If you believe your child suffered brain damage because of excessive or improper pulling during delivery, you may be able to pursue damages through a claim against the doctor who delivered him or the hospital where he was born. Read on to learn more about how to file a claim if your child suffered brain damage from excessive pulling.
The best way to learn more about your legal options is to discuss the details of his birth, brain injury, and lasting impairments with a birth injury lawyer in your state. Attorneys who regularly practice medical malpractice law and handle birth injury cases near you will be able to explain the strength of your case, the steps required in your state, and other rules that will apply to pursuing this type of claim.
Brain Damage Lawsuits
You may have a viable brain damage lawsuit if a doctor or other medical care provider:
- Failed to provide an acceptable standard of care
- Made a medical error
- Caused a preventable birth injury
- Committed medical negligence
Your attorney will be able to identify all potentially liable parties and build a strong case to show how your doctor and/or hospital are responsible for your child’s brain damage. This often relies on a medical expert witness who can testify that your doctor acted negligently or otherwise caused your child to suffer a preventable injury that resulted in brain damage.
If you can prove medical malpractice, your attorney may be able to negotiate an out-of-court settlement or get an award in court that will cover damages including:
- Medical care costs
- Ongoing care costs
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Early intervention
- Mobility and accessibility aids
- Out-of-pocket costs
- Pain and suffering
Most birth injury attorneys offer free initial consultations, so you have nothing to lose discussing your case with an attorney in your state.
How Difficult Deliveries Can Lead to Brain Injuries When Doctors Act Recklessly
Many brain injuries from excessive pulling occur when a doctor fails to order a Cesarean delivery (C-section) when one may be necessary, or when doctors use improper techniques during difficult deliveries.
In general, vaginal deliveries when the baby is extremely large or the mother is particularly petite come with an increased risk of injury. If it appears the baby weighs 10 to 11 pounds or more, the doctor may need to consider a C-section. This is also true if the baby remains in an abnormal position in the uterus in the hours before birth.
C-Sections Greatly Reduce the Risk of Brain Injuries During Some Deliveries
Today, the risks related to Cesarean deliveries are relatively low and are the best option for many mothers and babies who are at an increased risk for a difficult delivery. If a doctor tries to deliver a large baby with an abnormal presentation vaginally, they may need to use forceps or a vacuum extraction tool to pull the child from the womb. This increases the risk of birth injuries even more.
Common Birth Injuries Caused by Excessive Pulling
Excessive pulling, improper pulling, and improper use of assistive birthing devices can cause birth injuries and brain damage in several ways. Some of the most concerning brain injuries that may occur include:
A subgaleal hemorrhage occurs just under the skin and above the periosteum, a membrane that covers the skull. A serious injury in this area can cause significant blood loss, leading to shock. A blood transfusion may be necessary, so a prompt diagnosis is imperative.
This injury occurs most commonly when the doctor uses forceps or a vacuum extractor device to pull the baby from the birth canal.
Excessive pulling or use of assistive birth devices can cause skull fractures in the infant. A skull fracture that pushes into the brain can lead to direct trauma or cause swelling that leads to brain damage. Most skull fractures are not serious and heal on their own, but they require close monitoring to ensure they do not cause complications.
Intracranial hemorrhage is bleeding in and around the newborn’s brain. It is the most serious of brain injuries possible because of excessive or improper pulling. Intracranial hemorrhages occur because of physical trauma to the baby’s head, or may also occur for other reasons, including:
- A condition that decreases the level of blood or oxygen to the child’s brain
- A serious blood clotting problem
- Rarely, unknown causes
In general, most infants who have brain damage from excessive pulling do not have any immediate symptoms of the brain bleed or another injury. In other cases, a depressed skull fracture is apparent. Symptoms of a significant injury may include:
- Poor feeding habits
If your newborn has any of these symptoms, or if your older infant or child fails to meet developmental milestones, you may want to discuss your child’s difficult delivery and the possibility of a brain injury with a trusted doctor.
Talk to a Brain Injury Attorney About Your Child’s Brain Damage From Excessive Pulling
At the Birth Injury Lawyers Group, we work to connect the families of babies who suffered brain damage before, during, or immediately after birth with medical malpractice lawyers in their state. Your attorney will review your case for free and explain your legal options. If you want to file a claim if your child suffered brain damage from excessive pulling, call 1-800-222-9529 today to get started.