Birth injuries are a result of harm caused to a newborn's body function or structure before, during, or just after the birthing process. A birth injury can happen during pregnancy, labor, delivery or post-delivery (especially in newborns who require CPR in the delivery room). Birth injuries range from minor, such as bruising, to severe injuries that may result in significant developmental delays or even death.
COMMON TYPES OF BIRTH INJURIES
Brachial plexus injury results when the brachial plexus nerves that run from the neck to the hand are stretched or damaged during a difficult delivery. In minor cases, the nerves heal and full use of the hand and arm is recovered. In more severe cases, the child may suffer permanent nerve damage and never gain full use of the arm, shoulder, or hand.
Brain damage can be caused by interuterine hypoxia (oxygen deprivation in the womb) or physical trauma during delivery, in addition to genetic mutation or fetal exposure to toxins. Cerebral palsy is one example of brain damage incurred before or during delivery. About 10,000 children are diagnosed with cerebral palsy every year.
Bruising, especially on the head or face, can be caused from pressure against the mother's pelvis, pressure caused by forceps, or use of a vacuum device during delivery.
Bone fractures, most commonly of the clavicle, can occur during difficult delivery.
Risk factors that increase the chance of birth injury include the weight, size, and position of the fetus; weight and size of the mother; bone structure of the mother's pelvis; and/or the use of an obstetrical instrument during delivery. An instrument such as forceps or a vacuum device may be fastened on the infant's head to help pull the baby out. This greatly increases the risk of birth-related injuries. Not all birth injuries can be prevented even with the best of care, but some birth injuries are the result of poor judgment, negligence, or policy and procedure problems within the hospital.
Birth injuries can cause physical, emotional, and psychological trauma. Compensation seeks to include the medical costs associated with the injury, as well as ongoing medical and therapeutic support for the child. If you suspect that medical or obstetrical malpractice hurt you or your child or resulted in the death of your infant during childbirth, contact Nobles & DeCarolis at (585) 546-1260 to schedule a consultation.
At Nobles & DeCarolis, our skilled attorneys handle medical negligence and obstetrical malpractice cases such as:
- Failure to monitor the condition of the mother or infant, improper reading of fetal monitor strip, or failure to identify fetal distress
- Improper use of a vacuum device or forceps resulting in serious birth injuries such as cerebral palsy
- Improper extraction causing shoulder dystocia or Erb's palsy
- Failure to conduct a timely C-section, especially in vaginal birth after C-section (VBAC) situations
- Medication errors, including too much pitocin leading to excessive bleeding or uterine rupture
- Failure of a physician to properly supervise the work of a midwife or medical student
- Failure to prevent, identify, and treat infection link to Perinatal Group B Strep
If you suspect that medical negligence or obstetrical malpractice hurt you or your child, or resulted in the death of your infant during childbirth, contact Nobles & DeCarolis today at (585) 546-1260 for a consultation.
WE WIN OR YOU DON'T PAY
(personal injury cases only)