The birth of a baby is often an exciting and much anticipated time. However, sometimes things do not go well during the course of delivery. It is often difficult to know whether medical malpractice has occurred during the birth of a baby.
Here are a few signs that medical malpractice may have occurred:
- the baby’s heart rate dropped during delivery
- the baby had a bowel movement – passed meconium during birth
- the hospital gave you oxygen during delivery
- you noticed a decrease or lack of fetal movement
- an emergency cesarean section was required after being in labor for many hours
- your child had low APGAR scores
- your baby didn’t cry after birth or had a weak cry
- your baby’s head or shoulder was stuck
- the hospital used forceps
- you suffered a substantial vaginal tear
- your baby was immediately taken away to the nursery or Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
Virginia Apgar, an anesthesiologist, invented the Apgar score in 1952 as a method to quickly assess the health of newborn children. Apgar developed the score in order to assess the effects of obstetric anesthesia on babies. The Apgar score is determined by evaluating the newborn baby on five criteria:
The test is generally done at one and five minutes after birth, and may be repeated later if the score remains low. Scores 7 and above are normal, 4 to 6 are fairly low, and 3 and below are critically low. If you suspect medical malpractice, it is important to find out your child’s APGAR score from hospital records. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you obtain and review medical records and assess whether it is likely that medical malpractice occurred as well as bring a personal injury lawsuit in appropriate cases.
The law office of Weinstein, Chase, Messinger & Peters deals with personal injury and medical malpractice cases throughout the Brooklyn, New York area. Contact the office to set up a free initial consultation.