If your child suffered a serious injury due to the negligence of a midwife, our Dallas lawyers may be able to help you.
While obstetrician-gynecologists (OB/GYNs) remain the go-to professionals for child delivery in America, the use of midwives is a growing trend. Studies show that while midwives only delivered 2.3 percent of all American births in 1989, by 2008 that number had grown to 7.5 percent.
With midwives, as with obstetricians, there is still the very real potential of medical malpractice which can cause serious life-altering birth injuries to a child. Midwives are educated and trained to look for and recognize the variations of normal progress of labor. They are trained to know how to discern and intervene in high risk situations; when they fail to do so, they put the life of the child at risk.
When a midwife’s care falls below the accepted standard of practice in the medical community and a child is injured or dies in the process, they can (and should) be held liable for the damage that their incompetence has caused. The key to success rests in hiring a midwife negligence lawyer with experience.
Things to look for when seeking a midwife.
Any expectant mother who is considering using a midwife rather than a physician needs to consider a few things in order to avoid placing herself and/or her baby in danger:
- Any woman who has a high risk condition should not typically think about using a midwife. These women should choose instead to be carefully monitored and cared for by a traditional obstetrician in order to decrease the risks. Obstetricians can provide additional services such as surgical and instrumental deliveries when required.
- Conduct careful research before you choose a midwife. Keep in mind each state has different rules concerning education and certification, so you want to make sure you know what your state requires. You should also find out if your midwife has ever faced any previous medical malpractice lawsuits, criminal charges based on the death of a baby, or other negative action that has affected his or her license.
- Consider what kind of certification(s) the midwife has. Are you looking for a certified midwife (CM)? A certified professional midwife (CPM)? A certified nurse midwife (CNM)?
- Know the requirements in your state regarding births that occur in locations other than in hospitals. Some states require attendance by a licensed physician for home births.
- Your midwife needs to have a solid backup plan in case an emergency occurs. This should include equipment they can use, an obstetrician they can call, and a hospital within close proximity.
- Choose a midwife who has at least $5 million in medical malpractice insurance coverage. In the event of a medical error, the existence of a good insurance policy ensures expert medical care for your child.
Birth injuries and midwife malpractice.
When there is a birth injury resulting from the negligence or medical malpractice of a midwife, the affects can be serious and life-altering. Common birth injuries can include any of the following:
- Developmental delays
- Cerebral palsy
- Brachial plexus injuries
- Cephalohematoma birth injuries
- Hypoxia (oxygen starvation)
- Stillbirth or postpartum death of the baby
- Shoulder dystocia
- Postpartum hemorrhage
- Fetal brain damage
This is not a complete list by any means, though. If your child has been negatively affected by the negligent actions (or inaction) of a midwife, we urge you to call our Dallas medical malpractice attorneys at 1-877-405-4313 for a free consultation. We will do our best to evaluate your potential claim and discuss the options available to you.
There are some very serious issues that many people do not know about midwives. It is important to keep these things in mind before making a choice. While there may be other large factors which contribute to your decision, these are just a few of the important but lesser-known things to consider.
- Many midwives do not carry malpractice insurance.
- Midwives can still practice while a complaint is under investigation.
- Some midwives believe that they do not have to follow HIPAA guidelines.
- Certain midwives may lack a solid backup plan for care in case of an emergency.
- A midwife may lack documentation about past emergency transfers and cesarean rate.
- Midwives may also fail to maintain up to date education.
One family’s story.
In one lawsuit that involved a nurse midwife, student nurse midwife, registered nurse, and physician, a baby boy (now 7 years of age) suffered permanent brain damage as the result of utero hypoxia. According to the plaintiff, during the latter part of the pregnancy and on the day the baby was born, the defendants failed to respond properly to obvious signs of fetal distress which caused serious hypoxia; this resulted in the infant suffering permanent brain damage.
Two days after the plaintiff had reported lack of fetal movement to the midwifery service, she went to the hospital with further complaints of decreased fetal movement. The registered nurse and student nurse placed the mother on a fetal monitor and remained with her until the baby was born hours later without the attending obstetrician or supervising certified nurse midwife in attendance. During this time, they took no steps to improve blood flow and oxygen to the fetus.
In the morning, the supervising certified nurse midwife was notified of the circumstances but failed to report to the hospital because the attending physician was at the hospital. According to the physician, he was not aware that the midwife (who was with the patient) was a student, and did not believe it was his responsibility to supervise her.
Even after the obstetrician became aware that circumstances warranted immediate delivery of the baby, it was another hour before he obtained patient consent for a Cesarean section and didn’t notify the anesthesiologist of the urgency of the procedure. During this time, the nurse and student nurse midwife still did not take any measures to improve oxygen flow to the baby.
In spite of the baby’s distress, it was another two hours before the patient was taken to the operating room, and at the time of delivery the baby’s heart rate was only 20 bpm and he was not breathing. The child was later diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, cerebral palsy, and a variety of developmental delays.
The child is unable to walk or talk, cannot hold his head up or sit without help. He receives nutrition through a gastrostomy tube and requires assistance for all activities of his daily life. As a result of all the problems the child suffers as a result of the lack of proper care, the plaintiff received an out of court settlement of $3,500,000. If the family had not pursued a medical malpractice lawsuit against the midwife involved, they would be forced to bear this huge financial burden themselves.
Allow our law firm to help.
If your child has suffered a birth injury and you believe that the negligence of a midwife contributed, you owe it to your family to pursue compensation from the responsible parties. Call Rasansky Law Firm at 1-877-405-4313 or email us using the form found on this page, and we’ll provide you with a free case evaluation to let you know where you stand. If we can help you, we’d do so on a contingency fee agreement, meaning you don’t pay us a dime unless we win your case.
Speak With a Dallas Midwife Malpractice Attorney For Free
The attorneys at Rasansky Law Firm are happy to speak to you about your potential case free of charge. If we can help with your claim, we’ll do so for no out-of-pocket cost to you. Call us 24/7 at (214) 651-6100, or toll-free at 1-877-405-4313.