Approximately 5 out of every 1,000 infants born in the United States each year suffer from injuries during childbirth. Causing both physical problems for the baby and mental anguish for parents, these birth injuries are sometimes caused by negligence, miscommunication or mistakes made by hospitals and medical professionals.
While some birth injuries cannot be avoided, those caused by negligent medical malpractice can result in a lawsuit against a doctor, nurse, technician or hospital. Most commonly, injuries are a result of failure to properly assess or treat conditions or complications during delivery or the incorrect administration of prescription medications during pregnancy. Birth injuries may result from mechanical problems like improper extraction using a vacuum or forceps. Other injuries may be a result of inadequate staffing, fatigue or negligence in following medical protocols.
Facial paralysis is a common birth injury that results from medical malpractice and can cause future problems with speech, expression and mastication. Cerebral palsy can be caused by oxygen deprivation during delivery. Affecting the nerves that control the body’s muscles, this birth injury can lead to difficulty developing fine motor skills, involuntary movements and problems with balance. Brachial plexus injuries may also occur due to medical malpractice, resulting in nerve damage in spine. Symptoms of this birth injury include numbness and lack of control in the wrist, hand or arm. Severe pain in the shoulder is another a common symptom of this nerve damage. Cephalohematoma is another common birth injury, characterized by a swollen area on top of the head. This is a result of burst veins during delivery that leave the infant with a deformed appearance. Other common types of birth injuries caused by malpractice are Erb’s palsy, jaundice, asphyxiation, brain damage, bone fractures and even death.
Parents of a newborn suffering from a birth injury may be able to seek compensation if the injuries resulted from medical malpractice. Even good intentions sometimes result in reckless or thoughtless behavior and a healthcare professional’s negligent actions should be brought to court if they result in birth injuries. Experienced lawyers can assess your claim and work with a team of doctors to determine the cause of injury.