For new parents, welcoming a new little member to the family should always be a joyful occasion. When a birth injury occurs, however, this joyful moment can turn tragic. Many birth injuries are preventable, which is why it is so important for medical staff to do everything in their power to prevent an injury from occurring. If the staff was negligent, you may be able to file a medical malpractice claim to help you pay for your child’s care.
There are many types of birth injuries, but some are more prevalent than others. Some of the most common birth injuries that occur due to medical malpractice include:
- Brachial Palsy Injuries: These injuries occur when the nerves that control the arms and hands, called the brachial plexus, is injured during the birth process. This injury is caused when an infant is pulled on by the physician while their arm or shoulder is trapped.
- Facial Paralysis: If the nerves in the infant’s face are damaged during the birth, they may suffer full or partial facial paralysis. Minor cases often heal within a few weeks, but more serious cases can have effects for life. This injury is commonly caused by the use of forceps or a vacuum extraction process.
- Brain Injuries: Brain injuries can take many forms, including cerebral palsy and seizure disorders. The most common cause of brain injuries during birth is oxygen deprivation, which is referred to as Hypoxic Ischemia Encephalopathy (HIE). This condition occurs when the blood flow is cut off to the brain, reducing the oxygen supply.
- Fractures: Broken bones can occur due to the forces of a birth. Babies are fairly flexible and able to withstand much of these forces, but fractures can occur when doctors aren’t careful. Broken clavicles aren’t uncommon, and occur when a physician pulls too hard on an infant being born in the breech position.
- Cephalohematoma: This condition refers to bleeding underneath the cranium, which can lead to a swollen mass on the infant’s head. Commonly, this is caused by the use of tools during the birth. Generally, it is a harmless condition, but it can have severe complications, including low blood pressure, anemia, jaundice, and meningitis.
- Caput succedaneum: A swelling of the soft tissues at the top of the head, commonly caused by improper vacuum extraction. Generally, this condition will fade within a few days of the birth. Your infant should be carefully monitored for signs of a more serious condition, however.
Birth injuries should always be taken seriously. When entrusting medical personnel to assist with your birth, it’s important that they are prepared to show you a higher duty of care and do everything they can to ensure your child is born safely. If a medical error or negligent medical provider caused your child to become injured, your family deserves compensation.
Not all birth injuries are severe, but even minor ones can require expensive medical care, adding to the costs of childbirth. If your child needs medical treatment and care for years to come, the costs can add up quickly. For this reason, you should consult our experienced Kansas City birth injury attorneys about filing a medical malpractice claim. At Bertam & Graf, L.L.C., we’re here to support your family during this difficult time and attend to all the details of your case.
Schedule a free consultation to discover how we can assist you today. Contact our firm by calling (888) 398-2277.