Every day, otherwise perfectly healthy children are born with injuries caused by medical malpractice. When medical personnel are negligent before, during, or after a baby’s delivery, serious and often irreparable harm can be caused.
Despite access to some of the best healthcare in the world, roughly 28,000 infants per year are born in the U.S. with birth injuries. That might not seem like so many when there were 3,781,712 births in the U.S. during 2018 alone, but it’s not an insignificant number of incidents, and you especially wouldn’t think so if your baby was affected.
While any kind of medical malpractice incident can have enduring adverse effects, birth injuries are especially devastating because of the emotional and financial implications they can have for a family. Medical staff’s negligence can turn an otherwise healthy and normal birth into a disaster, often involving more serious medical intervention to save the baby’s life.
Common Birth Injuries in the U.S.
There are a number of conditions that can occur as a result of a birth injury. These can skyrocket delivery costs and leave once joyous parents feeling devastated. The effects of a birth injury can also linger long after birth – in some cases, there is no full recovery possible.
We don’t have to worry much about the common cold, but newborn babies don’t have a fully developed immune system yet. This means that exposure to almost any communicable disease can result in a severe illness or worse. Doctors, nurses, and other medical personnel must be sure to use proper hygiene during delivery to prevent any infection from occurring.
When a baby isn’t properly monitoring a baby’s birth, bone fractures can occur if the child isn’t oriented correctly or if too much force is used to remove the child from the birth canal. Collar bones are broken more frequently than any other, but a child’s limbs and skull are vulnerable as well. Bone fractures can lead to hemorrhaging and brain damage, with the risk of severe disability or death.
Brain damage and organ failure can occur if an infant experiences a lack of oxygen in the womb or during birth. This is known as hypoxia. Medical staff members are responsible for monitoring fetal heart rate to look for signs that the baby isn’t getting enough oxygen. Failure to address issues such as placental abruption or prolapsed umbilical cord can result in hypoxia and ultimately liability for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
This life-long condition, which affects one’s ability to control their muscles, occurs when there is damage to the brain during birth. Cerebral Palsy can be caused by anything from hypoxia (lack of oxygen during birth), incorrect use of forceps or vacuum extraction, certain infections, or even a failure to treat jaundice.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus nerves are responsible for control of one’s arms and hands. During a baby’s delivery, mishandling can result in damage to these nerves and result in several different types of injuries, often resulting in paralysis. One specific type of injury is Erb’s Palsy, which occurs as a result of the infant’s shoulders moving incorrectly through the birth canal (known as shoulder dystocia).
Was Your Baby Injured as a Result of Medical Malpractice?
It can be heartbreaking to have a baby who suffered an injury during birth. When this injury was caused by the negligence of a medical professional you trusted, it can feel even more devastating. At Rash Mueller., we understand the pain your family must be going through at this time and we want to help you fight for what you deserve.
Reach out to us today to schedule an initial consultation. After hearing more about your situation, we may be able to provide legal advice and services that can help you work toward recovering damages for what occurred.
For more information, get in touch with us by connecting with our firm online.