Birth Injuries: What You Need To Know

In the U.S., 7 out of every 1,000 births involve some type of injury. This could have been sustained during labor and delivery, or sustained while the infant was still in the womb. Doctors and other medical staff are responsible for carefully monitoring mothers during the months leading up to the birth of their child, throughout the labor process, and after the child is born. If they fail to do so, it can not only result in injury to the mother, but injury to the unborn child as well.

There are several types of birth injuries that can affect babies. Sometimes these are due to natural causes and no person is to blame. However, even if doctor's actions did not directly result in the child's harm, they are still responsible for accurately diagnosing the condition in a timely manner and quickly carrying out the correct treatment. Other types of birth injuries can be traced directly back to an action on the part of a doctor or other medical professional or traced back to an action that they failed to perform.

One common type of birth injury that can result from medical negligence is brachial plexus injuries. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves that run from the spine down the arm. As these nerves are delicate, any force or trauma to neck or arm can result in nerve damage. The brachial plexus nerves carry signals to the muscles, so this type of damage can result in partial paralysis or difficulty in moving the arm. A breech delivery (feet first delivery) can result in brachial plexus injury. If the neck and arm are pulled or wrenched in a specific way or too much force was exerted, your child could be left with this injury.

Erb's Palsy also affects the brachial plexus nerves. If the baby experiences complications while traveling through and exiting the birth canal, such as in a feet first delivery, the child could be left with this type of injury. Doctors are responsible for foreseeing any problems that could occur during childbirth. If they failed to recognize a problem or failed to do anything about it, you could have a medical malpractice case.

Many people do not realize that cerebral palsy could in fact be a result of a birth injury. Cerebral palsy is actually a group of disorders that affects movement, muscle tone, and coordination. Although it is unknown as to what the exact cause of these disorders is, one widely accepted cause is a lack of oxygen to the brain while a baby is being born. If a complication arises during labor and delivery and air is cut off from the child, they may be left with this type of brain damage. As of now, there are not treatments that are able to reverse the effects of cerebral palsy.

Lastly, another condition that parents may not realize was actually caused by medical malpractice is mental retardation. The definition of mental retardation is an intellectual disability that causes a child's brain functioning to be below the norm. With over 3% of the population in the U.S. suffering from some type of mental retardation, this is a very widespread problem. One would expect that doctors would have a better understanding of what causes this based on this fact, however, they are only able to pin point a cause in a quarter of the cases. If it can be proven that your child suffered from this birth injury because of a doctor error, you could have a medical malpractice case.

Article Source: Joseph M Lichtenstein


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  3. My last ultrasound was when I was 14 weeks I didnt get any more through out my whole pregnancy my son had surgery a month ago due to pyloric stenosis and doctors said they noticed he had two hernias can we take legal action against them for not performing the amount of ultrasounds needed and for not spotting the hernias before?

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