A breech birth occurs when the fetus fails to turn and present head first in preparation for delivery. If labor is allowed to continue unassisted, the baby is born feet or buttocks first. This situation can make labor difficult for both mother and baby, and may result in injury or complications in some cases.
If you suspect that your doctor did not manage the breech birth and resultant complications correctly, talk to Buttafuoco & Associates for a free case review. You may be entitled to damages if a doctor was negligent and contributed to your child’s injuries. Call 1-800-NOW-HURT to set up a consultation with a New York lawyer for breech birth complications.
Types of Breech Birth Complications and Injuries
Children in the breech presentation may be at greater risk of becoming stuck in the birth canal. This may pull or compress the child’s shoulders, which could lead to brachial plexus injuries and problems with limb mobility or weakness.
The child may also be at risk of spinal injuries during a breech birth, particularly the lower cervical and upper thoracic regions. These spinal regions include the base of the neck and shoulders. Minor spinal injury can cause weakness and spastic movement. A serious spinal injury can result in permanent paralysis, stillbirth, or rapid neonatal death due to respiratory complications.
A breech birth may also put the child at risk for skeletal injuries to the shoulders and limbs, especially as doctors attempt to reposition the baby.
If the breech birth continues vaginally and the child becomes stuck within the birth canal for a prolonged period, there is a risk of brain damage due to lack of oxygen. Severe cases of oxygen deprivation also carry a risk of fetal death.
Determining if a Breech Birth Occurred Due to Negligence
Most breech complications are detectable by performing ultrasounds prior to delivery. If the doctor determines the fetus is in breech position at the time labor begins, he should determine if an assisted breech birth is possible or if a caesarean section is necessary to protect the health of the child and mother.
Upon discovering a breech positioning, the doctor should assess the risks of all delivery options and inform the mother of her options. The law may consider failure to assess the risks and warn of complications as negligent if it contributes to a birth injury.
There are three types of vaginal breech births:
- Spontaneous, where the breech birth occurs unaided.
- Assisted, where a doctor manipulates the delivery about midway through the delivery process.
- Total, where the doctor grasps the feet as they present from the birth canal and manually extracts the infant.
Filing a Claim for Birth Injury Caused by a Breech Birth
A common complaint of negligence regarding breech births is a doctor’s failure to assess the fetal position, and thus his or her negligent management of the labor and delivery process.
If you believe that the doctor was negligent in his or her assessment and management of the breech birth, a medical expert may testify regarding whether the doctor followed the standard of care. You must prove that the doctor was negligent, and that the doctor’s negligence led to your child’s injuries.
Buttafuoco & Associates fights for the parents and children affected by a doctor’s negligent management of a breech birth. Your family may be entitled to compensation for medical costs, long-term care, and emotional damages related to the child’s injuries. Call 1-800-NOW-HURT to set up a consultation to review your case and start fighting for fair compensation.