Birth Injury - What You Need to Know

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Lutherville, MD

Practice Areas: Medical Malpractice

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The birth of a child can be an exciting time for any family.  The family has anticipated for months the arrival of its newest member and has already started planning for the baby’s future.  But what if something goes wrong during the birth or delivery?  In some instances, the negligence of a medical care provider can cause injury to the baby during the birth which none of the family members anticipated.  This can be a very disheartening experience which can have serious long term effects on the baby developmentally, as well as take a serious emotional toll on other family members.

What is Birth Injury?

Injuries which occur to the fetus during pregnancy or labor, as well as injuries which occur during delivery or shortly after the birth of a baby are considered to be birth injuries.  Birth injuries often occur when a medical care provider such as a doctor or nurse responds in an incorrect manner to an emergency situation which the mother or unborn child may be experiencing such as distress indicated on a fetal heart monitor.  There are a number of birth injuries which commonly occur during pregnancy or delivery.  These injuries may be minor and include:  bruising caused by forceps, and factures of the clavicle or collarbone.  More severe birth injuries include:  bleeding in the brain, brain swelling, brain damage, skull factures, facial nerve injury, and Erb’s Palsy .  Cerebral Palsy is another severe disorder which is caused by birth injury.  Furthermore, there are a number of other birth injuries which can occur.

What are the Causes of Birth Injury?

Birth injuries can be caused by a number of different factors.  In many instances, birth injuries are caused by the negligence of a medical care provider or improper medical care.  Oftentimes, these injuries are the result of the improper use of medical equipment during the delivery of the child.  For example, the misuse of vacuums and forceps which are often used during delivery can cause a baby to sustain injury.   These injuries, which are preventable, can cause substantial physical harm to the baby as well as emotional pain and suffering to the parents of the affected child.

What Are Some Signs that a Baby Has Suffered a Birth Injury?

Because a baby cannot communicate effectively to let you know that he or she has suffered a medical injury, there are often signs which you or an experienced medical provider should notice.  Some signs that a baby has suffered a birth injury include:  swelling of the baby’s head, indentations or depressions in the baby’s head, seizures, and lopsided facial movement.  If you notice any of these signs, you should bring them to the attention of your medical care provider immediately.

What is the Likelihood of Recovery from a Birth Injury?

Depending on the injury, there are numerous babies who have suffered from birth injuries who have fully recovered from these injuries and developed normally.  However, there are some types of birth injuries such as Cerebral Palsy which have serious long term effects on the development of the baby.  Many even result in sufficient life-long physical as well as mental disabilities.

What is your Legal Recourse if Your Child has been the Victim of a Birth Injury?

In addition to the physical and mental harm a birth injury can cause a baby as well as the emotional toll the birth injury can take on the family, birth injuries can also have an extreme financial effect on the family of the affected baby.  The costs of medical care for the family of the baby who suffered a birth injury can often be extreme, leaving many families wondering where they are going to get the money to pay for their new baby’s medical needs.

There are a number of claims which can support a medical malpractice lawsuit for birth injury.  These claims include:  the failure of a medical care provider to anticipate birth complications which may have been or should have been evident, the failure to respond appropriately to an emergency situation such as bleeding, failure to respond appropriately to fetal distress, the failure to order a cesarean section in a timely manner, the misuse of medical equipment during delivery, and the inappropriate administration of delivery drugs.

If your child has been the victim of a birth injury, it is important for you to consult with a medical malpractice attorney who has experience in the area of birth injury law promptly to find out what steps you can take for financial recovery during this trying time.

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