No parent expects the happy event of their child’s birth to be marred by serious or fatal injuries, especially when those injuries were preventable. Unfortunately, all too many parents experience the concern, confusion, and anger that comes with caring for a child with a birth injury. Parents want the best for their children, and when the doctors, nurses, and medical staff they trusted with the wellbeing of their child act carelessly or negligently, it can be very difficult to cope with the outcome.
If your child was injured due to the improper actions of medical staff during birth, you might have a medical malpractice case. Learn more about the common birth injuries and how they might be caused to determine whether or not you may have a case.
Under certain circumstances, doctors and nurses may be more likely to make a mistake that could injure your child. If your baby is larger than average (8 pounds and 13 ounces), is premature, or labor is prolonged, it could lead to a more complicated birth. Also, if the baby is in breech position or improperly situated, or of the mother’s pelvis is too narrow, it could make natural birth much more difficult. In any of these situations, doctors should be prepared to handle the complications that could follow. However, if the doctor is poorly qualified or acts carelessly, he or she could make detrimental mistakes that could severely injure your child.
Common Birth Injuries
Brachial Plexus Injuries
Some of the most common birth injuries include brachial plexus injuries, which can include Erb’s Palsy. These injuries are caused by damage to the network of 5 nerve groups that control the baby’s arms and hands. Brachial plexus injuries often occur when the baby’s shoulders are trapped in the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery, which can cause the doctor to pull too hard or from a bad angle. This rough pulling can damage the baby’s nerves in the neck and shoulders, leading to loss of function in the arms and hands. The damage can sometimes be temporary, or it could be permanent.
When children have cerebral palsy, certain parts of the brain develop abnormally and can cause poor muscle control and balance. Cerebral palsy affects more than 2 children out of every 1,000 and is often caused by a birth injury. While cerebral palsy can be caused by early brain development before birth, or injuries after birth, injuries during birth can also cause the development of cerebral palsy. If the baby is deprived of oxygen during labor, the infant is premature, experiences jaundice and is left untreated, or suffers some other trauma, it could lead to abnormal brain development.
Other Brain Injuries
Any sort of damaging mistake made during the baby’s delivery could lead to other serious complications. For example, if the baby is deprived of oxygen, it could lead to some other serious brain issue besides cerebral palsy. Some doctors might also use suction tools, vacuums, or forceps to grasp the baby and pull him or her out during delivery. However, if the doctor uses these tools incorrectly, it could bruise the baby’s delicate head, or cause serious spinal or brain damage.
Babies’ bones are more flexible than those of adults and are made with a great amount of cartilage. However, as flexible as their bones may be, infants are also exceedingly fragile and should be handled with care, especially during birth. In a natural birth, babies are often pulled and pushed, making them move their limbs and shoulders to come into the world. If a doctor uses forceps incorrectly or pulls the baby at a bad angle, it could cause a bone fracture or break. One of the most common breaks occurs at the baby’s clavicle, usually because the shoulders or arms were roughly moved or pulled. While these breaks are usually mendable, they can be very painful for the baby and costly for the parents.
When the baby is under too much pressure, certain nerves or nerve groups could sustain serious damage. Labor is difficult for any child and mother, but if the infant’s face is under too much pressure, the baby could suffer facial paralysis. In some cases, the paralysis might be temporary or it could become permanent. Other areas where nerve damage could occur include the spinal cord and the brain. Damage to either of these areas could result in serious disabilities and paralysis throughout different areas of the body.
The trauma of birth is hard for any baby and mother, but if labor is exceedingly long or the baby or mother are having difficulty, it could lead to complications. In some cases, the doctor might need to make the call to move to a caesarian section or to take other medical steps necessary to preserve the health of the mother and baby. However, if the doctor makes any incorrect judgments or bad medical decisions, it could cause many different types of birth defects, or could even lead to the death of the mother, infant, or both.
If your child was injured during birth because of the carelessness or negligence of a doctor or nurse, our firm wants to help. Contact Goodman Acker P.C. today to get started on your Detroit birth injury case.
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