5 steps to follow after experiencing midwife negligence

5 Steps to Follow After Experiencing Midwife Negligence

Do you suspect you or someone you love is the victim of pediatric medical malpractice or midwife negligence? Midwives are trained to respond to medical emergencies and assist in labour and the safe delivery of babies. Soon-to-be parents depend on their expertise throughout the process. So, what steps can you take if things go wrong?

Medical personnel, like midwives and hospital staff, play a crucial role in the safe delivery of babies. When a medical error occurs, both mother and child can suffer the repercussions. 

If you believe any of these factors caused an injury, you can discuss what transpired with a birth injury lawyer. They will assist you in determining if there are grounds for legal action and compensation.

What is Midwife Negligence?

Negligence can happen at any point in the pregnancy ranging from the pregnancy to post-partum. It results from someone failing to meet the standard of care requirements, taking actions that result in injury/illness, or mismanaging/misreading medical records. Negligence can lead to severe injuries and life-altering diagnoses for those involved. 

Cases of malpractice can be challenging to ascertain initially. Negligence can result in infections, illnesses, or personal injuries. Common mistakes include:

  • Lack of attention to proper oxygen while birthing

  • Untreated or undiagnosed infections 

  • Uterine rupture

  • Not suggesting c-section when needed

  • Damage to the newborn's brain

  • Medication mistakes

  • Misdiagnoses

  • Nerve damage (twisting, pulling, or twisting) from improperly handling the newborn

  • Mishandling of vacuum extractors or forceps, causing damage

  • Not closely monitoring mother and baby

  • Failing to consult an obstetrician when problems exist

If negligence results in birth injuries, the baby suffers as a result. Your newborn may suffer from disabilities and life-long challenges. Claims can be made against the midwife herself, groups of midwives, doctors/medical staff, or the hospital.

What Are Common Injuries?

The two most common types of injuries sustained through obstetrical negligence are brachial plexus injuries and cerebral palsy. Brachial plexus injuries result when the newborn's nerves are compressed, stretched, ripped, or torn from the spine. The brachial plexus consists of a system of nerves sending signals to the infant's hand, arm, and shoulder.

Babies commonly experience these injuries during delivery and labour. It is frequently witnessed in larger babies and those delivered using vacuum extraction or forceps. They can be serious, leading to permanent disabilities, weakness, or paralysis.

Cerebral palsy inhibits a newborn's ability to control movements and muscles. It results in abnormal brain development, brain injuries as the child develops, or insufficient oxygen during birth or labour. Children with this diagnosis experience floppy or stiff muscles and can experience significant developmental delays. 

Keep in mind that not all injuries result in an outwardly physical disorder. There can also be internal issues, like group B strep or infant jaundice. 

Group B strep isn't harmful in adults but can be significant in newborns. It is a bacteria found in the lower genital tract and intestines. If undiagnosed in the mother, it can spread to the newborn during vaginal delivery. Complications can include bloodstream infection, pneumonia, and meningitis. 

Infant jaundice is when excessive amounts of bilirubin cause a yellowish tint to the newborn's skin. It can be easily treated with light therapy. However, if untreated, it can result in kernicterus. Kernicterus can lead to hearing loss, athetoid cerebral palsy, and a permanent upward gaze.

Steps to Follow After Midwife Negligence

If you feel that you have suffered from midwife negligence, there are several steps you can follow. These will ensure that you and your baby have a brighter future and allow you to focus on proper recovery. 

1. Place a Priority on Wellbeing 

The most crucial thing to do when negligence occurs is to focus on proper care for yourself and your newborn. Obtain whatever assistance is required and try to rest.

2. Think About Interactions With the Midwife

Over the course of the pregnancy, did you feel their actions were negligent? Were your questions/concerns dismissed? You will need to reflect on whether another professional was in the room and whether they made alternative suggestions. This will assist you in making your case and determining if you have legal grounds. 

Be sure you obtain hospital bills, statements, supporting medical records, witness testimonies, and documents that support your claim. 

3. Write Down All the Details

The more you can remember the event, the stronger your case will be. Try to write the events in chronological order. Refer to a calendar and any messages over the duration of the pregnancy and labour. Also include names of those who witnessed important conversations or events. 

4. Gather and Preserve Evidence Supporting Your Case

Videos, texts, photos, call histories, and emails can all assist your case. If you have anything that supports midwife negligence, keep it. They may be what you need to determine legal fault. The more evidence you have, the smoother the case will be.

5. Quickly Obtain Legal Help

The lawyer may need to deliver notice within strict and brief time limits. If this doesn't occur, you may forfeit the right to sue. A lawyer will assist you in navigating various requirements and sending the other party notice while establishing your case.

Successful claims can help you receive compensation to cover expenses from treatments, special instruments, medication, or emotional distress. 

You may receive a significant sum in compensation if negligence results from midwife inexperience, staffing shortages/equipment/resources, or incorrect care.

Whom Should I Contact for Pediatric Medical Malpractice Cases?

At Sommers Roth and Elmaleh, our team of professionals are experts in pediatric medical malpractice cases. We have extensive experience helping clients with medical malpractice claims. Finances in these cases can become a significant stressor for families. Therefore, settlements can provide desperately needed relief.

If you feel you have experienced midwife malpractice, contact us today at 1-844-940-2386 for a free consultation or book your appointment here. Our team operates on a contingency-fee basis, assisting you as best as possible.

Disclaimer and Liability Exclusion

The information on this page is provided for general information purposes only. It should not be construed as legal advice. It does not constitute legal or other professional advice or an opinion of any kind. Readers should seek specific legal advice regarding any specific legal issues. We do not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness or quality of the information on this page. The posts on this page are current as of their original date of publication, but they should not be relied upon as timely, accurate or fit for any particular purpose.

Accessing or using this web site or the content herein does not create a lawyer-client relationship.

This page may contain links to third party web sites. We are unable to, and do not, monitor and guarantee the quality of the information disseminated and accessible through those links, which are provided for convenience only. We do not endorse the information contained in linked web sites nor guarantee its accuracy, timeliness or fitness for a particular purpose.

    If you have been affected by medical malpractice anywhere in Canada contact us for a free consultation.
    You pay us nothing unless we win.

    A lawyer from Sommers Roth & Elmaleh will be in touch with you as soon as possible. Please note that no lawyer-client, advisory, or fiduciary relationship is created by your inquiry. All information provided is confidential.

    The above information is not legal advice. Past results of cases and recoveries by our medical malpractice lawyers against hospitals, doctors, midwives, nurses and other healthcare professionals are not necessarily indicative of future results. The amounts recovered and other litigation outcomes will vary according to the facts in individual cases.