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Severe Birth Injuries Caused by Out-of-Hospital Birth


Today, many expectant mothers are choosing ‘natural’ forms of delivery over hospitals. Midwife services and out-of-hospital birth centers are becoming an attractive option for couples who believe in natural health and traditional methods of delivery. However, many of these facilities don’t have the on-hand medical technology that a hospital does. When something goes wrong, they have to call the hospital in order to correct a serious problem. When they don’t, the results can often be tragic.

In one case, a newborn delivered by a newly licensed midwife, suffered cardiac arrest, respiratory failure, and oxygen deprivation to the brain, which resulted in severe uncorrectable brain damage. The child is now alive only because of the machines that deliver him milk, anti-seizure medications, and IV fluids. The child is incapable of swallowing and the nurses must manually remove saliva from the child’s throat to prevent him from choking. His doctors are unsure if there is damage to the brain stem which controls the autonomic functions of the body. The child never cries. The only sound he has thus far made is related to hiccups.

At Least Three Deaths Attributed to Birthing Home 

The Rosemary Birthing Home in Miami has had problems safely delivering babies in the past. There are at least three deaths attributed to the center and numerous transfers to area hospitals, though not all birthing deaths are preventable.

One of the major problems that these birthing centers have is a failure to transfer patients who have breech babies to hospitals. The majority of breech babies are delivered by C-section in order to prevent significant harm coming to the baby in the process of delivery. In many cases, the baby can become tangled in the umbilical or otherwise deprived of oxygen. A C-section is generally the safest way to ensure the baby is born healthy.

Out-of-hospital birthing clinics, however, lack the training or facilities to perform a C-section. In cases where they do catch the problem, they should be sending mothers to local area hospitals in order to safely deliver the baby. In some cases, they fail to catch the problem until it is too late.

That is what happened with one baby, according to a mother. The midwife who was conducting the delivery failed to recognize the breech birth until the baby’s feet were poking out of its mother. Florida law requires all midwives to perform an assessment on the expectant mother prior to delivery. This is in order to ensure that there will be no complications in the delivery process that the out-of-hospital birth center would be unable to accommodate. The midwife’s own notes show that she failed to conduct this initial assessment. Midwives are also required to refer the mother to a hospital in the event that the baby does not flip head-side down in the 37th week. That never happened either. As a result, the mother says, her baby was born with permanent impairments.

Our Team Represents Parents in Birth Injury Lawsuits 

If your baby has been injured by doctor or midwife negligence, contact the Tampa birth injuries lawyers at Palmer | Lopez and we will begin preparing your case for trial.


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