For expecting parents, the birth of a child is one of the most joyous moments they will ever experience and, unfortunately, this occasion is often interrupted by the error of a medical professional. While not all birth injuries occur as a result of medical malpractice or negligence, a fair amount of them do. If your child was injured by the negligent care of a medical professional, you should seek the assistance of a medical malpractice attorney immediately.
Below are some of the most common causes of birth injuries caused by medical negligence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):
- Brachial palsy injuries: These types of injuries include Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy, and occur when the bundle of nerves that is responsible for moving the arms and hands is damaged. This injury commonly occurs when the physician pulls with too much force or improperly while trying to deliver the baby, injuring the brachial plexus. If your newborn sustained a brachial palsy injury, you should reach out to a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case.
- Facial paralysis: If an infant’s face has too much pressure on it during delivery, this could result in damaged nerves. Oftentimes, the nerves of an infant’s face sustain this damage when a physician uses forceps or a vacuum extraction tool to pull the baby out. The symptoms of this injury typically include the inability to close the eye on the affected side of the face, or no movement at all on the affected side. If the damage is not severe, facial paralysis can clear up within a few weeks, whereas serious cases can lead to total paralysis on the affected side.
- Brain injuries: When it comes to brain injuries, oxygen deprivation is one of the most common causes. Oxygen deprivation can occur when a physician fails to monitor an infant during or after birth, from issues with the umbilical cord, or from allowing the baby to remain in the birth canal for too long. Infant brain injuries can lead to serious medical disorders, which include cerebral palsy and chronic seizures. Experts have also suggested that mild oxygen deprivation can lead to severe consequences as well, such as intellectual disabilities and long-term physical issues.
- Fractures: Most of these injuries occur on the clavicle and is often the result of a delivering physician pulling too hard on the infant while it is in the breech position. A fractured clavicle can also be sustained when the shoulder is pulled forcefully during a prolonged and difficult delivery. Infants often cannot move the arm on the side of the sustained fracture, but this type of injury will almost always heal within 10 days, making it one of the less severe injuries on this list.
- Cephalohematoma: Bleeding beneath the infant’s cranium will cause a raised bump to appear on the head several hours after birth, resulting in a condition known as cephalohematoma. Birth-assistance tools frequently cause this injury. While the bump is usually able to clear up on its own within a few months, this injury can still present some risks to the baby, such as jaundice, anemia, hypotension, and even meningitis in rare cases.
- Caput succedaneum: This injury is marked by the swelling of the soft tissues of the newborn baby’s scalp. It usually develops as the infant makes its way through the birth canal and is often the result of the improper use of a vacuum extraction tool. However, this is also one of the less severe injuries an infant can sustain since the swelling will usually reduce within a few days.
Birth Injury Attorneys in Weston
When a newborn baby suffers an injury at the hands of a negligent medical professional, this can be a heartbreaking and life-changing moment for a family. You should not suffer it alone or in silence. At Rash Mueller, our Weston team of medical malpractice attorneys will aggressively fight on your behalf and help you seek the compensation your family justly deserves. Backed by over 25 years of experience and proven results, you can be confident in our ability to represent you and your interests.
For the representation you need during this difficult time, call our team at (954) 914-7116 to schedule a free case review with a compassionate member of our team.