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An Overview of Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice

Posted on in Medical Malpractice

rockford birth injury lawyerWhen welcoming a baby into the world, most parents’ highest priority is to ensure their infant’s health. Every day, new parents trust medical professionals to assist in delivering their children safely. When this trust is broken, an infant or mother can suffer great harm with lasting effects. 

Causes and Consequences of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries are often a result of untreated illnesses or physical harm before, during, or immediately after childbirth. This type of injury most frequently occurs when the infant is above average size, the infant is born prematurely, or the infant is not head-first in the birth canal. Even tools used by doctors during labor, such as forceps or vacuums, can cause birth injuries. Physical and intellectual impairment, including blindness or deafness, difficulty learning, inability to move one part of the body, issues with communicating effectively, and excessive sleepiness, may result from birth injuries.

Serious injuries sustained during the childbirth process can lead to short-term and long-term conditions that may require life-long treatment for a child, including:

  • Brain damage - This often occurs when a baby is deprived of oxygen during delivery. Brain damage may be caused by asphyxia, physical injuries, and undiagnosed brain infection. Brain damage can potentially lead to physical and neurological impairments. 

  • Cerebral palsy - Often resulting in speech and development delays, this condition may have been caused by an infection, stroke, lack of oxygen to the brain, or medical negligence. CP has no cure and the child will likely require treatment their entire life. 

  • Erb’s palsy - When damage occurs to the brachial plexus nerves during the process of childbirth, it may result in paralysis of the infant’s arm, shoulder, or hand. Full recovery may require surgery and various therapies. 

  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) - This condition often results from insufficient oxygen and blood flow during labor, generally arising from longer than average deliveries, fetuses in the wrong position, or placental abruption or bleeding. While some infants with HIE may not experience any issues, others may experience seizures and feeding issues, among other problems.

Birth Injury as Medical Malpractice

In some instances, birth injuries suffered by the infant or mother during childbirth are a result of medical negligence. While professionals in the medical field receive comprehensive training on the birthing process and how to properly check for any potential risks, not all staff uphold the high standard of care expected. Actions resulting from medical malpractice that could harm an infant include the forceful use of vacuum extractors or forceps, failure to properly diagnose serious medical conditions, and medicating the mother improperly. 

Contact Our Rockford Medical Malpractice Attorneys Today

When a parent believes that their baby suffered an injury due to a physician’s malpractice, pursuing a claim against the doctor or health facility may seem like a daunting task. However, when children and families sustain this type of harm, recovery and treatment can be both financially and emotionally overwhelming to handle on your own. Our Winnebago County medical malpractice lawyers can help your family to gather important evidence and build a strategic case to help recover damages from your child’s injuries, while also holding the responsible parties liable for their negligence. Contact our team at Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS today to schedule a free consultation and learn what legal options may be available by calling 815-215-7561.

 

Sources: 

https://www.stanfordchildrens.org/en/topic/default?id=birth-injury-90-P02340

 

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