Kinds of Birth Injuries

Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice

In the aftermath of a complicated labor and delivery, the last thing a mother wants to do is question her doctor.  We want to believe that our medical team did everything they could to prevent injury to our baby.  But for most people, it is impossible to pay for all of the expensive therapies, treatments and equipment that are necessary to help children with birth injuries to reach their full potential.

Sadly, each of these birth injuries can be caused by medical mistakes.  The doctors and other health care providers that cause these mistakes are not usually bad people, but because of inexperience or inattention, they allowed harm to come to their smallest patients.  They don’t want your child to suffer any more, and that’s why they carry medical malpractice insurance:  to help children who they have mistakenly harmed.

Carrying a child for nine months and delivering it into the world is literally a labor of love. Unfortunately, much can go wrong with during this process. For example, according to an article found in the U.S. National Library of Medicine, something so simple as exerting too much pressure on the infant’s seventh cranial nerve can cause facial nerve palsy. To help ensure that you are as knowledgeable as possible, presented below are some common types of birth injuries.

How Do You Identify Different Types of Birth Injuries?

    • A brachial plexus injury, also called Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy, occurring in one out of 1,000 births, can result from improper delivery practices. The brachial plexus is a network of five nerve groups reaching from the tips of the fingers down to the spinal cord and thoracic vertebrae as well as up to the cervical vertebrae. Four types of nerve damage can be caused by such an injury, including the rupture or complete tearing of the nerve root from the spinal cord.
    • Cerebral palsy’s most notable symptoms include impaired movement and motor function, but the real damage lies in the brain. Some circumstances, such as infant prematurity, trauma during labor or oxygen deprivation, can increase the baby’s risk of cerebral palsy. Medical negligence, such as improper use of equipment by the doctor or staff, or even failing to diagnose and treat jaundice, can cause it as well.
    • The embryonic neural tube, the tissue which will develop into the baby’s spine and brain, may fail to seal itself before birth. This condition is known as spina bifida. Malformations usually occur near the base of the spine. Postnatal surgery can close this tissue up, but research indicates that prenatal doses of folic acid reduce the risk of spina bifida by up to 70 percent. If a medical practitioner failed to detect the baby’s condition with an ultrasound, the parent may be entitled to recompense through a wrongful birth lawsuit.
    • On the other hand, consistent overdosing with folic acid can lead to premature birth, neural tube disorder and even miscarriage.
    • Reduced blood flow (cerebral ischemia) can lead to mass brain cell death in as few as five minutes. Causes of cerebral ischemia include infection, maternal overmedication, shoulder dystocia and more.
    • If the baby exhibits signs of difficulty breathing after birth, he or she may have pulmonary hypertension of the newborn, a condition which is caused by the blood circulation bypassing the lungs due to the failure of the pulmonary artery to perform properly. Chest x-rays and heart ultrasounds are two of several ways to identify PPHN.
    • Improper use of forceps and other tools can lead to cephalohematoma, bleeding between the skull and the periosteum (a subepidermal membrane).
    • Intellectual disability, in some institutions called “medical retardation,” is the term applied to those whose brains function at a less than average standard. The known causes are genetic disorders, developmental complications in the womb and birth trauma occurring during labor and/or delivery. The most typical cause is a lack of oxygen. “Developmental delay” is a more general term used to designate this category and others.
    • Wrongful death of the mother or child during labor and delivery is a frighteningly regular occurrence. A competent medical team significantly reduces this risk.

Though a terrible tragedy, the prevalence of birth injuries is a reality of American society. By way of example, the Centers for Disease Control and reports that approximately 1.5 to over 4 per 1,000 live births or children within the defined age range have cerebral palsy. If you feel your baby suffered birth injuries due to negligence on the part of your doctor or hospital staff, you may want to seek out an experienced birth injury lawyer who specializes in protecting the rights of individuals in your position. Though a lawsuit will not reverse the tragedy, receiving some measure of justice can go a long way toward helping you and your family care for the injured or the survivors in the case of a wrongful death.

Contact Us

If your child has been injured by a medical mistake, and you want to be able to plan for and care for your child through adulthood, contact our medical malpractice lawyers at (855) 712-7818 or online for a free consultation.  We have handled birth injury malpractice lawsuits all over the country, and we can help you find the answers you are looking for.

Photo by http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:HumanNewborn.JPG