Law Office of Robert A. Miller
Serving Oregon Medical Malpractice And Car Accident Clients Statewide

Oregon Medical Malpractice Law Blog

What pregnancy risks do older women face?

If you are an “older” woman in Oregon, you face a difficult decision when it comes to getting pregnant. Although 35 definitely is not old by any other standard, it is with regard to pregnancy. There are many reasons why you may have delayed becoming a mother. You wanted to complete your education. You wanted to start a career. Now, however, your biological clock is ticking and you are running out of time to have your first child.

As reported by Medical News Today, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that in 2016, more women between the ages of 30 and 34 had their first child than women between the ages of 25 and 29. This was the first time in more than 30 years that the birth rate for older women surpassed that of younger ones.

What are the most common types of pregnancy traumas?

If you are an expectant mother in Oregon, the health and safety of your growing baby is your first concern. Your own health and safety should be just as important to you because it is you on whom your baby’s survival depends.

The American Academy of Family Physicians warms that traumatic injuries occur in one in 12 pregnancies and result in the majority of deaths among pregnant women. The top three trauma causes are the following:

  1. Motor vehicle accidents - 48 percent
  2. Falls - 25 percent
  3. Domestic violence - 17 percent

Three tips for coping with birth injuries

No one expects the experience of giving birth to be easy and pleasant. It always has its difficulties, but sometimes it is a traumatic experience. If you experience complications during childbirth, your child may sustain birth injuries. This can be a devastating realization.

If your baby has a debilitating condition such as cerebral palsy because of delivery difficulties or mistakes, you may have trouble coping with this reality. Here is some advice to help you deal with the trauma of a birth injury. 

What is placental abruption?

If you are an Oregon expectant mother, your health and that of your developing baby is foremost in your mind. As you progress into your third trimester, one of the things you should be on the lookout for are the symptoms of placental abruption, a rare but very serious complication of some pregnancies.

The Mayo Clinic explains that placental abruption is the separation of the placenta from your inner uterine wall. It can happen very suddenly and if it does, both you and your baby are at grave risk for injury and even death. Your baby receives oxygen and nutrients from the placenta, and when it separates from your uterus, he or she can be deprived of both.

What is the statute of limitations for malpractice?

The statute of limitations in Oregon— a law that determines the amount of time you have to bring legal action— is a complicated document. That is largely due to the fact that the document covers all potential actions you might want to initiate, not solely those related to medical malpractice. 

If you are wondering how long you have until you must either decide to take legal action or let your opportunity expire, the short answer is that you probably have two years. The clock begins ticking down when you discover the injury. 

Who is responsible for birth injuries?

If you or someone whom you love has suffered a loss or injury during birth in Oregon, it is reasonable to examine the situation closely. Birth is not without risks: Accidents happen. On the other hand, any number of people who were supposed to help and support you may have been negligent in their duties. You have the right to competent medical assistance, and you should be compensated to the extent of the law for any preventable injuries. The first step in this process is determining who among your caregivers might be liable for medical malpractice.

There are several types of professionals who could have been involved in your incident, including:

  • Doctors, such as obstetricians or gynecologists
  • Nurses acting as technicians or assistants
  • Midwives, both traditional and contemporary

When delivery mistakes become malpractice

At the Law Offices of Robert A. Miller, we believe that Oregon mothers have the basic right of receiving adequate and competent healthcare for themselves and their infant children during birth. Your birth medical professional is a human being, and is therefore unable to perform miracles in impossible situations. However, malpractice is an unfortunate fact of life. We see it as our duty to make sure that irresponsible caregivers do not escape justice when they are derelict in their duties.

Sometimes it is difficult to know whether or not you have a medical malpractice case when faced with a birth injury, especially with the corresponding emotional distress that tends to accompany such an event. On one hand, you probably know that there are many unexpected obstacles that could occur naturally during any delivery. On the other hand, you have the right to understand what went wrong. Our legal system has the power to investigate whether predictable birth problems were handled with negligence or incompetence.

Finding balance after birth injuries

While we are accustomed to dealing with the legal issues surrounding birth injuries, Oregon women and their loved ones also typically suffer injuries that are difficult to remediate through the court system. That is why we believe in a compassionate approach to this particular topic in injury litigation. At the Law Offices of Robert A. Miller, fearless representation and caring treatment are at the core of our practice.

We believe that the law exists to bring closure and peace to individuals in addition to its more practicable purpose of assessing liability and assigning damages when necessary under the prescribed guidelines. While we always strive to get the maximum appropriate recompense for our clients for their injuries or suffering, we often find there is something more important at stake.

Notifying Oregon mothers of health risks before delivery

Expectant Oregon mothers no doubt hope the birth of their children is free of complications. However, sometimes problems in delivery can suddenly arise, necessitating quick decisions by a doctor to deliver the child. In the heat of an emergency, though, there may not be time for the doctor to give the mother the information she needs.

According to Heathline, a common example of a birth complication is when a baby has trouble pushing through the birth canal during a natural birth. In this case, a doctor may resort to other methods to help the child through. Typically, either a vacuum or a forceps will be employed to assist in the birth. A forceps is a medical instrument that cradles the baby’s skull to help the child’s head through the birth canal. Forceps also apply traction to make the baby’s journey easier. A vacuum, on the other hand, uses suction and traction to guide the baby’s head through the canal.

Why is the maternal death rate so high?

If you are an Oregon mom-to-be, you probably are thrilled with the thought of giving birth to a healthy baby. You therefore take all the advice you can get from your doctor and other sources about all the things you should do during your pregnancy to assure that your baby indeed will be born healthy. But are you as concerned about your own health as much as you are about that of the child you are carrying?

Earlier this year, Oregon Public Broadcasting did a very disquieting report about the U.S. maternal death rate. The report, a joint effort by National Public Radio and ProPublica, found that 700-900 U.S. women die each year from pregnancy or childbirth-related causes. An additional 65,000 nearly die. This is possibly the worst record anywhere in the developed world.


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