases, which means that we have a thorough knowledge of the complex medical content associated with birth injury cases, plus top-notch, award-winning medical, economic and forensics experts at our side. Whether you’re in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Erie, Allentown, Scranton, or another town in Pennsylvania, our birth trauma attorneys can help you. Contact us online for a free consultation or call us at 888-419-2229. You will never pay expenses out-of-pocket, and you can reach us 24/7 via phone, email or online chat:
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