Injuries suffered during labor, birth and during those vulnerable first moments in a newborn’s life can have long-term consequences. Fetal distress is one of the most common causes of birth injuries. Both the mother and the child need to be constantly and diligently monitored for problems during labor and birth. When that does not happen, the consequences can be devastating. Newborns may suffer cerebral palsy, nerve damage, irreversible brain damage or even death as a result of medical negligence. If your child has suffered permanent injuries during birth, it would be in your family’s best interest to obtain more information regarding your legal rights and options.
Examples of Birth Injuries
Many of the most serious injuries stem from the baby not receiving oxygen. If the baby is oxygen-deprived for an extended period of time, brain damage can occur. Other birth injuries include, but are not limited to:
- Forceps injuries: There are many babies that need assistance passing through the birth canal. When forceps are used, they can cause temporary bruises or depressed skull fractures.
- Bone fractures: It is common for babies to suffer clavicle fractures during difficult births or breech deliveries. It is the responsibility of the medical staff to evaluate when it is not possible for the baby to pass through the canal without suffering serious injuries.
- Brain injuries: Blood loss or compression on the umbilical cord can result in oxygen deprivation and brain injury. Additional consequences include seizure disorders, mental impairment or cerebral palsy.
- Brachial palsy injuries: When a baby’s body has difficulty passing through the birth canal, the nerves in the shoulders may suffer trauma. When the group of nerves that control movement in the arms and hands are damaged, it can result in permanent nerve damage.
Negligence and Birth Injuries
There are many natural injuries that can occur during the delivery process and most of them are entirely preventable by careful monitoring, care and attention. Some babies have their airflow reduced when their umbilical cord is compressed. Others turn around and become breeched. Many babies are simply too large to travel through the birth canal without suffering some trauma. When these potentially dangerous situations occur, it is the responsibility of the medical professionals present to quickly diagnose the problem and respond accordingly.
Were there signs of a medical emergency that were ignored or overlooked? Were mistakes made during the administration of medications or anesthesia? Did the conditions in the facility lead to an infection? These are just some of the questions that must be answered in order to determine who was at fault and who should be held accountable.
How an Experienced Injury Lawyer Can Help
At The Bernard Law Group, we understand how a birth injury can change not just the baby’s life, but also the lives of all family members. A birth injury can result in significant medical expenses, treatment and rehabilitation costs for the baby’s lifetime. This could add up to millions of dollars. To obtain more information about how you can fight for your child’s rights and give him or her the quality of life he or she deserves, please contact our law office at 1-800-418-8282 for a free consultation.