There are many different types of birth injury that can occur when a physician or labor and delivery attendant makes a mistake.
Most birth injury attorneys handle cases where a child’s injury is severe enough to require extensive treatment measures costing thousands or even millions of dollars.
In many cases, the victims will require a lifetime of medical care, including surgeries, adaptive living equipment, counseling, medication, and physical, speech, and occupational therapies.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Birth injuries may include any of the following
- Birth brain injury — Brain damage can affect a child’s cognitive and physical abilities, causing a wide range of problems depending on which part of the brain was affected.
- Brachial plexus birth injuries — Injury to a baby’s brachial plexus, the shoulder nerves, can cause loss of movement or weakness in the arm.
- Shoulder dystocia — Shoulder dystocia is a potentially life-threatening complication where one or both of the baby’s shoulders fail to enter the mother’s pelvis during birth.
- Cerebral palsy — Cerebral palsy is a group of brain and nervous system dysfunctions that can have serious physical and developmental repercussions.
- Erb’s palsy — Erb’s palsy is a type of arm paralysis that results from injury to the nerves of the arm.
- PPHN — Persistent pulmonary hypertension is a circulatory system disorder that can result from a lack of oxygen to a baby’s brain.
- Brain damage — Lack of oxygen to the brain and mishandling of the child during delivery can create many physical and mental issues for a newborn.
- Bone fractures and breaks — Bone injuries as a result of aggressive touch may cause serious bone growth problems.
- Cranial and spinal cord injury — A child’s entire network of movement and bodily function messaging is housed by the spine and controlled by the brain. When cranial and spinal cord injuries occur, the results can mean death or permanent disability.
- Infant hematoma — A hematoma is bleeding in the brain caused by physical trauma.
- Asphyxia — Asphyxia is caused by lack of oxygen to a baby’s brain and can result in severe organ damage.
- Umbilical cord strangulation — Failing to properly treat umbilical cord problems during labor can result in brain damage or death.
- Facial paralysis — Permanent facial paralysis can occur when a child suffers from nerve injury during delivery.
If you would like to learn more about birth injuries and your legal rights, please contact the Birth Injury Lawyers Group today.
Birth Injury Types:
- Babies and Children Intellectual Disabilities Lawyer
- Birth Trauma Lawyer
- Brachial Plexus Lawyer
- C-Section Injury Lawyer
- Can a Forceps Delivery Cause Cognitive Development Disability Problems?
- Cognitive Development Disability Lawyer
- Cognitive Developmental Disabilities Due to Birth Injuries
- Cortical Visual Impairment Lawyer
- Epidural Injury Lawyer
- Fetal Lacerations Lawyer
- Fetal Macrosomia Lawyer
- Folic Acid Deficiency Anemia Lawyer
- Forceps Delivery Injury Lawyer
- Group B Strep Infection Lawyer
- HIE Lawyer – Infant Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
- Horner’s Syndrome Lawyer
- Hydrocephalus Lawyer
- Hypoxia Lawyer
- Infant Bell’s Palsy Lawyer
- Infant Brain Bleeding Lawyer
- Infant Brain Damage Lawyer
- Infant Brain Hemorrhage Lawyer
- Infant Brain Ischemia Lawyer
- Infant Brain Ischemia Lawyer
- Infant Broken Bones Lawyer
- Infant Cephalohematoma Lawyer
- Infant Cervical Dystonia Lawyer
- Infant Chorioamnionitis Lawyer
- Infant Cystic Fibrosis Lawyer
- Infant Dystonia Disorder Lawyer
- Infant Meningitis Lawyer
- Infant Neonatal Stroke Lawyer
- Infant Shoulder Dystocia Lawyer
- Infant Skull Fractures Lawyer
- Infant Spina Bifida Lawyer
- Infant Spinal Cord Damage Lawyer
- Infant Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Lawyer
- Infant Torticollis Lawyer
- Kernicterus Lawyer
- Klumpke’s Palsy Lawyer
- Maternal Infections Lawyer
- Meconium Aspiration Syndrome Lawyer
- Neurological Vision Impairment Lawyer
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
- Placental Birth Injury Lawyer
- Retinopathy of Prematurity Lawyer
- Vacuum Extraction Injury Lawyer
- What Is Intrauterine Growth Restriction Or Retardation?
- What Is Placenta Previa?
- Wrongful Birth Lawyer
Birth Injury Lawyer Near Me 1-800-222-9529
Birth Injury News
Baby Is First Known Survivor Of Exencephaly
Sometimes a doctor will discover a birth defect so bad that they have to recommend the worst to a mother. They may recommend abortion because the child is not likely to survive long outside of the womb and will only suffer. Yet some mothers decide to try to beat the odds and get lucky.
ABC 7 in New York talked about one such case. A baby boy named Lucas is the only known baby in the world to have survived a rare birth defect that is usually fatal.
The disease is called exencephaly. This happens when the skull does not form right and leaves an open hole in the head. This exposes the brain to the environment of the womb directly and causes damage. According to the doctor that delivered Lucas, most babies born with the condition die within a few hours of birth. The rate of incidence is about 3 in every 10,000 pregnancies.
The condition was discovered after 10 weeks of gestation. Doctors had recommended an abortion, but she decided to carry the baby to term. She told her three daughters the situation and warned them that their brother was going to die.
However, Lucas was born quite healthy. The doctor closed the skin around the hole exposing the brain. So far, he has lived seven months. He faces several surgeries to transplant bone shavings over the hole to fix the problem.
It is unknown how long he will live or how he was affected by the condition since he is the first baby to survive this long. But the family and the doctor are optimistic.
Do You Know Your Baby’s Reflexes?
There are certain reflexes present in babies that disappear soon after birth. It’s easy for a new parent to think that these motions might be a sign that something is wrong when it’s really a lack of these that’s a troubling sign. NY Metro Parents published a piece on some of these reflexes.
Two of these are related to feeding, the rooting and the sucking reflex. If you touch a baby on the mouth, they’ll turn their heads and open their mouths to look for a nipple. If you press on the roof of their mouth, they will start to suck.
Another is the tonic neck reflex. A baby lying down with their head turned to the side will extend the arm on the same side and bend the other arm at the elbow. It is thought that this might be a way to keep balance.
The startle reflex is one that worries parents because babies may cry after it happens. It’s a reaction to sudden movements. The baby will throw out their arms and legs, then draw them back in. This reflex will kick in even during sleep and can wake a baby up.
For full details on these reflexes and two others, take a look at the full article linked above.
Fetal Surgery To Help With Spina Bifida Shows Positive Results Years Later
Spina bifida is a congenital disorder where the spinal column does not seal around the spinal cord. There are surgeries that can be done to reduce the amount of damage. The earlier these can be done, the better.
A new study shows that fetal surgery may be the best option despite the risks. News-Medical.net reported on the study, which was published in Pediatrics.
Fetal surgery is usually performed if the spinal cord and its coverings protrude completely out of the hole in the spinal column. If this problem isn’t fixed, it can block cerebrospinal fluid and pull apart the brain-stem.
A study in 2011 showed that doing fetal surgery for this problem had better outcomes 12 months from birth. Fewer surgeries were needed to remove cerebrospinal fluid and a higher percentage of children could walk without assistance. This new study follows up on these children, who are now 6-10 years old.
The group that had fetal surgery had a 13% higher chance of walking unaided, a 34% reduction in the need for shunts to drain fluid, and those shunts needed fewer replacements.
Children who received fetal surgery were also six times more likely to use the bathroom on their own and needed fewer catheterizations.
The researchers warn that fetal surgery is still quite risky and requires an experienced team. However, the outcomes compared to traditional surgery are much better.
Jumpsuit For Detecting Movement Disabilities In Development
One of the worries of new parents is whether or not their baby is developing correctly. A company is developing a new jumpsuit for babies that can do just that. Babygaga reported on a recently-completed study.
The jumpsuit uses sensors on the arms and legs to send data to a nearby phone. That data can be analyzed by doctors to see if a baby is meeting motor skills milestones. The suit is meant for babies who were born with a birth injury or are at risk for developing a disability like cerebral palsy.
A study on the jumpsuit was completed in Finland on 22 babies. They wore the suit for about an hour at a time while a physiotherapist guided them into different positions.
By comparing the data with video of the play session, they were able to test the algorithm that lets the app know how the baby is moving. Currently the suit can detect the correct position 90% of the time and movement 60% of the time.
The research team now wants to expand the study to 50 babies. Once they are confident of the accuracy of the suit, they will release it to the market. The jumpsuit will be washable and similar to a swimsuit.
The hope is that through the data, parents and doctors will be able to detect movement problems at their earliest so doctors can intervene as soon as possible.
Most people know that you should not drink while you’re pregnant. Alcohol can cause fetal alcohol syndrome and life-long problems for the child. Sadly, in this case, a child in Texas died immediately after birth from alcohol poisoning. Fox 5 reports.
First responders found the baby on the second floor of a home, blue and with the umbilical cord still attached. She was not breathing. Despite heroic efforts, the child did not survive. According to investigators, the baby had a BAC of 0.234 when the infant was found. The child may have also fallen out of the mother and struck the ground.
Police said that the mother admitted to consuming a liter of whiskey while she was 34 weeks pregnant with the child. That the mother had a history of drug dependency and child neglect issues and had a BAC of 0.21 when she was tested. This is nearly three times over the legal limit. Also, the police spoke to the woman about drinking while pregnant just 15 days before this incident.
They are considering contacting CPS about the mother’s two other children. She has been arrested on manslaughter charges.
This is a tragic case that could have been entirely prevented had the mother received help. Please, never drink alcohol while you’re pregnant. You’ll greatly improve the health of your unborn child.
Mothers Share Their Story Of Abusive Childbirths
Birth malpractice can happen to both the child and the mother. An expose on Vice talks about the stories of women who allege that doctors and other medical professionals abused them during childbirth.
The stories allege that they experienced violence during birth, including unnecessary surgeries, medications, and procedures. Some of the women also shared stories of verbal abuse by doctors for the pain they were experiencing or for not giving birth quickly enough.
The stories of these women are gathered on Birth Monopoly’s Obstetric Violence Stories Map, which started in early 2019. Birth Monopoly is an organization seeking to expose abuse in maternity care and to educate parents on how to claim their rights.
Proving malpractice in these kinds of cases is difficult at present. The goal of the obstetrician is to deliver a healthy baby and keep the mother alive. But while babies left with trauma have a chance in court, abuse to the mother may be ignored. That’s why these women are publicizing their stories.
We hope that more women who have experienced a traumatic birth get their stories out in the open. That is the first step to cultural and legal change. With enough evidence, it will be much easier for birth injury lawyers to pursue successful malpractice claims for the aftereffects of a traumatic birth.
Neonates Experience Highest Severity Injuries In Malpractice Study
While we do hold doctors to account for their errors, we do believe that most doctors do not want to harm their patients intentionally. Doctors do perform studies to improve outcomes. Medpage Today reported on a study that looked at malpractice cases in children and some of the trends they noticed.
The study looked at 1200 claims filed on behalf of children. Brain injuries were involved with the highest percentages of claims for all the age groups studied, from 48% in neonates (first month of life) to 36% in children under 1 year of age.
The reason for such a high incidence of brain damage is because newborns are very vulnerable. The researchers listed many of the reasons why, and many are the same topics we cover here on this blog. Brachial plexus injuries, injuries from tools, infections, and brain damage are all things we see in our practice.
But how could they be prevented? Diagnosis errors are common and there are good reasons why. Children may not be able to explain their symptoms properly, and parents may not know which symptoms need to be reported to a doctor so they can make a diagnosis.
The researchers say that systems need to be developed so doctors do not have to rely on memory to make decisions. Documentation and structured reminders for things like vaccinations, tests, and the like would improve outcomes because many claims are related to lost or missing test results.
Today Is World Epilepsy Day
February 10th is World Epilepsy Day, and The Economic Times talked about some of the misconceptions surrounding this disorder. They’re important to know about because sometimes parents mistake seizures in their children as epilepsy. While epilepsy can be caused by a birth injury, there are other factors to consider like genetics.
Epilepsy comes in many forms, but the key condition is that there are two or more unprovoked seizures due to a chronic underlying condition. A child can have a single seizure caused by an injury or some other acute trauma. It is not caused by mental illness.
Another difference is that when seizures aren’t happening, people with epilepsy are completely normal. Modern medications can cure epilepsy 70% of the time, so it has a good prognosis.
However, people need to know what to do when a seizure happens. There are old practices still used that are quite dangerous, like putting something in their mouth. The belief is that the person with the seizure will bite their tongue otherwise. However, the risk of choking on the object is far greater.
Another is that the trembling needs to be restrained. This is not the case. Instead, move things out of the way and, if possible, put something soft under their head. Most seizures last 1-2 minutes, but if one happens then you should call for medical attention to check for the source of the seizure, especially if it’s the first time.
What Is A Breech Birth?
There are many complications that can happen to a mother and baby during pregnancy. One of these is a breech birth. Business Insider explains the phenomenon.
A breech birth happens when a baby is born in a position that’s not head-first. This happens in about 4% of births and can be very dangerous to both mother and child. When this is detected, the doctor may try to turn the baby with pressure on the abdomen. Ideally, this is done before the mother’s water breaks. However, if it doesn’t happen in time, it may have to be done on the fly or the doctor may need to perform a C-section.
Babies who are born breech have a higher risk of asphyxia because of the delay of getting the head out of the birth canal. There may also be joint instabilities for a time after birth.
Causes for the condition include multiple babies in the womb, premature birth, abnormalities in the womb, and the amount of fluid in the amniotic sac.
It is possible for things to go wrong if a doctor tries to turn a baby during labor to avoid a breech birth. They could pull too hard on the baby and cause damage to nerves and bones.