Birth injuries are some of the most traumatic and overwhelming tragedies that a family can go through. If this has happened to you or a loved one, we would first like to express our deepest sympathies. No one should ever have to experience an ordeal like this, especially when hospital negligence is the cause. Here are a few examples of birth injuries that can fall under the umbrella of medical malpractice.
Examples of Birth Injuries | Cerebral Palsy
Caused by brain damage occurring just before or during birth, cerebral palsy affects body movement, muscle control, muscle tone, and reflex. Individuals can suffer severe physical impairment for which there is no cure or treatment. Lack of oxygen during delivery can cause cerebral palsy in newborns. If a doctor fails to monitor the baby for fetal distress during labor, he may be responsible for the resulting injury.
Examples of Birth Injuries | Brachial Plexus
When the nerves in the neck and shoulder area are damaged or severed during delivery, the result can be an inability to use the muscles of the upper arm, shoulder, and hand. Depending on the severity of the injury, damage could be temporary, or the child could suffer from a loss of arm function for life. Two types of brachial plexus injury include Erb’s palsy, affecting the upper arm, and Klumpke’s palsy, affecting the nerves of the lower arm.
Examples of Birth Injuries | Fractures
A baby may suffer bone fractures during a difficult delivery, particularly if forceps or a vacuum extractor are used. A common birth injury is a broken clavicle, which may heal—but will cause the baby unnecessary pain and suffering. Babies should not suffer broken bones while being born.
Examples of Birth Injuries | Facial Paralysis
When facial nerves are stretched or torn during a difficult delivery, the baby can lose function of facial muscles, resulting in paralysis and a changed appearance. Sometimes the paralysis is temporary and dissipates over time, other times it is permanent.
Examples of Birth Injuries | Brain Damage
When forceps are used improperly during delivery, the baby’s soft skull can be crushed, causing brain bleeds and brain damage. The damage could result in cerebral palsy, seizures, or developmental delays. Bruising on the scalp and swelling of the head can be indications of brain damage following a forceps delivery.
By pursuing a birth malpractice lawsuit, you are not only holding that doctor accountable for his mistake, but you are ensuring the long-term financial security of your injured child. It is important that the investigation into the possibility of malpractice begin as soon as possible. If something goes wrong during your baby’s delivery, do not sign anything for the hospital or agree to any amount of money before you talk to an experienced Pittsburgh birth injury attorney. Call us to share your story and we will let you know whether you have a malpractice claim.