One of the most difficult things a family can face is an injury to a newborn during birth. Birth injuries can cause physical, learning, language or behavioral developmental delays or disabilities that may last a lifetime.
It is estimated that 28,000 children are harmed by birth injuries every year in the United States. That’s one in every 9,714 births, or 76 per day. In many cases, a birth injury isn’t recognized immediately and is only diagnosed after a child fails to meet developmental milestones, such as sitting up or verbalization.
If your baby has suffered an injury during childbirth that has caused a serious health complication call our law firm for a free consultation to see if there is a legal problem or legal malpractice case. Our first consultation is free call 1-888-HDZLAW-8
Handling Your Birth Injury Case
A birth injury is one suffered by a child during labor or delivery, or soon after birth. Birth injuries may range from minor problems such as lacerations or bruising to severe injuries that could prove fatal, such as a spinal cord injury. In some cases, the mother may be injured during birth, as well.
Common birth injuries include
Cerebral palsy (CP).
About 10,000 babies develop CP every year and some 764,000 children and adults in the U.S. manifest one or more symptom of cerebral palsy.
Cerebral palsy refers to several disorders that affect the ability to move and maintain balance and posture. CP may be caused by head trauma or lack of oxygen to the brain during delivery. The trauma may be due to malpractice.
Brachial plexus injuries (Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy).
Brachial plexus refers to a group of nerves in the neck that link to controlling nerves in the shoulders, arms and hands. If excessive pressure is applied to an infant’s head or neck during delivery, the brachial plexus may be damaged. A brachial plexus injury can cause a loss of muscle control, strength and sensation, or paralysis in the neck, shoulders, arms and/or hands. Erb’s palsy refers to damage to the upper nerves; Klumpke’s palsy is damage in lower nerves. We look at birth injuries for each type of brachial plexus injury to determine whether there is malpractice.
Cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis).
Pressure on the child during a difficult birth may cause a head, neck or shoulder injury that results in muscles of the neck contracting and drawing the head forward, backward or to the side. Cervical dystonia is painful and can be disabling. A child with this injury will need physical therapy and medication, and may also need multiple surgeries to sever affected nerves or muscles. Call us if you think malpractice is at hand for your child’s cervical dystonia.
Bone injuries occurring during breech deliveries. Fractures most often occur during breech deliveries, shoulder dystopia in which a shoulder becomes stuck during delivery, or in infants with excessive birth weights. The collarbone is the most frequently fractured bone, but arms and legs may be broken as well.
Cranial nerve injury
Compression of the head during delivery, either by the use of forceps or as the head passes by the sacrum can damage any of several nerves and result in temporary or permanent paralysis and disfiguration. This is cranial nerve injury and may be as a result of malpractice.
Spinal cord injury
Excessive traction or rotation during delivery can result in damage to the child’s spinal cord. A severe spinal cord injury is likely to result in stillbirth or quick neonatal death. Babies who survive are likely to have low muscle tone and strength. Most infants later develop spasticity that is much like cerebral palsy.
It’s difficult for parents to determine on their own whether a doctor or health care professional failed to follow the recognized standard of care and caused a preventable birth injury. It usually requires a review of the medical records by independent medical professionals often those who have to be employed by an attorney.
Medical errors that can lead to a birth injury include such negligence as not following accepted medical procedures, not promptly recognizing and addressing complications, and taking too long to make decisions, such as ordering a Cesarean (C-section). Some obstetric errors can be attributed to a lack of training or experience, or poor supervision, for which the hospital or birthing center itself may be held liable.
We investigate all of the above to determine whether there is negligence in a birth injury.
Call Alex R. Hernandez Jr. today 1-888-HDZLAW-8