What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?

Unfortunately, serious birth injuries can have debilitating effects on children and their families that could last a lifetime. Children who are injured at birth often suffer from long-term health issues which may require expensive medical treatment, special schooling, at-home care, and other accommodations needed to perform daily activities. Speaking to a licensed lawyer could help you hold negligent parties accountable and pursue compensation to recover these costs.

The attorneys at the law firm of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers understand the struggles families must endure after a serious birth injury, which is why we offer free initial evaluations to discuss your legal options. There is no obligation needed and your information is kept completely confidential. 

Our firm has more than 40 years of combined legal experience while recovering more than $100 million in successful verdicts and settlements. Our licensed lawyers have extensive experience of the medical malpractice laws in Florida and how they may be applied to cases involving injuries caused during the birthing process. 

Below, we discuss the most common types of birth injuries and some of the responsibilities medical professionals are expected to uphold to avoid them. Whether your child suffered from one of these injuries or something similar, it is crucial to learn your legal rights from a qualified attorney who has experience handling these types of cases.  

What is a Birth Injury?

A birth injury is not the same as a birth defect. Birth defects can sometimes be a natural occurrence, such as cleft lip, hearing loss, or heart problems. Birth injuries are commonly the result of negligence by a doctor or nurse and can usually be avoided. It is important to know the difference between the two and whether your case qualifies for financial compensation.

A birth injury is any injury that occurs at or before child birth. These injuries generally happen when a healthcare professional makes a mistake by providing improper natal care or failing to correctly diagnose certain complications during the labor and delivery process.

Birth injuries can also occur when a pregnant woman is given a prescription drug which harms the baby or when a doctor fails to provide the medicine she needs for a healthy delivery.  

Typical Injuries Caused at Birth

While there may be a multitude of ways a birth injury can occur, some of the most typical are:

Cerebral palsy – Failure to properly monitor the mother during labor, incorrect birthing techniques, and failure to notice fetal distress have all been known to cause cerebral palsy, which is a form of brain damage in newborns. Children often suffer from disabilities, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, and issues with motor skills. 

Erb’s palsy – When an infant sustains an injury to the shoulders during birth it is known as Erb’s palsy. The child may experience difficulty moving the arms or shoulders, a lack of reflexes and arms that are bent inwards towards the body. These injuries are usually caused by excessive pulling on the baby’s arms during the birthing process. 

Brachial palsy – Another shoulder injury that can affect the child’s arms and hands is called brachial palsy. This occurs when there is trauma to the brachial plexus, which is a group of nerves that controls the arms and hands. The result of this injury can cause a lack of movement in the arms.    

Fractured bones – Sometimes birthing instruments may be used incorrectly which can result in fractured bones. Unlike adult bones, babies’ bones are delicate and more prone to fractures, which can also cause damage to the clavicles.  

Spinal cord damage – Improperly using forceps or excessive pulling during the delivery can also result in severe spinal cord damage. Sometimes the child may sustain tears in the meninges, which are three thin layers of tissue that protect the spinal cord and brain. These types of birth injuries have been known to cause neurological problems and even paralysis. 

Perinatal asphyxia/hypoxia – When a baby does not receive enough oxygen, either before the birthing process, during the delivery or after being born, perinatal asphyxia or hypoxia may occur. This type of injury can result in brain damage, shock, seizures, and a pale complexion.

Bleeding in the skull – Also known as a subarachnoid hemorrhage, damage to the baby’s head can cause bleeding in the cranium, which is the last defense in the skull protecting the brain. Sadly, this injury can cause life threatening strokes and/or temporary or permanent disabilities. 

Facial paralysis – Too much pressure during the delivery can cause damage to the facial nerve, which may result in either temporary or permanent facial paralysis. This may cause a lack of movement in the facial muscles, which may be noticeable when the baby cries.  

Caput succedaneum – When a medical provider improperly uses a vacuum extraction tool, it can cause the baby to suffer from caput succedaneum, which is excessive swelling of the infant’s soft issue in the scalp. This injury can cause the baby’s face to swell and may bring a great deal of discomfort as well.  

Subconjunctival hemorrhage – When either one or both eyes sustain damage to the blood vessels, a subconjunctival hemorrhage may occur. Although it can result in a red band across the white part of the eye, it rarely causes permanent damage. 

Consult With a Licensed Lawyer You Can Trust

While there may be a myriad of serious injuries that may occur during the labor and delivery process, many of them have been proven to be preventable. Lack of attention to detail, overwhelming work hours, and poor judgement have all been known to contribute to negligence on the part of the medical staff. When a child is injured due to negligence, the parents of the child may be legally eligible to seek financial compensation to pay for the damages sustained. 

If you need legal support for a birth injury in the Miami area, contact the law firm of Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers for a no-cost evaluation of your claim (by appointment only).  Our compassionate lawyers understand this may be a sensitive time for you and your family, which is why we are here to help you get through the legal process so you can pursue the compensation you may deserve.

Call our firm anytime, 24/7, to learn your legal rights to seek possible compensation. Ph: (561) 800-8000

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