When a baby is born, it is typically a time of great joy for families. Babies who are born healthy are the desire of parents-to-be everyday. Unfortunately for some, birth injuries occur and lifelong care ensues. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there are some birth injuries that are more common than others.
While some injuries and issues cannot be avoided, others are due to negligence on the part of medical staff. When an injury is sustained at the hands of a negligent doctor, you and your child have rights. Here are some of those injuries:
These injuries include Klumpke’s palsy and Erb’s palsy. Brachial palsy injuries occur when the nerves that are responsible for moving the hands and arms are injured during birth. The most common reason for these injuries is shoulder dislocation. When the infant’s shoulders are trapped in the mother’s pelvis during birth, the doctor must use some type of force to remove the child. When that force is applied incorrectly or too harshly, the brachial plexus can sustain damage.
When a child is being delivered, there is pressure across their body. At time, there is too much pressure on the face, resulting in nerve damage. This type of injury is most common when doctors use vacuum extraction or forceps to help remove the child from the birth canal. Symptoms of facial paralysis including the inability to close an eye and little to no movement on one side of the face. In many cases, the paralysis clears within a few weeks. In more serious cases, the face is paralyzed for life.
When a baby is deprived of oxygen during birth, a host of problems can occur, including brain damage. When brain damage occurs, the child can suffer with a variety of conditions, including chronic seizures and cerebral palsy. Oxygen deprivation may occur when a doctor does not correctly monitor a baby after birth or when the baby is permitted to remain in the birth canal for too long. Even mild oxygen deprivation can lead to long-term problems.
While fractures to different areas of the body can occur, the most common is a fracture to the clavicle. This type of injury is common if a doctor pulls too hard on an infant who is in the breech position. It also happens during difficult deliveries when a doctor is forced to assist the child through the birth canal. In the case of cervical fractures, most heal on their own in just over a week.
This type of injury is not apparent immediately after birth. Instead, it appears hours after birth, typically as a large bump on the top of the infant’s head. The injury is caused by birth-assisting tools. Blood is released under the cranium and causes a raised area on the head. The injury clears within a few months, but can cause anemia, hypotension, jaundice and, in some cases, meningitis before it clears up.
This is an injury that is displayed by severe swelling of the soft tissues on an infant’s scalp. It develops as the baby makes its way through the birth canal. One of the most common reasons for this injury is the improper use of an extraction tool. While the swelling can be intense, it often reduces within a few days of delivery and, in most cases, is not cause for extreme concern.
In many cases, birth injuries are a secondary result of a difficult birth and not the negligence of medical professionals. In other cases, unfortunately, the injuries are caused by medical staff who perform their duties in a negligent manner. When this occurs, a family may have the right to compensation under the law.
Professionals suggest choosing your obstetrician with a great deal of diligence. It is always your right to ask questions of any doctor you are considering for your health care and that of your unborn infant. Ask for opinions from family and friends, and be sure to research the medical board in your state to determine whether or not the doctor you are considering has any medical malpractice cases in their history. This information is available to the public at no cost.
Birth injuries in West Palm Beach are a serious matter. If your child was injured during the birthing process, our team of personal injury attorneys are here for you. We know that you are under a great deal of emotional turmoil, and we want to help you move forward as you and your family work to deal with the hand you have been dealt. Please reach out to us today and let us review the facts of your case for free. Alternatively, you may browse our website at your leisure to discover how we can assist you.