When a pregnant mother visits the hospital to have their baby, the expectation is that they will leave the hospital happily with their new baby. Sadly, that is not always the case, as the actions and inaction of doctors harm some babies and mothers during this process. In these cases, medical malpractice might have occurred, which is why it is important to ask the right questions and get in touch with a lawyer to hold the medical professionals accountable. Below, we will look at the most common birth injuries that are likely to be caused by medical malpractice, so new moms can know if their baby was harmed by the negligent actions of a medical professional.
Facial nerve damage is the primary cause of facial paralysis in newborns. This damage can also occur if a medical professional places excessive pressure on the head of the baby during delivery. Facial paralysis can happen when forceps or vacuum extraction are used to aid in delivery.
Facial paralysis can be so severe that the baby might not be able to close or open their eyes and can lead to implications such as eating and speech impairment down the road.
Cerebral palsy is perhaps the most well-known birth injury. It is caused by brain damage that might have occurred during the birth. This damage can stem from a laboring mother not being monitored correctly, poor delivery techniques, failure to monitor the infant for distress during and after labor, and more.
Cerebral palsy is characterized by weak muscles, inability to develop proper motor skills, and muscle spasms. Surgery has been shown to help somewhat, but cerebral palsy is a lifelong condition requiring a lifetime of care. This is why every parent who suspects that a doctor or other medical professional caused this condition should immediately contact a lawyer.
Brachial plexus injuries involve damage to nerves that connect the hand, shoulder, arm, and neck, and upper spine. These injuries occur when this important nerve is stretched during delivery. In some cases, the nerve can be ruptured or torn so that it does not heal properly, leading to permanent disability. Permanent disability can also occur if the nerves are completely torn and severed from the spine.
Shoulder dystocia remains one of the top reasons for the injuries that lead to brachial plexus. Baby shoulder dystocia happens when either or both of a baby’s shoulders get stuck in the birth canal during birth or labor. While a baby can be fine after such an incident, professionals not noticing the signs that lead to these injuries constitutes medical malpractice. Patients can also allege medical malpractice if medical professionals did not take enough measures to prevent these injuries.
If your baby suffers from brachial plexus caused by shoulder dystocia, it is important to talk to lawyers who specialize in these cases. The baby shoulder dystocia lawyers at Romanucci & Blandin Law have experience and success with these kinds of cases, and so it is advisable to get in touch with them to discuss your case.
Bone fractures can happen during difficult deliveries. Due to the baby’s positioning during birth, the most common fracture is the collarbone fracture, which is very painful and difficult to heal. As discussed above, shoulder dystocia can also cause a fractured collarbone.
Most collarbone fractures heal on their own, but some babies have to be immobilized to allow healing to occur.
At any level, oxygen deprivation leads to brain damage very quickly and is even worse in babies. Oxygen deprivation during birth can lead to brain injuries that cause conditions such as chronic seizures and cerebral palsy. Oxygen deprivation is also common where doctors and other medical professionals do not monitor a baby as they are supposed to immediately after birth. It can also occur if a medical professional leaves a baby in the birth canal for too long during delivery.
Depending on how long the deprivation happened and the subsequent conditions, a baby can have physical problems or intellectual disability .
Hemorrhages are bleeding in any part of the body. They can be severe and life-threatening when they occur inside the skull, especially under the coverings of the brain. In babies, intracranial hemorrhage or subarachnoid hemorrhage after birth are both severe and need immediate attention.
Changes in pressure during delivery can cause subconjunctival hemorrhages. These happen when a blood vessel bursts in the eye and can be as serious as the other types of hemorrhages in the skull.
Birth injuries are very serious, and this is why it is so important that medical professionals do everything they can to prevent them. Parents who suspect that their baby might have suffered a birth injury due to the negligence of a medical professional should seek the services of a lawyer specializing in birth injuries.