When a baby is injured because of complications which occur during birth and labor, this is known as “birth injury” or “birth trauma.” These injuries can be mild, such as bruising, or can be severe, such as nerve and brain damage… or death. Although many birth injuries do not result from medical malpractice, a medical malpractice attorney can help you determine whether or not you have a case. Several things can contribute to birth injury, including the size of the baby, the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis, prolonged labor, breech birth, and birth injury during a previous birth. Here are a few common birth injuries.
Bruising and Marks
- Babies can suffer bruising on the face or head just by being forced through the birth canal. If forceps are needed during delivery, these can also cause bruises and marks which are temporary. Bright red bands around the iris of one or both eyes can also occur and should clear up within ten days. The baby’s scalp could also swell considerably if vacuum extraction is used during delivery. This will clear up in a few days. Cephalohematoma occurs when there is bleeding between a bone and the fibrous covering over the bone. Although this condition could cause jaundice, it will usually clear up within three months. All of these injuries are considered mild and do not normally require a medical malpractice attorney.
- When too much pressure is applied to the baby’ face during labor and birth, the facial nerves could be damaged. This could cause facial paralysis. The condition could range from mild, where the nerves were simply bruised and will heal in a few weeks…to severe, where the damage is bad enough to warrant surgery. A birth injury lawyer can help you to determine whether or not you should file malpractice charges.
Medical Malpractice Experience:
- This condition occurs when the bunch of nerves controlling the movement of the limbs is injured. Most often, this happens when the baby’s shoulders stop the infant from being born. Like facial paralysis, this condition can be mild if the nerves were only bruised, and will clear up in a few months. If the damage is more extensive, the baby may require surgery and/or physical therapy. If this has happened to your child, you may want to contact a malpractice lawyer.
- Broken bones can occur during birth, most often, the collar bone. This is more likely to occur during more difficult births, such as a breech birth. Once the bone is immobilized, the baby should heal quickly. In such cases, the parents should consult with a birth injury attorney to see if they should go to court.
- When the brain is deprived of oxygen during the labor and birth process, brain damage can occur. This can be cause by the umbilical cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck, twisting, or compressing. If this occurs, the baby could suffer from mental impairment, seizures, cerebral palsy, and more. In such cases, parents should call a medical malpractice attorney.
Although not all birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice, medical errors could cause common birth injuries to be more severe. If the doctor failed to: foresee complications, respond promptly to bleeding, notice issues with the umbilical cord, promptly order a C-section, properly use forceps or a vacuum extractor, or makes medication errors, a medical malpractice attorney should be called in to help review all of the baby’s medical records. The contents of this website do not constitute legal advice, and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. Representative case results are provided as examples only, and do not guarantee or imply the same or similar results for other cases, which are evaluated on their individual merits.