Personal Injury Law: Birth-Related Injuries
Negligence, in a medical setting can be committed when a health care professional, such as a hospital staff member, nurse, or doctor fails to provide reasonable care to the patient being treated. During pregnancy, nurses and obstetrical doctors are obligated to monitor the mother for any signs of fetal distress and they are trained to take swift action when medical issues arise. A failure to act can lead to serious harm to the infant, and change what is otherwise supposed to be a jubilant event into a completely horrific occurrence.
When Your Baby Has Suffered a Birth-Related Injury, Hire the Legal Support Your Family Deserves
If you are a parent that recently discovered that your baby suffered a serious injury during the birthing process, it is essential to seek the legal representation of an attorney who has experience in medical negligence cases.
Attorney Justin H. King has many years of dedicated experience helping the victims of birth-related injuries receive compensation for their grievances. An injury caused during the birthing process can cause many years of emotional trauma and economic distress. If a careless medical provider injured your infant during the birthing process, it is essential to consult the legal advice of a well-versed personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
During a newborn’s delivery, there are many birth-related traumas that could transpire. A birth-related trauma is a general term that is used to describe any of the following:
Fractures to any of the baby’s skeletal system,
Any cuts or abrasions to the baby’s skin, and/or
Bruising or other similar and severe types of injuries
While this is a limited list of the many injuries that could happen to a newborn during the delivery process, it should be noted that injuries could happen to any newborn. In fact, many birth related injuries can sometimes go unnoticed as they occur internally or can show little to no symptoms.
Common Birth-Related Injury Causes
Birth injuries can happen through a variety of ways. While most modern hospitals have the tools and medical staff necessary to carry out successful deliveries, many mistakes can nonetheless happen. For instance, the following are some of the most common ways that a birth-related injury could occur:
- The improper use of medical instruments,
- The inappropriate handling of the baby, or
- A lack of medical staff that lead to inattentive care
As previously noted, birth-related injuries can happen to just about any baby, however, research has shown that heavier babies tend to suffer injuries more frequently than average sized babies. This can happen because medical staff can use an over asserted amount of physical force when handling the newborn. They may also be careless with the tools they use for the birthing procedure.
Other babies that run greater risks include those that are exposed to the following dangers:
- Newborns that arrive before the 37th week,
- Unborn babies who are in an abnormal fetal position,
- The mother has a pelvis whose shape and/or size may affect the birth of the baby,
- There is a difficulty in the labor and/or delivery process, or
- There is a prolonged labor that goes unnoticed.
- Examining Common Birth-Related Injuries
Newborns could be very fragile. It could be very easy for inexperienced medical staff to cause harm on a newborn baby. Common injuries include, but are not limited to trauma to the newborn’s extremities. This could be trauma caused to a baby’s neck, limbs, and/or head. Other injuries include:
Caput Succedaneum – This is a birth-related injury that causes injury to the baby’s head by causing scalp swelling and/or bruising.
Cephalohematoma – This condition causes a baby to develop an accumulation of liquid and/or blood underneath the baby’s protective membrane covering the baby’s skull. While this condition can sometimes disappear on its own, it can sometimes lead to other conditions if left untreated.
Broken and/or Bruised Bones – If a newborn is forcibly pulled in the delivery process, this could cause bruising of the baby’s bones. In worst-case situations, this could also lead to broken bones. Unfortunately, there are cases where negligent medical staff dropped a newborn, which often leads to a baby having broken bones.
Brachial Plexus Injuries – These injuries can occur when the infant experiences arm weakness. Although this injury can clear up after a few days, there are still dangers associated with it.
Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral palsy is perhaps the most devastating injuries a newborn can sustain. Short of death, this injury will have life long consequences and will likely result in a shortened lifespan. Although there is a wide range of reasons as to why a baby can suffer from cerebral palsy, it is sometimes caused by mistakes in the birthing process. Above most birth-related injuries, baby’s who suffer from cerebral palsy will have a serious financial impact on the entire family.
Shoulder Dystocia – Shoulder dystocia can occur when a baby’s head is delivered but the reminder of his or her body becomes stuck in the mother’s body. This is a delicate matter that can cause serious injury not only to the infant but the mother as well. Although a majority of infants will go largely unaffected, they can undergo complications in the upper extremities, which includes brain injury and nerve damage.
After the Birth-Related Injury of Your Baby, Hire the Legal Support of an Experienced Attorney
While birth-related injuries can happen to just about any newborn, there are many injuries that could go unnoticed. If you have reason to believe that your baby has suffered injuries from the delivery process, seek the advice and support of a qualified medical malpractice attorney. An attorney with the right experience can guide you through your available legal options, including the probability of filing for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Attorney Justin H. King is a dedicated personal injury attorney who has helped many parents seek compensation for the injuries negligent hospitals and/or medical staff caused their newborn babies. Attorney Justin H. King also has extensive experience in dealing with serious birth-related injuries. The State of California enforces strict time limitations to file for medical malpractice claims; obtain the support of a knowledgeable attorney.