Having a bundle of joy should be exactly that; joy. However, many complications can arise during pregnancy which can sometimes sadly cause birth injuries to the child. Birth injuries can be due to physical trauma from the improper use of equipment, or poor prenatal care such as infections being passed down from the mother to the baby which should have been caught by a healthcare professional. In the event that birth injuries are caused by the negligence or reckless of healthcare professionals like nurses or obstetricians, you might have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit with a birth injury attorney.
Common Birth Injuries
There are two different types of birth injuries, ones that arise during the birthing process and others that occur during prenatal care over the course of the pregnancy. Birth injuries from trauma and delivery room errors include:
- Brachial Palsy Injuries – this type of injury occurs when the nerves that control the brachial plexus (hands and arm) are damaged.
- Erb’s Palsy – this birth injury causes paralysis in the shoulder, arms, and neck due to brachial plexus damage. Sometimes there is a loss of muscle control and numbness in the hands and arms. If caught early, Erb’s Palsy can be reversed but more substantial damages to the nerves might not be able to be fixed.
- Klumpke’s Palsy – this birth injury involves the muscles in the forearm and the hand. The forearm and the hands suffer from partial paralysis, stiff joints, atrophy, and “claw hand”.
- Shoulder Dystonia – this is the most common cause of brachial palsy issues. This occurs when the mother’s pelvic bone traps the baby’s shoulders during delivery. This leads to some healthcare professionals to pull too hard to hold the baby incorrectly leading to brachial plexus to be damaged.
- C-Section Injuries – these type of injuries occur when the baby is delivered through the method of a caesarian birth rather than natural birth. Injuries include fetal lacerations and infant breathing problems.
- Hypoxic Encephalopathy – during the birthing process, sometimes babies can be deprived of oxygen. It is up to the medical professional to identify when this situation occurs and do everything in their power to deliver the baby before permanent brain damage occurs.
- Cerebral Palsy – this injury occurs when a child loses oxygen to the brain during the birthing process. Cerebral Palsy causes a lack of muscle control, poor reflexes, poor coordination and control, and oral motor problems.
- Cephalohematoma – this injury occurs from the improper use of birthing tools like clamps. The symptoms include a large raised bump on the baby’s head and bleeding underneath the cranium. Cephalohematoma does go away over time but causes a myriad of other symptoms including anemia, jaundice, hypertension, and meningitis.
- Caput succedaneum – this injury occurs due to the improper use of vacuum extraction tool. It causes intense swelling on the soft tissue in the baby’s scalp.
- Facial Paralysis – this birth injury occurs when there is too much pressure on the baby’s face. It causes swelling on one side of the face. In severe cases, it can lead to permanent paralysis to one side of the face.
Birth injuries that are due to poor prenatal care include:
- Rubella – even though vaccinations have been made available since the 1960s, not everyone has been vaccinated. A mother passing down the rubella virus can lead to devastating effects onto a newborn including vision problems, hearing problems, brain inflammation, heart disease, miscarriage, and stillbirth.
- Chicken Pox – similar to Rubella, you can pass the chicken pox virus onto the fetus if you were never vaccinated. Newborns that are born with the chicken pox can have vision issues, scarring, developmental delays, pneumonia, and cognitive disabilities.
- Group B Strep – this type of bacteria is naturally found inside a woman’s body. If it is not treated it can be passed into the baby resulting in many complications including brain injuries, sepsis, pneumonia, miscarriage, and stillbirth.
- Syphilis – what is scary about this infection is that it can lie dormant in the body for decades. If passed to the baby it causes hearing and visions loss, malformations of the teeth, low birth weight, neurological issues, neonatal death, and stillbirth.
- Urinary Tract Infections (UTI) – some pregnant women confused UTI symptoms with pregnancy symptoms. If left untreated, a UTI can cause premature labor which can cause various serious health issues.
- Hepatitis B Virus – this virus is passed to the child during the birthing process. If contracted, newborns will develop liver damage and/or liver cancer.
It is imperative that when you first learn that you are pregnant a doctor tests you for vaccinations and infections! It is the doctor’s responsibility to test you for these vaccinations and infections. If the healthcare professionals do not provide you with these tests, and your child has suffered a birth injury from complications due to a passed infection, the healthcare professionals could be liable.
Contact A Birth Injury Attorney Today
Our birth injury lawyers will evaluate your case and determine whether or not to file a medical malpractice claim. Especially when it comes to birth injuries, maximum compensation is crucial because the compensation is used to provide the best quality of life for your child by providing financial assistance for their future medical expenses, financial security as they grow and can be used as supplemental income if their disabilities prevent them from working. You might also be entitled to reimbursement for current medical expenses and damages from pain and suffering as you navigate this difficult time in your life. If you feel that your child has suffered a birth injury due to the recklessness, inexperience or negligence of a healthcare professional then please contact a birth injury attorney.