Medical Malpractice and Three Common Birth Injuries
Nothing is more exciting than the birth of your child. However, if your little one is injured in the birthing process, the happiest of days can turn into a tragic one for you and your family. There are many types of birth injuries. Some are relatively minor and can occur even when your OB/GYN is a consummate professional. On the other hand, other types of injuries can be the result of negligent medical care. Unfortunately, these birth injuries are often more serious, and they can have lifelong effects for your child. At Worby Vecchio Edelman, LLP, we specialize in medical malpractice and other personal injury claims. We will fight for the compensation you deserve to cover medical costs and any ongoing treatment that your child may need. To learn more about the types of birth injury that can occur, contact our White Plains, NY practice today.
Brain injuries can be devastating, and they can severely impair a child’s physical and mental development. These birth injuries can occur in a number of ways. In some cases, they can develop because of physical trauma to the head. For example, a negligent doctor may use forceps to aid the delivery, putting pressure on a baby’s brain. More often, brain injuries develop because of oxygen deprivation. Oxygen levels can be low if the uterus ruptures, the placenta separates from the uterus, or there is a prolapsed umbilical cord.
Cerebral palsy is one of the most serious birth injuries affecting the brain. If your child suffers from this condition, he or she has damage in the parts of the brain that control muscle function. Cerebral palsy can range from mild, requiring little special treatment, to severe, necessitating lifelong assistance.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is the bundle of nerves that sends signals from the spinal cord to the arms, shoulders, and hands. Erb’s palsy is one type of injury. This condition will cause weakness or lack of feeling in the upper arm. In some cases, it can lead to total arm paralysis. Another type of brachial plexus injury is Klumpke’s palsy, which affects the lower arm. In most cases, babies will have total arm paralysis. The hand will also take on a clenched, claw-like shape.
Brachial plexus injuries can occur for several reasons. Again, improper delivery techniques may be at fault. For example, a doctor could pull on a baby’s shoulder with forceps, damaging the important nerves. In other cases, large infants or those who have a breech delivery may have their nerves compressed during birth.
Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
A baby’s blood flows differently before and after delivery. If the infant’s circulatory system is unable to make the transition, he or she will have high blood pressure in the arteries leading to the lungs. As a result, blood will flow away from the lungs, and the baby could face a life-threateningly low level of oxygen. Certain medications, such as Zoloft®, Prozac, and Paxil, can increase an expectant mother’s blood pressure, raising the risk for PPHN. In other cases, the condition can arise unexpectedly. A responsible doctor should monitor for the signs of pulmonary hypertension.
Do You Have a Viable Medical Malpractice Case?
If your baby is suffering from these or any other birth injury, you may have a valid medical malpractice case. However, your situation must meet certain criteria to qualify for legal action. A medical professional must have been negligent or reckless at some point during your pregnancy, birth, or post-delivery period. For example, if he or she used overly-forceful delivery techniques, this may qualify as medical malpractice. You could also have a valid claim if your doctor failed to diagnose a serious risk factor, refused to induce labor, or did not perform an emergency C-section.
Contact Us for a Case Evaluation
When you come to our firm, we will carefully evaluate your case, consulting with medical experts, as necessary. If we determine that you have a legal claim, we will fight tirelessly for your rights. Contact our office today to learn more and to schedule a case evaluation.