• From the Desk of a Cleveland Birth Injury Lawyer: Are Midwife Assisted Births Safer?

    Posted on August 31st, 2017 admin No comments

    Most people assume midwife births are just some fad, like the raw food movement or past life regression therapy. But as our birth injury lawyers in Cleveland will point out, the statistics suggest that such births are actually less likely to require a Cesarean section or cause birth injury.

    Currently, about a third of all births in the US are  Cesarean sections, far higher than the World Health Organization-recommended target of 10 to 15 percent.

    But a 2011 study in the journal Nursing Economics found that births led by midwives in collaboration with physicians are less likely to end in a C-section than births led by obstetricians alone.

    The reason? Patience. The birth process can sometimes take a long time, and the US medical community often pushes to rush things along. Midwifes, on the other hand, tend to rely on natural rhythms and resist the temptation to speed things up.

    “It’s a different model,” Ginger Breedlove, the president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, told the Atlantic. “When you begin intervening at high levels for no medical indication, as with premature induction, elective Cesareans, and forcing women to stay in bed and not ambulate during labor, you begin to create a cascade of domino responses that intervene with normal physiologic processes and change the outcome of birth.”

    The Atlantic reports:

    “The 2011 Nursing Economics study, for example, also found that mothers whose care was led by a nurse-midwife had lower rates of episiotomies, drug-induced labor, and vaginal tearing during delivery.”

    It’s certainly an interesting take on the subject of natural birth, midwives, and medical intervention. And that’s food for thought for any birth injury lawyer in Cleveland or anyone else interesting in lowering the risk for birth injury.

  • Believe Your Cleveland Birth Injury Attorney: Birth Can Be Especially Traumatic

    Posted on June 20th, 2017 admin No comments

    Suffer from a traumatic birth? You’re not alone. As any birth injury attorney in Cleveland will tell you, birth is difficult and a surprising number of mothers suffer from  posttraumatic stress symptoms (PTS) after birth, including some with full blown  posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

    In fact, Lamaze International’s Listening to Mothers Survey II found that 9 percent of new mothers suffered from PTSD after their birth, while a full 18 percent suffered from PTS. Furthermore, ethnicity can have a profound effect on the numbers. Indeed, more than 1 out of 4 non-Hispanic black mothers suffered from some form of PTS after birth.

    “The high percentage of mothers with elevated posttraumatic stress symptoms is a sobering statistic,” the study’s authors noted.

    Birth: Psychologically More Traumatic than Terrorism?

    Perhaps more surprising, giving birth can be statistically more disturbing psychologically than surviving a terrorist attack. Health psychologist and international certified lactation consultant Kathleen Kendall-Tackett points out in a blog on Women’s Health Today:

    “In the weeks following September 11, 7.5% of the residents of lower Manhattan met those full criteria (Galea et al. 2003). Take a minute to absorb these statistics. In at least one large study, the rates of full-criteria PTSD in the U.S. following childbirth are now higher than those following a major terrorist attack.”

    The outcome may be a bundle of joy that is also the light of your life, but birth can be difficult. If you suffered from a difficult birth, make sure you have the resources you need, including medical, legal and financial. Talk to a Linton Law Firm birth injury attorney in Cleveland for a free consultation.

    Read more here.

  • Recent Study Backs Up What Cleveland Birth Injury Attorneys Caution About Postpartum Depression

    Posted on May 15th, 2017 admin No comments

    It’s an injury often overlooked, and while it may not necessarily be a case for a birth injury attorney in Cleveland, it’s a serious issue nonetheless. Depression. Nearly one in seven women during pregnancy suffer from it. That’s more than a half million women in the US alone. And the mother is not the only one who suffers. Depression can also have profound impacts on infant development, according to newly released research.

    Lower rates of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), a biomarker, have been  associated with depression. Now researchers have found BDNF levels can vary considerably during pregnancy.

    “Our research shows BDNF levels change considerably across pregnancy and provide predictive value for depressive symptoms in women, as well as poor fetal growth. It’s notable that we observed a significant difference in BDNF in women of different races,” states Lisa M. Christian, an associate professor of psychiatry in the Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center and principal investigator of the study.

    Lower BDNF levels at both the second and third trimesters predicted greater depressive symptoms in the third trimester.

    “The good news is there are some good ways to address the issue,” Christian offered. “Antidepressant medications have been shown to increase BDNF levels. This may be appropriate for some pregnant women, but is not without potential risks and side effects. Luckily, another very effective way to increase BDNF levels is through exercise. With approval from your physician, staying physically active during pregnancy can help maintain BDNF levels, which has benefits for a woman’s mood, as well as for her baby’s development.”

    And that’s good news for mothers as well as the clients of a birth injury attorney in Cleveland.

  • Cleveland Birth Injury Attorney: Scientific Benefits of a Doula

    Posted on January 18th, 2017 admin No comments

    Want to avoid injury all together? Take it from our birth injury attorney in Clevelandrelax. And studies show that one of the best ways to have a relaxing, relatively stress-free birth experience is to work with a doula..

    According to a study published in the Journal of Perinatal Education, doula assisted mothers are four times less likely to experience low birth weight, two times less likely to experience birth complications, including birth injury, and significantly more likely to be successful in breastfeeding.

    “It is notable that despite participating in the same education classes, the women who chose to work with a doula had significantly better birth outcomes as measured by birth weight and fewer birth complications,” the study concluded.

    “This finding suggests that women who embraced the premise that a doula may help empower them to influence their birthing experience, manage their labors more effectively, and reach their expectations and hopes for a positive, healthy birth also may have realized that they could improve their prenatal health and the likelihood of a healthy birth outcome through their active participation and engagement in the healthy prenatal activities offered by this program.”

    Side by Side, Together

    So if you want to avoid birth injury and the need to consult with a birth injury in Cleveland for legal recourse, one preventative measure you can take is working with a doula through the birthing process. A doula, practicing side by side with the doctor, ensures that births can be the beautiful beginnings they are meant to be!

  • Cleveland Birth Injury Attorney Q & A: What is Fetal Distress?

    Posted on December 8th, 2016 admin No comments

    Fetal distress is often used to describe when the fetus is not getting enough oxygen either during gestation or labor. Most doctors avoid the term, however, because it is too vague and not well defined. Its ambiguity makes it difficult to diagnose as well as treat.

    Another term for it would be birth asphyxia, when the fetus does not get enough oxygen before, during or after labor. It can be one of the most common causes of birth injury, our Cleveland birth injury attorneys report. There are many causes, including low oxygen in the mother’s blood or reduced blood flow caused by a constricted umbilical cord.

    Many confuse birth asphyxia with fetal distress, but most doctors consider both terms too vague. For clarity and better diagnoses and treatment, the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) instead prefers  “non-reassuring fetal status.”  They recommend that doctors list additional findings such as fetal tachycardia, bradycardia, repetitive variable decelerations, low biophysical profile and late decelerations.

    The layman’s term may be fetal distress, but a birth injury attorney in Cleveland needs to know a more detailed diagnosis to determine if it was the result of a negligence or malpractice before taking such a case to court.

  • Simple Techniques for Safer Births from the Desk of a Birth Injury Attorney in Cleveland

    Posted on November 18th, 2016 admin No comments

    Whether you tragically end up needing a birth injury attorney in Cleveland following the birth of your child, or the birth goes well, it’s a safe bet that any birth is far from easy. But there are techniques that Mom, Dad, Doctor and Doula can do to make the birth a little more smoother, and reduce the risk of birth injury at the same time.

    First is to hire a doula. A new program at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s provides on-call doulas for a very affordable cost. “For $150, a mom in labor buys a bedside best friend or two who suggest position changes, offers massages, supplies cool forehead cloths — whatever is appropriate in the moment,” the Columbus Dispatch reported.

    Other non-drug assistance included water therapy. More and more hospitals are allowing, and sometimes even encouraging, water births. Other creative approaches include acupuncture and even hypnosis.

    Whether to go natural or to use medicine ultimately depends on the mother.

    “I would say there’s not a right or wrong answer,” Dr. Kara Rood, a maternal fetal medicine fellow at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center, told the Columbus Dispatch. “It’s very individualized.”

    That’s just about as valuable as any advice you might get from your birth injury attorney in Cleveland.

  • Birth Injury Lawyers in Cleveland Serve a Region that Suffers from High Preterm Birth Rates

    Posted on September 22nd, 2016 admin No comments

    One of the earliest birth injuries mothers suffer often happens before they even reach the hospital, yet the effects can just as traumatic on the baby’s and mother’s health as any other injury. Poor prenatal care dramatically increases the risk for preterm birth, the single largest contributor to infant death. And as any birth injury lawyer in Cleveland is well aware, Ohio ranks among the worse in the nation when it comes to preterm birth, with three of its major cities earning an “F” grade from the March of Dimes annual report card of the nation’s cities.

    “Cleveland hasn’t been doing as well as it should be, and our state hasn’t either,” Sara Donnersbach, board chair of the March of Dimes Northeast Ohio Division, told The Plain Dealer. “I think we’re at a crisis point. That’s what these grades reflect.”

    Yet there is a bright side. Situations are improving. Overall, the state of Ohio’s preterm birth rate is 10.3 percent, down from 12 percent the previous year, earning the state a “C” on the March of Dimes report card. That’s still higher than the nation’s average of 9.6 percent, which the organization hopes will eventually dip to 8.1 percent through improvements in prenatal care.

    And that would definitely be promising news to any client of a birth injury lawyer in Cleveland.

  • Ask a Birth Injury Attorney in Cleveland: Why is Home Birth in the U.S. so Dangerous?

    Posted on July 9th, 2016 admin No comments

    Would you consider a home birth? In the U.S., giving birth at home has earned a reputation for danger. And the data supports this. The switch from home birth to hospital birth during the 20th century in the U.S. accompanied a reduction of over 90 percent decrease in neonatal mortality and 99 percent decrease in maternal mortality. Certainly, a birth injury attorney in Cleveland still gets their fair share of cases, but birth injury is much rarer than it was at the turn of the last century when most births were done at home.

    This is because birth is an inherently dangerous process, and antibiotics, blood banks and neonatology available at hospitals, make it monumentally safer. Several studies of home birth in the U.S. estimate birth death at 7 times that of hospitals.

    Yet in other countries, such as Canada, several studies indicate there are no difference in birth injuries and birth death in home birth compared to hospitals.

    How can this be? A recent opinion piece in the New York Times lays the blame on the qualification standards of midwives in the U.S.

    “The problem is that there are two types of midwives in the United States. The first, certified nurse midwives, called C.N.M.s, are perhaps the best-educated, best-trained midwives in the world….,” Amy Tuteur, a former clinical instructor in obstetrics- gynecology at Harvard Medical School, points out in the Times. “The other, certified professional midwives, or C.P.M.s, fall far short of international standards.… This second class of poorly trained midwives attend the majority of American home births.”

    And ultimately this lack of training and credentials affect the lives and health of the mothers and their babies.  As Tuteur concludes, “But as long as we allow poorly trained laypeople with watered down credentials to perform home births, we are risking the health of mothers, and the lives of babies.”

    Should you give birth at home? Ultimately, that is your decision. But if you do, make sure to work with a certified nurse midwife, which will substantially improve the chances of a healthy birth and minimize a future need to consult a birth injury attorney in Cleveland.

  • Who is Held Accountable? Why No Fault Birth Injury Funds Risk Protecting the Guilty from Litigation by a Birth Injury Lawyer in Cleveland

    Posted on May 10th, 2016 admin No comments

    No Fault Birth Injury Funds appear to offer a suitable solution to the question of how to pay for the care of a child born with birth injuries. Laws creating them have been passed in Florida and Virginia, and a proposed bill in Maryland has been modeled on those efforts. The fund would compensate families of babies born with birth injuries so they could forego the need for litigation through a birth injury lawyer, like the ones we have at our Cleveland practice. The bill has reportedly pitted hospitals and malpractice lawyers against each other.

    Hospitals argue that care is reduced as a result of the large settlements given to birth injury victims.

    “Maryland’s medical environment has worsened significantly over the last handful of years as a result, in part, due to several large awards in birth injury cases,” Maryland Hospital Association President and CEO Carmela Coyle told the Maryland Reporter. “Maryland hospitals and doctors and other providers are, in fact, deeply concerned that if the environment continues to worsen, access to care, in fact, will be reduced. We need a birth injury fund to address that threat.”

    The malpractice legal community, on the other hand, argues that with the fund, families are robbed of their right to a jury trial and hospitals are not held accountable for their mistakes.

    “Why are there 48 states of this great union that don’t have this fund? Are they all dumb?” Jonathan Schochor, a senior managing partner at Schochor, Federico and Staton told the Maryland Reporter. “Should we bring in 48 representatives of the other states to tell you what a bad idea it is to sail these kids down the river, strip them of their constitutional rights to a trial by jury and subject them to a group, an administrative law judge, who is admittedly not trained to make these decisions, to make a decision to undercompensate them?”

    Holding the medical community responsible, however, is only one reason for hiring a birth injury lawyer in Cleveland. The most compelling reason found by our clients is securing a suitable financial future to help the child live a fulfilling life after the injury. The fund may provide one answer, but is it is indeed limited. Our experience confirms that if a case has strong legal standing, a family will likely secure a brighter settlement through the legal process that can better facilitate healing and a happier life.

  • Startling Statistics All Too Well Known by a Birth Injury Attorney in Cleveland

    Posted on April 5th, 2016 admin No comments

    They are tragic statistics a birth injury attorney in Cleveland deals with every day. About seven birth injuries result from every 1,000 births, according to the US Department of Health and Human Services. And many of these are avoidable. In fact, in one given year, nearly 157,000 injuries to mothers and newborns were largely avoidable, according to the federal Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project.

    In fact, the report found that birth injuries were one of the most common of medical malpractice cases. Medical malpractice itself is essentially an epidemic in this country as the third leading cause of death in the US, to the cost of nearly $3 billion in medical malpractice claims annually, according to the American Medical Association.

    These high rates of death are most stem from problems within the American medical system itself.

    “Recognition of the harmful effects of health care interventions, and the likely possibility that they account for a substantial proportion of the excess deaths in the United States compared with other comparably industrialized nations, sheds new light on imperatives for research and health policy,” Dr. Barbara Starfield wrote in commentary published by the American Medical Association. “Alternative explanations for these realities deserve intensive exploration.”

    If you have been the victim of a medical malpractice or a birth injury, contact a Linton Law Firm birth injury attorney in Cleveland today for a free consultation. You are not alone. The problem has reached epidemic proportions in this country. You and your loved ones deserve justice.