The arrival of a baby is a joyous time, filled with hope, and expectations of happiness and good health for your child. Parenthood is one of the most rewarding experiences in life, and dreams for the future are part of every parent’s thoughts as they anticipate the arrival of their much loved child. Sadly, dreams are all too often shattered when the baby suffers a devastating injury during pre-natal care, labor or delivery.
What is birth injury
A birth injury is defined as “damage or injury to a child before, during, or just after the birthing process”, and, in many cases, is completely preventable. Often caused by sheer medical negligence on the part of physicians and medical staff, birth injuries can be minor in nature, such as bruising or lacerations, or can be more severe such as broken bones or prolonged oxygen deprivation, or even death. Learning or developmental delays and behavioral issues are also not uncommon results following a birth injury. Regardless of the type of injury, birth injuries can be devastating, and usually result in life-long consequences significantly affecting the health of the child and their quality of life.
Causes of birth injury
Difficult labor and delivery are an all too often occurrence, and experienced physicians and medical staff can recognize the signs and provide the appropriate medical interventions and care. Yet, physicians and medical staff are human, and like everyone else, can make mistakes. Unfortunately, their mistakes often lead to devastating results, and in many cases, could have been easily avoided by recognizing signs or providing the appropriate medical care. Some of the more common causes are:
- Physician and/or medical staff inexperience or inattention
- Prescribing of inappropriate or wrong medications during pregnancy, labor or delivery
- Failure to recognize or detect maternal or fetal distress during pregnancy or labor, such as low birth weight, abnormal heartbeat or umbilical cord problems
- Improper use of tools to assist in birth, such as forceps or vacuum extraction tool
- Improper pulling, yanking or twisting the baby during delivery
- Failure to perform an emergency cesarean surgery
The above is not an exhaustive list of examples of medical negligence resulting in birth injury. If you believe your child has suffered an injury due to medical negligence during pregnancy, labor or delivery, it’s important to speak to a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Types of birth injuries
There are many types of birth injuries. In some cases, birth injuries are unavoidable. Unfortunately, in far too many cases, birth injuries are a result of medical negligence when medical professionals failed to recognize signs of potential problems or failed to provide the interventions necessary to avoid trauma. Common birth injuries include:
- Fractures of the shoulder or shoulder dystocia
- Brachial Plexus: trauma to the upper extremity of the arm
- Erb’s Palsy: trauma to the nerves of the upper arm
- Klumpke’s Palsy: trauma to the lower nerves in the arm, wrists or fingers
- Cerebral Palsy: brain-related birth injury
- Head or facial trauma
- Injuries from use of forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery
- Oxygen deprivation due to medical negligence
- Delayed or unnecessary C-Section
- Medical negligence during pre-natal care
The consequences of birth injuries can be very serious, and include:
- Decreased coordination, strength or stamina
- Decreased or lack of nerve sensations
- Cognitive impairment
- Traumatic brain injury
- Emotional and behavioral impairment
- Failure to develop correctly
- Psychological problems
It’s important to note, a birth injury may not be recognized or diagnosed until well after the birth, such as when the child fails to meet developmental milestones, for example, standing or verbalization, or until the child reaches school age. If you suspect your child was a victim of birth injury, please contact Action Legal Group to discuss.
Signs of Birth Trauma
The professionals from Action Legal Group explain that there are a number of symptoms that your baby may have suffered a trauma at birth. An affirmative answer to any or all of the questions below should lead to follow-up contact with our team of medical malpractice attorneys:
- My son or daughter spent more than one day in the NICU
- My son or daughter has difficulty feeding
- My son or daughter suffers from frightening seizures
- My son or daughter appears to be progressing more slowly than his or her contemporaries
- My doctor suspects CP
The above list of birth traumas is in no way comprehensive, is not meant to serve as a diagnosis and only includes common knowns areas of concern.
Is there hope?
Birth injury due to medical negligence can result in devastating and painful injuries for the child, and leave parents facing enormous medical bills for the wide-ranging care and therapies the child will need. In some cases, the injuries suffered will require out-of-home, round the clock care, on either a temporary or permanent basis, and the costs for this type of care is staggering. Not only are parents left heartbroken for their child, they now must face an uncertain financial future, wondering how they will care for their child now and in the years to come.
Sadly, when parents realize their child is a victim of birth injury, they feel overwhelmed, scared and hopeless, and unsure where to turn for help. The birth injury lawyers at Action Legal Group can help you. We understand the emotional, physical and financial challenges families face, and have decades of experience of successfully fighting to secure fair and full compensation for the victims and their families.
If you believe your child was a victim of medical negligence resulting in any type of birth injury, please call Action Legal Group today. We can help you and your child, and fight for the justice and the resources your child will need and deserves.