Expectant mothers often undergo numerous ultrasounds throughout their pregnancies, during which their doctors will assess the development of the fetus. Ultrasounds also enable physicians to identify causes for concern, like low levels of amniotic fluid, and provide any necessary care. If a doctor fails to observe or treat oligohydramnios, or low amniotic fluid levels, it can cause serious complications that lead to lifelong impairment. If your child suffered a birth injury due to improper management of oligohydramnios, you might be owed compensation, and you should consult an attorney regarding your potential claims. The dedicated Baltimore birth injury attorneys of Arfaa Law Group are well-versed in what it takes to obtain successful outcomes in birth injury cases, and if we represent you, we will gather the evidence needed to provide you with a strong chance of a favorable result.Harm Caused by Oligohydramnios
Amniotic fluid is essential for a fetus's development. It not only protects unborn babies it also aids in the growth of their lungs, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tracts. Oligohydramnios is the medical term for low levels of amniotic fluid. Numerous factors can lead to oligohydramnios, including premature rupture of the membrane, placental insufficiency, chromosomal abnormalities, problems with the fetus's urinary tract, and infections within the uterus. Oligohydramnios is typically diagnosed in the third trimester via ultrasound. Treatment for low amniotic fluid includes keeping the mother hydrated and administration of medication and intravenous fluids. When a doctor fails to observe oligohydramnios, and it goes untreated, it can lead to underdeveloped lungs, musculoskeletal abnormalities, compression of the fetus or umbilical cord, stillbirth, and miscarriage.Proving Liability in a Birth Injury Case
Doctors who fail to diagnose or treat oligohydramnios can be held liable for any birth injuries caused by their incompetence. As birth injuries typically arise out of carelessness rather than intentional acts, a plaintiff seeking compensation in a birth injury lawsuit will usually assert a negligence claim against the defendant.
In the context of medical treatment, proving negligence requires the plaintiff to demonstrate that the defendant had an obligation to comply with the applicable standard of care and that the defendant's acts or omissions indicate a deviation from the standard. The relevant standard of care is the treatment that a reasonable practitioner that works in the same specialty as the defendant would provide in the same situation. As most laypeople lack an independent understanding of the standard of care imposed on doctors, the plaintiff will likely have to hire an expert to explain the standard to the jury or judge deciding liability in the case and the manner in which the defendant's acts constitute a breach of the standard.
A plaintiff in a birth injury case must not only prove that the defendant departed from the standard of care but also that the departure proximately caused the plaintiff to suffer measurable harm. In other words, a plaintiff in a birth injury case must produce evidence showing that the infant's injury would not have occurred absent the defendant's behavior. Generally, a plaintiff will rely on expert testimony to demonstrate proximate cause. If a jury deems a defendant liable for a baby's harm, both the baby and his or her parents may be awarded damages.
It is important to note that different statutes of limitations apply to parents and children in birth injury cases. As such, it is critical that anyone who wishes to pursue claims against their healthcare provider take prompt action to avoid waiving the right to recover damages.Speak to an Experienced Baltimore Attorney
Oligohydramnios is a serious condition that requires immediate care, as the failure to provide prompt and adequate treatment can cause a child to suffer devastating birth injuries. If your child sustained trauma at birth because of oligohydramnios, you should meet with an attorney to discuss your rights. The experienced Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group understand the overwhelming losses caused by an infant's preventable harm, and if you engage our services, we will fight to help you seek justices for your child's losses. We frequently represent parties in birth injury cases in Baltimore, where we have an office. You can contact us through our online form or at (410) 889-1850 to set up a consultation.