Few personal injuries are more tragic than those experienced by infants while they are being born. Medical personnel such as doctors, nurses, and other professionals are expected to have the qualifications and experience to act swiftly and appropriately when complications arise. Unfortunately, some of them do not exercise the mandated level of care, resulting in harm to the infant.
Birth-related injuries can range in severity from skin irritation and temporary bruising of the head and shoulder area to serious and disabling conditions such as spinal cord injury and brachial plexus. In extreme cases, wrongful death can even result.
- Brachial Plexus Injuries: This preventable birth injury occurs when the nerves running between the babyâ€™s spine and arm are damaged, potentially causing permanent paralysis of the hands, arms and even the face.
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is a medical condition that can result from brain damage during birth. The primary outcome is developmental difficulties, particularly where movement and motor coordination is concerned. Severe cases can impose overwhelming financial and emotional demands on the childâ€™s parents.
- Erbâ€™s Palsy: Erb’s palsy can be caused by issues such as injured brachial nerves due to the infantâ€™s neck and head being drawn to the side when the shoulders emerge from the birth canal.
- Shoulder Dystocia: If the infantâ€™s shoulders remain stuck in the motherâ€™s pelvic area after the head emerges, the doctors may cause injuries while pulling it out. Common post-shoulder dystocia injuries include light limb paralysis, nerve damage, and a claw-like hand.
- Fractures: When the attending physician pulls on the baby with too much force while it is in the breech position, a broken clavicle may result. The same injury can also occur if the doctor pulls on the shoulder too firmly after a difficult delivery.
- Cephalohematoma: This injury, which is marked by bleeding beneath one of the cranial bones, can be caused by tools used to assist the birth. Potential complications include hypotension, jaundice, anemia and even meningitis.
Other potential birth injuries include temporary body paralysis, cranial nerve damage, and herpesvirus infections such as cytomegalovirus infection.
If your child is living with an injury or disability attributable to medical negligence during the birthing process, contact a New York birth injury attorney. Your attorney will confer with medical experts to determine if the attending physician and hospital staff are at fault and, if that turns out to be the case, help you proceed by:
- Negotiating pretrial settlements
- Preparing documents for trial
- Collecting evidence
- Contacting expert witnesses
- Building a compelling case
An experienced birth injury attorney will fight to ensure that you and your baby receive the maximum compensation possible so that your family can meet medical expenses and build the best possible future.