In the State of Florida, there were 212,954 live births over the course of 2012, according to Florida Vital Statistics. Unfortunately, for every 1,000 live births in this state, 5.46 infant deaths occurred, according to Florida Health Department. Infant deaths can result from birth injuries, including severe brain damage. Brain damage can also result in a child’s permanent impairment.
Brain damage has several primary causes for infants. Hypoxia, or deprivation of oxygen to the brain, is one possible cause. When medical care providers allow labor to go on too long, fail to respond appropriately to mothers and babies in distress and/or fail to address a medical emergency in which the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the neck, hypoxia can occur. An infant stuck in the birth canal, the placenta separating too early and anemia at birth are also possible causes of hypoxia or birth asphyxiation.
Brain damage can also occur due to physical impact. Aggressive use of the forceps or vacuum during labor and delivery can result in damage to the baby’s brain due to the force applied.
Whether from physical trauma, hypoxia or other causes, brain damage often fatal or the cause of long-term and lifelong health issues. Parents can expect significant medical bills associated with providing therapeutic intervention and caring for a disabled child. If the brain damage birth injury was caused by medical negligence, as defined by Florida Statute 766.102, parents may pursue a medical malpractice claim for damages. Parents will need to prove the doctor or care provider(s) failed to provide an acceptable level of prenatal or postnatal care, or failed to provide appropriate care during labor and delivery.