While broken bones do occasionally happen naturally during childbirth, they are more often preventable birth injuries. If your newborn suffered a broken collarbone, leg, or other bone during labor and delivery or shortly after, you may be eligible to pursue damages. The Birth Injury Lawyers Group can help you hold the doctor or hospital liable for the pain your baby endured.
Call 1-800-222-9529 today to connect with an infant broken bones birth injury lawyer in your state. Your attorney will provide a free review of your case and may be able to take legal action on behalf of your child and your family.
For a free legal consultation, call 1-800-222-9529
Infant Broken Bones Lawsuits and Injury Cases
Medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or other care provider fails to provide an acceptable standard of care, and a patient suffers preventable injuries as a result. In the case of infant broken bones, this could mean using too much force during delivery or failing to recognize a condition that significantly increases the risk of fractures.
Your attorney will evaluate the facts of your case and explain your legal options. You may be eligible to pursue damages that include:
- Medical care costs
- Physical therapy
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Pain and suffering
To build a strong case and hold the doctor or hospital liable, your birth injury lawyer will likely enlist the help of a medical expert witness who can testify to the acceptable standard of care and the protocols the care team should have followed during your child’s birth. They will also collect additional evidence to prove your related damages.
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Infant Broken Bones Types
In general, there are two main types of fractures:
- Simple fractures
- Compound fractures
In simple fractures, the bones remain inside the skin. Compound fractures involve broken skin. Most infant broken bones are simple fractures.
There are also a number of other sub-types of fractures. Not all of them are common in infants, however. They include:
- Single non-displaced fracture
- Stress or hairline fracture
- Torus or buckle fracture
- Comminuted fracture
- Compression fracture
- Displaced fracture
- Greenstick fracture
- Segmental fracture
- Single fracture
Greenstick and buckle fractures are the most common breaks in infants and children whose soft bones do not break in the same way that more mature bones might.
Infant Broken Bones Causes
Most bone breaks or fractures that occur during delivery are preventable if the doctor and medical staff carefully monitor both the mother and baby during delivery and take steps to reduce the risk of a difficult or long delivery.
This could include scheduling a cesarean section (C-section) or calling for an emergency C-section to ensure a safer delivery. This is key in cases when the baby is exceptionally large, or there is evidence to suggest cephalopelvic disorder (CPD).
Preventable infant broken bones may also occur when a doctor yanks or pulls inappropriately on the newborn. Improper use of forceps, vacuum, or other birth-assisting tools can also cause broken bones.
Infant Broken Bones Symptoms
In some cases, it can be somewhat difficult to determine if your infant has a broken bone or another type of injury. You should request X-rays or other medical imaging tests if your child:
- Has significant swelling, especially in the collarbone, leg, or elbow.
- Cannot be comforted and starts crying when you touch the affected area.
- Shows difficulty or reluctance to move an affected limb.
- Has a deformity in the affected area.
Infant Broken Bones Diagnosis and Treatment
Doctors diagnose broken bones in infants in the same way they would with adults—with medical imaging. An X-ray can show where the break occurred and the type of break. Most infant breaks only require a splint, cast, or harness to hold the bone in place while it heals. More serious or displaced breaks, however, could require traction, closed reduction, or surgery.
The most common sites doctors diagnose infant bone breaks include:
- The clavicle, or collarbone
- The femur
- The humerus
Infant Broken Bones Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if my baby has infant broken bones?
If you notice a deformity and swelling, especially when paired with inconsolable crying and reluctance to move the affected limb, you should demand medical attention and imaging for your child.
Can infant broken bones be fatal?
Infant broken bones are unlikely to be fatal, and most heal with no lasting damage. Without an accurate diagnosis and prompt treatment, however, you run the risk of your child’s bone healing incorrectly. This could cause lifelong deformity and impairment.
Who is liable for infant broken bones?
Depending on the circumstances of your infant’s birth injuries and broken bones, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor who delivered him, another doctor who treated him after birth, or the hospital where he was born.
What is the statute of limitations for infant broken bones?
When an infant suffers a preventable broken bone because of a doctor or hospital’s negligence, the child’s parents have the right to pursue damages on the baby’s behalf. However, there are time limits on how long you have to file a lawsuit. This time limit varies by state.
In addition, there may be special rules that apply. This includes tolling (suspending the effect of the statute) because the victim was a minor or a statute of repose. When your attorney reviews your case, you will get a better idea of how long you have to take legal action.
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Infant Broken Bones Glossary Terms
- What is malalignment? Malalignment occurs when a bone heals, but the two ends of the bone were not in alignment. This causes a deformity and can lead to lifelong pain and impairment.
- What is Osteogenesis Imperfecta? Osteogenesis Imperfecta is a rare genetic bone disorder that causes the person’s bones to break easily. It is also known as brittle bone disease.
- What are greenstick fractures? In this type of fracture, one side of the bone breaks and causes the other side to bend but remain intact. Greenstick fractures are one of the most common types of fractures in infants, toddlers, and young children.
Talk to an Infant Broken Bones Birth Injury Lawyer in Your State
If your newborn suffered broken bones during delivery, their injuries may be the result of medical malpractice. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group to connect with an attorney in your state today. You can reach our group by dialing 1-800-222-9529.
Infant Broken Bones News
A baby’s body is quite fragile during the first part of its life. The bones are still fairly soft and will take time to harden. It’s only after this time will a baby be able to crawl and then walk without fear of permanent damage.
A horrific story from NBC News shows what can happen to the bones when a parent assaults a baby. A father has been charged with battery and child neglect after an ER visit.
The one-month child had several bruises and bone fractures according to the police. The child had suffered a broken arm, a broken foot, and two broken legs. There was also an injury to the child’s tongue. Even more horrifying, the doctors said that these injuries were not recent. Bruising was also found all over the body.
After questioning the father, they learned that he had intermittent explosive disorder and wasn’t taking medication for it. This is a disorder that causes people to fly into terrible abusive rages. He was arrested but has pleaded not guilty to the charges. He has admitted to forcing a pacifier into the baby’s mouth and holding down the child’s arms and legs.
We hope that the child can recover swiftly and that those responsible for injuring a child not even a month old will be brought to justice. Bone breaks can also occur when doctors apply too much pressure on babies during birth or when something goes seriously wrong during labor.
Broken bones in an infant can be caused by trauma, but there are some rare diseases that can cause a baby’s bones to be incredibly fragile. IOL in New Zealand talks about one of these rare cases.
A five-month-old named Mya has bee diagnosed with a rare bone disease called Osteogenesis Imperfecta, or OI. The mother’s doctor discovered the condition when he saw that the baby’s femur was broken before she was born.
The baby’s bones are so brittle that even sneezing and giggling could cause a fracture. Her mother says that little Mya has to be held like fine china or glass to prevent further fractures.
OI cases are rare. Bones can break without any noticeable cause. In some cases, the condition is mild and declines through puberty. It may not be detected until the child begins to walk. But there are other types, like in this case, where a baby has extremely fragile bones. This leads to multiple fractures and potentially malformed bones as they try to knit despite their fragility.
We are glad that the baby’s condition was detected early so the doctors and family could take steps to prepare for her arrival. We wanted to highlight this story to show that sometimes broken bones are not the cause of medical error but due to a rare disease.
A former ER physician is denying that he abused his foster child after doctors said that he did. Fox 6 reported on the ongoing case.
The physician brought his 1-month-old foster child in for examination after he noticed his left arm wasn’t moving correctly. He was co-sleeping with the child and believed he broke the child’s collarbone while he slept after the baby woke him up and he noticed he had rolled onto him.
The doctors say that they noticed bruising that looked like pinches and a bruise on the lower back. Imaging did show that there was a broken bone, and a nurse practitioner who specializes in child abuse evaluations believed that the bruises and fracture were not caused by the co-sleeping.
However, the attorney for the man filed a motion to dismiss, saying that the accusations of the doctors and police are a “reckless disregard for the truth”. It alleges that previous doctors have said that the so-called bruises were birthmarks and that a police detective who examined the child did not see anything criminal. Furthermore, an outside physician examined the case and believed that the injuries were not caused by child abuse.
It remains to be seen if the state will dismiss the charges after this filed motion. A preliminary hearing is scheduled on February 18th.
How Do Broken Bones Or Fractures Occur During Birth?
Broken bones or fractures occur during birth in newborns with certain genetic conditions that result in fragile bones. Injuries can also occur because of excessive pulling and tugging during delivery or due to the use of forceps to pull your baby into the birth canal. In some cases, broken bones can occur before or during normal deliveries. In some cases, such as when a birth becomes complicated by shoulder dystocia, the doctor will pull on the baby’s hands or head to remove them from the birth canal.
How Shoulder Dystocia Can Complicate a Birth
Shoulder dystocia occurs when your baby’s head has passed through the birth canal, but their shoulders become stuck inside your body, a study published in the Journal of Prenatal Medicine. This condition will require additional maneuvering to completely deliver your baby. This maneuvering can lead to a variety of birth injuries including fractures and broken bones. Shoulder dystocia is more common in large babies and can lead to fractures in your baby’s collarbone, arm, or leg. In some cases of shoulder dystocia, your physician might recommend a C-section delivery.
How a Forceps Delivery Can Cause Broken Bones
Forceps are a medical instrument shaped like a large set of salad tongs. During a forceps delivery, a member of your health care team—usually your doctor—applies forceps to your baby’s head to help guide them out of the birth canal.
Your doctor might opt for a forceps delivery when your labor is prolonged or stops progressing despite your best efforts at pushing. Forceps might also be used to deliver your son or daughter if your baby is in the birth canal, but you cannot push them out unassisted. According to Mayo Clinic, a forceps-assisted delivery carries risks to you that include perineum pain, genital tract tears, and difficulty emptying your bladder.
A forceps delivery also carries serious risks for your newborn including facial injuries, temporary facial palsy, external eye trauma, bleeding under the skull, and skull fractures.
Common Kinds of Broken Bones or Fractures That Occur During Birth
The process of labor and delivery can be strenuous and can result in several different types of broken bones or fractures occurring during the birth of your baby. Some common types of fractures include:
- Clavicle (collarbone)
- Humerus (upper arm)
- Femur (upper leg bone)
Arm or leg bone fractures might require a loose splint or a cast. Broken bones and fractures can cause discomfort and pain when your baby moves. They usually heal well with time and proper care.
How to Tell if Your Newborn Has a Broken Bone or Fracture
All broken bones are considered fractures whether the break is a small crack or a big break. Some of the symptoms of a bone break you might notice in your child include bones that look out of place, obvious swelling, tenderness when touched, lack of movement, and limbs that appear to be bent at an abnormal angle.
When your baby suffers from a broken bone or fracture at birth, it can be painful and requires immediate attention. Your baby’s broken bone will be diagnosed using a visual exam, X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. Your baby’s medical team will also determine what caused your infant’s break or fracture.
How Fractures Are Treated
When broken bones or fractures occur during birth, you want your child to have a fast diagnosis and a speedy recovery. Your child’s medical team will order tests that allow them to visualize your baby’s bones.
These tests might include MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays. Once the location and type of your child’s broken bone is discovered, a doctor may suggest a splint or cast that encourages your child’s bones to remain immobile while becoming correctly realigned. Very small fractures may not require a splint or immobilization.
Birth Injury Lawsuits
At the end of your pregnancy, you expect to deliver a healthy baby. That is why it comes as a shock when broken bones or fractures occur during birth and your baby enters the world with an injury. When that happens, you want to understand the cause of your child’s injury and their prognosis for recovery.
When your baby is born with an injury, your attorney will become your ally in helping you get the financial compensation you deserve to provide the medical care your baby is entitled to. If your son or daughter was the victim of a broken bone or fracture at birth, speak to a lawyer near you. Call the Birth Injury Lawyers Group at (800) 222-9529 today for a free consultation.