When a baby is injured at birth it is a traumatic experience for the entire family that can have lifelong consequences for the child and everyone that cares for him or her. The emotional and financial toll that such injuries take can easily become overwhelming, leaving everyone involved feeling as if they have nowhere to turn.
If your child was injured at birth, or you suspect that he or she was injured during birth, you don’t have to handle everything on your own. An experienced and knowledgeable birth injury lawyer can help you and your family. If your baby suffered a birth injury because of mistakes made by doctors, nurses, or anyone else involved with the birth process, you may be entitled to significant compensation to help you treat and care for your child.
Many Birth Injuries Are Caused By Medical Malpractice
Many babies are injured at birth due to mistakes made by doctors, nurses, midwives, hospital staff, emergency staff, or others involved in the birth process. Even though these injuries may not be intentional, that doesn’t mean that nobody should be held responsible when they occur.
Some common causes of birth injuries include:
- Failure to recognize maternal or fetal distress
- Improper use of tools such as forceps or vacuum
- Failure to treat maternal infections
- Errors with medication
- Waiting too long to perform an emergency C-section
- Premature delivery complications
There is also a higher risk of a birth injury occurring if the baby is premature, very large (more than 8lbs 13oz), or if labor is difficult or very long.
What Are Some Of The Most Common Birth Injuries?
There are many different types of birth injuries. Most fall into the categories of brain injuries, muscle injuries, or injuries caused by infections. As Boston birth injury lawyers, some of the most common injuries that we see include:
Erb’s Palsy—sometimes referred to as brachial plexus palsy or brachial palsy—occurs when the group of nerves that supply the arms and hands (the brachial plexus) is damaged or torn during delivery. It normally happens when there is a problem delivering the baby’s shoulder (shoulder dystocia). The child can lose the ability to flex, move, or rotate the arm and hand. The condition can be temporary or permanent depending on the severity of the damage.
This is when there is bleeding in the area between the skull bone and its fibrous covering. It can appear up to several hours after birth as a large bump on the baby’s head. The body usually reabsorbs the blood over time, but some babies may develop jaundice as the red blood cells break down.
Bell’s Palsy, which is a form of facial paralysis, occurs when facial nerves are injured because of pressure on the face during labor and/or delivery. It can be caused by the use of forceps during delivery.
Bell’s Palsy can usually be seen when the baby cries. The side of the face with the injured nerves will not move and the baby won’t be able to close the eye on that side. The condition could improve on its own over the course of a few weeks or require surgery depending on the extent of the damage.
Clavicle (collarbone) fractures are the most common type of fractures that occur during birth. They generally happen when there is a problem delivering the baby’s shoulder. A baby with a broken or fractured clavicle will rarely move the arm on the side of the fracture.
Oxygen deprivation falls into two categories, hypoxia and anoxia. Hypoxia is when the baby’s oxygen supply is partially cut off and anoxia is when it is completely cut off. The three most common causes of oxygen deprivation are placental separation (the placenta separates from the wall of the uterus), the umbilical cord becoming wrapped around the baby’s neck, or problems that delay moving the baby through the birth canal.
Any type of oxygen deprivation can cause brain damage within just a few minutes. Depending on the amount of damage caused, consequences can include hearing impairment, blindness, learning disabilities, problems with motor control, or cerebral palsy.
Cerebral Palsy is a group of disorders that affects an individual’s ability to move and maintain balance. It’s the most common motor disability in childhood.
Speak With An Experienced Boston Birth Injury Lawyer
Birth injury claims are not the same as other more common personal injury claims. A birth injury claim requires an experienced birth injury attorney that understands both the medical and legal aspects of such a case. That’s why you shouldn’t take legal advice from just any injury law firm.
If your child has suffered a birth injury, the team at Parker Sheer has the knowledge, skill, and experience to help you and your family get the results and justice that you deserve. You don’t have to deal with birth injuries on your own. We will work to make sure that you get the full and fair compensation to which you are entitled.