Welcoming a new baby into the family is something parents approach with great joy. Everyone hopes and prays for a happy healthy new addition to the family. Unfortunately, there are instances where everything does not go as smoothly as planned or hoped for.
When the worst does happen, a compassionate Cherry Hill birth injury lawyer can help you determine what resources you will need to cope and whether to pursue a claim for medical malpractice.
Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice
Birth injuries are damages that occur during the birthing process, usually during transit through the birth canal. Many newborns have minor injuries during birth, and most injuries resolve without treatment.
But there are instances where medical negligence results in severe and/or permanent injury to the baby. And the fallout can be life altering.
Children who suffer from certain kinds of birth injuries may be affected for life, needing constant long-term care. The costs of caring for an injured child can be astronomical. Damages can often be recovered for care costs as well as for pain and suffering.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
While there are a number of different types of birth injuries, the most common types are cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy.
Cerebral Palsy (Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy)
It is estimated that cerebral palsy occurs in in as many as four out of every 1,000 births worldwide, and is by far the most frequent birth injury reported.
Cerebral palsy can occur as a result of oxygen being cut off to the baby’s brain during the birthing process. Children with cerebral palsy may not be able to walk, talk, eat, or play like other children.
More than 40 percent of children with cerebral palsy also are diagnosed with epilepsy.
Erb’s palsy occurs as a result of an injury to the brachial plexus, a system of nerves that affect control sensation and motor function in the upper body. It is estimated that up to two out of every 1,000 children experience this condition.
Most children who suffer from Erb’s palsy will recover motor function, eventually, but it can take up to two years. Surgery may be required to treat Erb’s palsy.
Long-term affects include stunted growth due to nerve damage.
Other Types of Birth-Related Complications and Injuries Include:
- Hydrocephalus, which is the accumulation of fluid in the baby’s brain, causing convulsions, permanent disability or death.
- Hypoxia, which is a loss of oxygen to the brain during delivery.
- Kernicterus, a kind of brain damage that can result when jaundice is not promptly and effectively treated.
- Shoulder dystocia, also called brachial plexus injury, can cause long-term neurological, skeletal and muscular injuries. This condition occurs when the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck beneath the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery.
Causes of Birth Injuries
Not all birth injuries are due to negligence, but many are. Some common causes for potentially avoidable birth injuries include:
- Failure to order a C-Section in a timely manner
- Failure to respond timely to fetal distress
- Improper use of forceps or a vacuum
- Improper staff training on equipment use
If you are in need of a legal advice about recovering damages following the birth of a child, a Cherry Hill birth injury lawyer at Folkman Law Offices is available for a free case review. Contact us online or call 856-354-9444 today.