Ordinarily, childbirth is a miraculous process that is life-changing for the families of newborns. While complications can arise, hospitals are specially trained to deal with each and every outcome. Some medical errors cause birth injuries that can last a lifetime for the affected families. They are in turn burdened with the extra care for the child including expensive medical bills, physical therapy, special education, and other associated costs. If you or someone you know has suffered any type of traumatic birth experience that resulted in an injury, contact our Philadelphia birth injury attorney to discuss your case.
Types of Birth Injuries
Cerebral Palsy – This birth injury is a lifelong condition that occurs for a number of reasons, including lack of oxygen to the brain or injury to the spine. Newborns with cerebral palsy will show signs of difficulty moving one or more limbs, holding up their heads, and experience developmental delays.
Erb’s Palsy – This birth injury is similar to cerebral palsy and is a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to a cluster of nerves known as the upper trunk C5–C6 nerves, a portion of the brachial plexus. Erb’s Palsy is an adverse condition caused by a physical injury during delivery, and its impact can range from mild to serious, depending upon the severity of the injury. It is characterized as a weakness or paralysis of the arm and is caused when too much force is used during the birthing process.
Brachial Plexus Injury – This injury is also known as neonatal brachial plexus palsy (BPP). When this cluster of nerves is injured during childbirth, it can be responsible for a child developing Erb’s Palsy, Neuropraxia, Klumpke’s Palsy, or Neuroma. This injury happens more often when a birth involves breech positioning, maternal obesity or diabetes, excessive force used with a medical device, and/or large birth weights.
Shoulder Dystocia – During the childbirth process, a physician delivering the baby may pull on the baby’s head to aid the birth. Shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that occurs when an infant’s head and shoulders become stuck behind its mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. While rare, this type of injury is often severe and is risky for both mother and child. The mother can hemorrhage and/or rupture her uterus, and the baby may experience difficulty breathing, a collarbone fracture, cerebral palsy, a brachial plexus fracture, and in some instances, die during or shortly after birth.
Forceps and Vacuum Assisted Delivery Injuries – During childbirth, whether natural or Caesarian section, a physician may use a medical vacuum or pair of forceps, a tong-like device. The vacuum or forceps are usually placed on the baby’s head and used to pull. When excessive force is used, a devastating birth injury can happen.
Hypoxia – When oxygen levels drop, whether in the baby or the mother, it is essential to get air to the patient before hypoxia develops, or low oxygen in the organs can lead to permanent damage or death.
Philadelphia Birth Injury Attorney
If you or someone you know has suffered any type of birth injury during a hospital or home birth, contact our Philadelphia birth injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. When handled correctly, your birth injury claim compensation should help you take care of your injured child for life. Our medical malpractice lawyers can help.