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Albuquerque Birth Injury Lawyer

Albuquerque Birth Injury Lawyer

The birth of a child is a happy and exciting occasion, or at least it should be. There’s enough stress about caring for your new little bundle of joy that the last thing you should have to worry about is if your baby is healthy and going to be able to experience life to the fullest. But when the unthinkable happens, you may need the guidance of an Albuquerque birth injury lawyer.

If you or your baby was injured or experienced medical trauma at the hands of a healthcare provider in New Mexico, our team at Barrera Law Group LLC can help. We have experience with medical malpractice lawsuits and are sensitive to our clients’ needs.

What Can Cause an Injury During Labor and Delivery?

Medical professionals and healthcare workers owe a duty of care to their patients, but often enough, even the best doctors make mistakes, and those mistakes can take the lives of the smallest of patients. Birth injuries don’t always lead to infant death. Most of these injuries lead to lifelong disabilities that their families have to manage. Causes of these injuries can include:

  • Unnecessary delays in a C-Section delivery
  • Use of excessive force during delivery
  • Choosing an inappropriate delivery method
  • Failure to provide adequate prenatal care
  • Failure to monitor vital signs during labor and delivery
  • Miscalculating the size of the baby
  • Failure to detect and address problems with the umbilical cord
  • Failure to respond to cardiac complications during birth
  • Using a vacuum extraction when a C-Section or forceps-assisted birth is necessary
  • Giving the wrong dose or type of Oxytocin, Pitocin, or Misoprostol
  • Failure to treat conditions in the newborn, such as meconium aspiration syndrome, infant respiratory distress syndrome, or jaundice
  • Failure to promptly treat lack of oxygen, infection, or bleeding
  • Failure to address and correct adverse effects from surgery or drugs, including complications from anesthesia and epidural toxicity

Lack of oxygen to the brain is often the most serious birth injury as it can cause permanent brain injury during or immediately after delivery. Lack of oxygen can cause the following types of injuries:

  • Reduced oxygen
  • Reduced glucose
  • Trauma

Anytime the delivery of oxygen to the brain is impeded, brain injury is likely to occur, and if one or more of these causes occur, the likelihood of brain injury increases. Lack of oxygen is common during labor and delivery, often from an improperly functioning placenta or damage or compression to the umbilical cord. These are easy fixes for a qualified medical professional but can be devastatingly damaging if not caught and remedied immediately.

Another common problem is excessive Pitocin, which causes contractions to come less than two minutes apart and makes it impossible for the body to replenish its oxygen supply. If Pitocin causes contractions to come too frequently or too strong and no one adjusts the amount being given, both the mother and child are at risk of brain damage or even death.

Birth Injury Risk Factors

While any child can suffer from a birth injury, some factors often increase the chances that an injury during delivery may occur, such as:

  • Gestational Diabetes: According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 8.3% of women develop gestational diabetes during pregnancy. This condition can have a serious impact on a child’s development in utero and needs to be closely monitored and treated by healthcare professionals throughout the pregnancy. It’s usually temporary and dissipates in the days following the delivery.
  • Large Babies: Some babies are naturally larger than others, and some babies become larger due to delayed birth. Delayed birth can cause a baby to continue to grow, making it difficult for them to fit through the birth canal. This puts them at risk for getting stuck and requiring forceps or other invasive procedures to get them out.
  • Exposure to Toxins: If the mother is exposed to dangerous toxins, such as methylmercury during pregnancy, it can damage the brain of the baby. Eating mercury-contaminated fish is the most common way this exposure occurs.
  • Low Birth Weight: Data from the CDC also shows that 8.52% of all newborns are born weighing less than 5 pounds and 5 ounces (2,500 grams). A low birth weight increases the chances of problems during delivery.
  • Blood Pressure: Doctors should regularly monitor a mother’s blood pressure throughout the pregnancy as it determines her baby’s supply of blood and oxygen. If the blood pressure gets too high or too low, the baby is at risk of asphyxiation. Doctors also have a duty to control blood pressure during delivery and in the days that follow.
  • Maternal Weight: Although some weight gain is completely normal during pregnancy, an excessive amount of maternal weight gain puts babies at a significant risk of brain and spinal injuries. Healthcare professionals should closely monitor and have a plan of action in place for pregnant mothers showing signs of this condition.
  • Premature Births: The CDC also states that an estimated 10.49% of all newborns are born premature, that is, before the 37th week of pregnancy. These babies are at greater risk of birth injury due to the fact that they haven’t had enough time for their brains, muscles, and nervous systems to fully develop.
  • Physical Trauma: Excessive force from a doctor during vaginal delivery can cause severe damage to a newborn baby’s head, neck, and shoulders and can lead to developmental delays, brain damage, or nerve injuries.

Although you may not suffer from any of these conditions while you are (or were) pregnant or during your labor and delivery, it’s important to acknowledge them. It’s also just as important to know your family’s medical history and tell your doctor all the information you have. Even so, some doctors or other health care workers blatantly disregard any history or current symptoms, which leads to these injuries occurring.

Regardless of whether you have any of these risks or not, a birth injury can still occur, and if it happens to you, know that our office at Barrera Law Group LLC is just a phone call away.

Types of Birth Injuries

Neonatal injuries, like the majority of any other medical injuries, are mostly entirely preventable. However, medical malpractice cases unfortunately occur far more often than we’d like them to. Some of the most common types of birth injuries include, but are not limited to:

  • Brachial plexus injuries (Erb’s Palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy)
  • Horner Syndrome
  • Broken bones
  • Uterine rupture/VBAC
  • Shoulder Dystocia
  • Fetal distress
  • Eclampsia or Preeclampsia
  • Spinal injuries
  • Forceps/Vacuum extractions
  • Kernicterus
  • Low blood sugar
  • Pitocin overdose
  • Brain injuries
  • Umbilical cord compression
  • Infections/Sepsis
  • Hypoxia/Lack of oxygen
  • Improper fetal monitoring during labor
  • Cesarean (C-Section) delivery
  • Cerebral palsy (CP)
  • Facial paralysis

If your child shows signs of anything on this list and you believe that their injuries were due to the negligence of a healthcare worker, Barrera Law Group LLC is ready to fight for you. We’re on your side and will assist in bringing you the justice you deserve.

Why Do You Need a Birth Injury Attorney?

While having a lawyer isn’t required when pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit, having an experienced attorney on your side will only benefit your case. Hiring a birth injury lawyer shows how serious you are about your case, but also your attorney will know more of the details of the law so that you can receive as much compensation as possible.

How to Prove a Birth Injury in New Mexico

However, even with the help of an expert attorney, certain facts must be proven to proceed with medical malpractice in your birth injury claim:

  • Duty of Care: Proof that the healthcare provider had an obligation to provide competent and comprehensive care to the mother and baby during pregnancy, labor, and delivery
  • Breach of Standard of Care: Proof that the healthcare provider’s actions or omissions deviated from what a reasonably skilled and prudent healthcare provider would have done in a similar circumstance
  • Causation: Proof that the healthcare provider’s actions or negligence directly and substantially caused the birth injury
  • Damages: Proof that the birth injury resulted in actual damages, both real and quantifiable. This includes medical expenses, pain and suffering, disability, emotional distress, and more

If your lawyer can prove all four of these elements, your case can move forward toward justice.

New Mexico Infant Birth and Death Statistics

State-specific data on pregnancy, prenatal care, births, etc. in New Mexico shows higher percentages than the national average in most categories:

  • The number of newborns in New Mexico with low birth weight has been over 9% since 2019.
  • Data from 2019 shows that Black or African-American women in New Mexico had the highest rate of premature births at 16.6%. Hispanic mothers and Asian or Pacific Islander mothers were 10.4% and 10.1%, respectively.
  • 75% of early preterm births were very low birth weight.
  • The age group most likely to receive low or no prenatal care are the mothers aged younger than 15.
  • The 2019 infant mortality rate in New Mexico was 5.7 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • Black or African-American infants have the highest percentage of infant deaths. 12.6 were neonatal (under 28 days old), and 6.3 were postneonatal (between 28 days and under one year old) per 1,000 live births.
  • There were 66 reported deaths (per 100,000) of children aged 0-4 that were due to certain conditions originating in the perinatal period (during pregnancy and up to one year after birth).

Additionally, of the 132 reported infant deaths in New Mexico in 2019, 33 were caused by disorders related to short gestation and low birth weight, 12 were caused by unintentional injuries, and 7 were caused by complications of placenta, cord, and membranes.

Knowing this information can only help your case, as it shows that mothers and their babies in the Land of Enchantment are at greater risk for birth injuries and infant mortality, and your lawyer can use the details of these statistics to help your case.

Barrera Law Group LLC – Holding Negligent Medical Professionals Accountable

Pregnancy and birth are already difficult and stressful, and if something goes wrong and your little one has injuries or disabilities, it adds another level of stress that you didn’t have in your parenting plan. Birth injuries can be debilitating not only for the newborn but also for the parents and family, as you now have to navigate through the world of specialists, therapists, etc., to manage your child’s care.

At Barrera Law Group LLC, our lawyers are sympathetic to each situation and have a quarter of a century of experience handling cases just like yours. Let us take some of the stress off your shoulders and reach out to our office for your free consultation today.

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