According to statistics, seven out of every 1000 children in the United States are born with a birth injury. And in 2006 out of 4.3 million childbirths that happened in a hospital, an estimated 157,000 mothers and babies suffered injuries that could have been avoided. Most of those injuries are caused during a natural childbirth and are mainly caused by medical instruments. Most of these injuries fall under medical malpractice, and medical negligence.
It is estimated by the National Healthcare Quality Report that 5.08 out of every 1,000 birth injuries affected female infants, while 6.68 per 1,000 birth injuries affected male infants.
Some Common Medical Error-Caused Birth Injuries
Although not all birth injuries are caused by medical negligence and medical malpractice, there are unfortunately a large number of injuries that could have been prevented if pregnant women and their babies were given proper medical care. There can be improper training, improper preparation by the medical facility or improper use of equipment.
Here is a look at a few of the most common birth injuries resulting from medical negligence:
- Brachial Palsy Injuries: This type of birth injury, which includes Klumpke’s palsy and Erb’ palsy, occurs when there is injury to the brachial plexus, which are a bundle of nerves that are responsible for arm and hand movements. Shoulder dystocia is the most common cause of brachial palsy injuries – this is a condition that develops when during delivery, the shoulders of an infant are trapped in the mother’s pelvic bone. If a physician pulls incorrectly or excessively hard while attempting to deliver the infant, it can cause damage to the brachial plexus. This can lead to permanent or temporary paralysis and disability.
- Facial Paralysis: There might be excessive pressure on an infant’s face during the delivery period, causing damaged nerves. Facial paralysis is common when the baby is pulled out with the help of vacuum extraction or forceps. Symptoms of this birth injury include lack of movement on the side of the affected face and inability to close the eye on the side of the face affected by paralysis.
- Fractures: Broken bones can happen for a variety of reasons, but many times occur when the baby is pulled too hard when in a breech position. Other times a difficult birth can result in the baby is forcibly pulled by the shoulder. The newborn may not be able to move a broken arm after the birth is over; the good news is that these types of injuries usually heal very quickly.
- Brain Injuries: Unfortunately, oxygen deprivation is a problem that often occurs during delivery, and it can lead to a wide range of health problems; a brain injury is the most severe problem that can result. When an infant suffers from a brain injury, it can be followed by a host of medical disorders, including chronic seizures, and cerebral palsy. Oxygen deprivation can take place:
- When the physician fails to monitor an infant correctly immediately after birth
- Because the baby remains in the birth canal for an excessive time period
- When umbilical cord issues occur, e.g., a prolapsed cord
These common birth injuries are serious and can have devastating consequences for your child as well as your entire family. The joy of childbirth should never be overshadowed by the trauma of an injury to your newborn, especially if that injury was avoidable.
If your child suffers a birth injury due to a doctor’s negligence, you may have the right to file a medical malpractice suit against them. The best medical malpractice lawyers have the knowledge, training and experience to help guide you.
How Does a Birth Injury Malpractice Lawsuit Help?
Filing a medical malpractice lawsuit for a birth injury can be stressful – you need to devote your time to providing care to your child, juggle doctor appointments, possible therapy sessions as well as the other responsibilities that come with being a new parent. With the help of a birth injury attorney, the process of a medical malpractice lawsuit can be made as stress-free as possible.
With a birth injury lawsuit, you and your family may be able to recover damages for:
- Past, current, and future medical expenses, perhaps for the life of the child
- Healthcare costs that are associated with therapy, counseling, rehabilitation, and specialized medical equipment
- Pain and suffering as well as emotional distress
- Loss of income as a result of having to provide care for the disabled child
- Loss of companionship and enjoyment, and a strain on a marriage or parental relationship
If your child suffers a birth injury, solely due to either a medical error or negligence, you should immediately seek the help of a reliable lawyer who has had experience in handling medical malpractice and birth injury cases. Keep in mind that medical malpractice cases can be complex and take a long time, even years, to resolve. This is why it is crucial to make sure that you have a skilled and committed birth injury lawyer at your side. Like other medical malpractice cases, a childbirth injury that results from avoidable negligence needs to be addressed.
Don’t go it alone; hospitals and doctors have their own legal experts and insurance companies, you need someone on your side. An advocate with the knowledge and experience to fight for you, your child, and your family.
Get in touch with Badgley Law Group at (407) 781-0420 to discuss the details of your case over a free consultation. Our hard-working Orlando medical malpractice lawyers will help you formulate a plan of action and inform you of your options. We have the experience and the knowledge to help you recover from mistakes of someone else.