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My daughter's baby suffered some brain damage at birth due to lack of oxygen, can the hospital be held liable?

Buffalo, NY |

My daughter was in labor at a hospital, while in labor she was given an epidural. My daughter's labor had not progressed like the doctors wanted her to. The baby started to become distressed after the epidural and the pitocin (which induces labor). This was given a couple of hours after the epidural. The baby's heart rated fluctuated for a couple of hours until there was none, the nurses assumed that the machine was malfunctioning and swithced to another machine. The baby's heart eventually went down and stayed down until my daughter was rushed into the OR for a C-section. The baby was born without a heartbeat for at 4 to minutes until they resucittated her. Now the baby was found to have some brain damage. Can the hospital be liable or could this be considered a fluke thing?

Attorney Answers 8


  1. I'm sorry that this happened to your daughter and grandchild. The answer to your question is yes, The hospital could very well be responsible, or it could have been unavoidable. You and your daughter should consult with a medical malpractice attorney who can review the records, including the fetal monitor strips which would show signs of a change in the babies heart rate. Based on your description, it sounds like the baby was showing signs of distress that may have necessitated an earlier delivery. However, the only way to know is with a thorough review of the records by an experienced attorney and an expert is crucial. Babies with these types of injuries can have a lifetime of problems and the medical costs great. My firm has handled, and is handling, several very similar cases the could have been avoided. It is unfortunate that it happens, but I hope everything turns out ok for your family.

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  2. This is a case that should be looked into. Don't just go with any personal injury lawyer - find someone with specific experience in dealing with birth injury cases. The hospital's lawyers and its insurance carrier will fight tooth and nail so you need to have a very experienced lawyer on your grandchild's side as there is a lot at stake. If this is a municipal hopsital a Notice of Claim needs to be served within 90 days of the birth (not including time for continuous treatment).

    I am a former federal and State prosecutor and now handle criminal defense and personal injury/civil rights cases. Feel free to check out my web site and contact me at (212) 577-9797 or via email at Eric@RothsteinLawNY.com. I was named to the Super Lawyers list as one of the top attorneys in New York for 2012. No more than 5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by Super Lawyers. The above answer is for informational purposes only and not meant as legal advice.


  3. There may be a case of medical malpractice. Consult with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. They will obtain the medical records from pregnancy through delivery and post delivery. If the hospital or its' employees deviated from the normal standard of care there may be malpractice. The fetal heart monitor strips are important. The type of c section bikini vs. Vertical is important. There are many facets to medical malpractice. The need to utilize a skilled medical malpractice attorney is important to get a positive result. I am sorry to hear that your family are dealing with a situation in which the hospital may be to blame.

    If this answer is helpful, then please mark the helpful button. If this is the best answer, then please indicate it. Thanks. For further information you should see an attorney and discuss the matter completely. If you are in the New York City area, then you can reach me during normal business hours at 718 329 9500 or www.mynewyorkcitylawyer.com.


  4. It sounds very much like the birth injury case I settled this year for 4.2 million dollars. Retain a birth injury lawyer to investigate. I'd want to order the fetal strips and see apgar scores.

    Only 29% Contingency Fee! Phone: 215-510-6755 www.InjuryLawyerPhiladelphia.com


  5. These are highly technical cases that need to be investigated. Not many lawyers know how to prosecute such a case. I can give you a referral if you would like. We can be reached toll free at 1-877-996-6849.


  6. This is not a fluke. The hospital can and should be liable for this. It is not uncommon for a baby's heart rate to become bradycardic after an epidural as epidural's can cause maternal hypotension. The subsequent heart rate abnormalities should have been picked up by the fetal monitor. Sometimes fetal heart rate abnormalities are missed when the fetal heart rate is confused for the maternal heart rate. A timely C-section would have avoided the brain damage. Cord blood gasses, apgar scores and head imaging performed after birth are helpful in determining the exact timing of the brain damage. It would be important to have the records reviewed by a birth injury attorney. Good luck.


  7. Medical malpractice cases require that your attorney obtain an opinion from a licensed physician that there was a deviation from the acceptable standard of care which resulted in the injuries and damages in question. The first step in any proper evaluation is to meet with the client and obtain a full history of what occurred. The next step is to obtain the records from the medical provider so that our office can have it reviewed to determine if you have a viable case. I am available for a free consultation here in Buffalo to help you explore what legal rights you may have in this matter. Please contact me at your earliest convenience to make arrangements for an office visit or I can come to your home.


  8. Maybe you do but you need to have an experienced lawyer review the medical records.

    Hire a lawyer to protect your legal rights. Good Luck!

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    The answers posted herein are not legal advice and no attorney-client relationship exists. Call for a free 20 minute consultation! THE ESTRELLA LAW FIRM, P.C. “LEGAL REPRESENTATION AND CONSULTING SERVICES THAT GO THE EXTRA MILE” -- Jeffrey J. Estrella, Esq. Licensed Attorney and Counsellor At Law/Abogado y Licensiado Licensed in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut The Estrella Law Firm, P.C. 75-20 Astoria Boulevard, Suite 170 Inside The Bulova Corporate Center Jackson Heights, NY 11370 T. (347) 628-2391 F. (718) 672-4728 E. Estrella.Jeffrey@gmail.com www.EstrellaLawyer.com

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