Birth Injury Law
The birth of a baby can be one of the most joyful times in the life of a mother. From the moment the baby is born, parents want to do what is best to ensure their child has a fulfilling life. If the child has a birth injury or medical problem, parents must begin to chart a course for helping their child develop through these challenges. Birth injuries affect about 28,000 babies each year, one of the most common being cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy lasts for life, and the consequences of this debilitating condition cover a broad spectrum, from physical limitations to cognitive delays. Other common injuries due to birth include facial paralysis, cephalohematoma and spinal cord injuries.
Unlike birth defects, which are caused by everything from genetics to environmental factors, birth injuries can often be prevented. If your little one was hurt during delivery or while you were pregnant and receiving prenatal care, then you may benefit from speaking with a medical malpractice attorney about your situation.
Every year there are thousands of birth injuries. These can be anything from relatively minor injuries to severe problems that will last a lifetime.
Some example of minor birth injuries would include bruises suffered while traveling through the birth canal, fractures that usually heal quickly, and neurapraxia, which a mild type of brachial plexus injury, where the arm has temporary muscle weakness and sensation changes. While they are scary at the time, these types of injuries typically clear up in a matter of days or weeks.
Unfortunately, babies can also suffer much more severe birth injuries that result in long-term or even permanent problems. Some of these injuries are:
- Shoulder dystocia, which typically occurs when a baby gets stuck in the birth canal. It can happen when the baby is moving through the canal and the bones squeeze the baby too tightly or when a medical professional uses an assistive device, such as forceps or a vacuum. The nerves in the arm are permanently damaged, causing the arm to have limited movement. This condition can also result in a need for orthopedic surgery.
- Anoxia, which is a lack of oxygen to the baby, often causes a brain injury. There are several ways this injury can occur, but one of the primary reasons is that the umbilical cord gets wrapped around the baby’s neck. This is a permanent injury which can cause numerous difficulties in the baby’s development.
- Cerebral palsy, which is a neuromuscular disorder. It occurs when the injury caused damage to the baby’s brain. A child with CP has difficulty controlling his movements, sitting up, swallowing, communicating, and many other secondary problems.
There are many ways birth injuries can occur. Some of the most common are:
- Missed diagnoses, such as gestational diabetes
- A baby having a very high birth weight
- The baby being in an abnormal birth position
- Placental abruption
- Umbilical cord injuries
- Failure to perform timely C-sections
Many of these should be caught early enough that injury can be prevented. Unfortunately, there are times injuries will occur, regardless of how well you followed instructions, how great your doctor was, and how spot on the care you received was. However, if you feel that your doctor, anesthesiologist, nurse or anyone else attending to you during your pregnancy and labor did something that caused or contributed to your baby’s birth injury, seek legal help immediately. Even if it is not intentional, a medical professional could have made a mistake that caused your child’s injury.
Seeking Legal Help
Dealing with a long-term or permanent injury can be costly. It can also be emotionally and physically draining. When your child has suffered a birth injury, proving negligence or malpractice can be very difficult. You will need an attorney who has experience in dealing with birth injury cases, not just personal injuries. You want to work with a firm that has a history of successful outcomes…successful because they know what to do.
At Diez-Arguelles & Tejedor, we have professionals who will study your medical records and find the necessary information to help you and your case. We have the expertise and passion to bring things to a positive conclusion. We want to help you find justice, and also prevent a medical provider from making the same mistake again. Call us today to schedule a free consultation.