Minneapolis Cranial Compression Injury Lawyers
Newborn cranial compression is an umbrella term for a number of brain injuries and other wounds commonly associated with labor emergencies. Actually, as outlined below, the direct cause is usually not the emergency itself, but the doctor’s response to the emergency.
Cranial compression is basically excessive pressure on the infant’s head that disrupts the flow of oxygen to the brain, a condition also known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). The related wounds include excessive swelling on the infant’s skull (caput succedaneum), bleeding in the brain due to a trauma injury (cephalohematoma), and an abnormal head shape which damages the child’s brain (head molding).
The dedicated Minneapolis cranial compression lawyers at Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman serve as a voice to the voiceless in these situations. Helpless infants cannot stand up for their own legal rights. So, we proudly stand in the gap. We also serve as a strong voice for family members in these situations. Your child has already been injured once. We will do whatever it takes to prevent another injury.
What Causes Cranial Compression?
Shoulder Dystocia (SD) is the most common labor emergency which leads to head injuries. If the baby is too large to slide down the mother’s birth canal, her umbilical cord could wrap around the baby’s neck and threaten the brain’s oxygen supply. If that happens, unless the doctor delivers the baby in less than five minutes, the baby will most likely have permanent brain damage.
When the chips are down and the pressure is on, doctors, like the rest of us, often make poor decisions. Instead of relying on solid medical methods, they resort to risky mechanical birth aids, such as:
- Forceps: This mechanical birth aid, which first appeared in the 1700s, resembles a large pair of surgical salad tongs. Medical science has advanced by leaps and bounds since the eighteenth century. But this device, and the technique associated with it, is essentially unchanged. The doctor pinches the baby’s head between the metal parts and tries to pull the baby out of the mother.
- Vacuum Extractor: Although it is more advanced than forceps, a vacuum extractor is just as dangerous to a tiny newborn. The doctor straps a metal cap onto the baby’s head. That cap is attached to a vacuum hose. Then, the doctor tries to suck the baby out of the mother. Like forceps, a vacuum extractor could cause external and internal head injuries. These injuries are normally permanent.
Preferred medical procedures in these situations have little or nothing to do with mechanical birth aids, Instead, the preferred method is the McRoberts Maneuver. Basically, the doctor repositions the mother, so gravity becomes an ally instead of an enemy. If that technique fails, a crash c-section is usually the last resort.
Disregarding the standard of care is evidence of negligence. Disregarding the standard of care in favor of risky birth interventions is even worse. Doctors have a very high duty of care in these situations. Putting the mother and baby at risk clearly breaches this standard.
Next, a Minneapolis cranial compression injury lawyer must prove the doctor’s reaction caused injury. “Cause” is a legal term of art which includes both cause-in-fact and foreseeability (possibility). Insurance company lawyers often dispute cause by blaming the infant’s head injury on another cause, like an unrelated accident at home.
Some possible defenses in medical negligence claims include assumption of the risk and comparative fault. Assumption of the risk usually involves a liability waiver. Comparative fault is a legal loophole that shifts blame for an injury from the tortfeasor (negligent actor) to the victim.
Damages in a birth injury claim usually include compensation for economic losses, such as medical bills, and noneconomic losses, such as pain and suffering. Additional punitive damages may also be available in these cases.
Rely on an Experienced Hennepin County Lawyer
Injury victims are usually entitled to significant compensation. For a free consultation with an experienced cranial compression injury lawyer in Minneapolis, contact Wais, Vogelstein, Forman, Koch & Norman LLC by going online or calling 410-567-0800. Virtual, home, and hospital visits are available.