Birth injuries are injuries that are suffered by unborn children, newborns, and infants. As traumatic as this concept already is, matters get even more frustrating when considering that many birth injuries are entirely preventable. If medical providers who work with a pregnant mother pay close attention to her health and that of her child, then birth injuries of all sorts can be avoided.
Three of the most common forms of birth injuries that should be preventable in most cases are:
- Cerebral palsy: When a child suffers from oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery, or shortly before birth, it is believed to cause cerebral palsy (CP). Prolonged oxygen deprivation can permanently damage brain cells. A child with CP will have a lifetime of difficulties, most of which are related to developmental problems. CP can be prevented if medical providers pay attention to the unborn child’s vital signs during delivery and look for indicators of fetal distress. Furthermore, the brain damage caused by cerebral palsy can be mitigated – and possibly prevented entirely – if the doctors act quickly and place the newborn into cranial cooling as soon as possible.
- Brachial palsy: A brachial palsy injury occurs when a child’s arm is pulled too harshly during labor and the nerves that connect the upper arm to the shoulder, back, and neck are damaged. If the damage is severe, then it can cause permanent complications, such as a weakened arm or even full-arm paralysis. Brachial palsy is a birth injury that should be simple to prevent. All a medical professional needs to do is be careful when pulling on a child during birth, especially when the child is mispositioned.
- Facial or scalp injuries: Forceps or vacuum extractors can be used to help a newborn through delivery if they become stuck or the mother is running out of energy. Careful use of these medical instruments makes them quite safe to use. However, misuse of forceps and vacuum extractors can be dangerous. Commonly, the consequence of a doctor or nurse misusing forceps is a laceration to the child’s face. With some luck, the cut will heal and there will be no scar, but they are often deep cuts that create a permanent disfigurement the moment that a child is born.
Can You Sue When a Birth Injury Isn’t Prevented?
Birth injuries should be completely preventable in most cases. If they are not, then you might be able to sue the medical provider who caused it. However, not every birth injury, preventable or not, necessitates or validates a birth injury claim.
The intricate details of every birth injury are incredibly important due to the high evidential bar that medical malpractice claimants must pass to bring forth a legitimate claim. Legislation and liability rules tend to benefit medical professionals more than plaintiffs, even those who want to file a lawsuit in the name of their injured child. If you think your child has suffered a preventable birth injury, then it is recommended that you work with an attorney as soon as possible to uncover your options and discuss them.
In Buffalo, New York, parents know that they can depend on Faraci Lange, LLP for compassionate and professional legal counsel. We are known for helping parents through difficult birth injury cases that require us to go head to head with major insurance companies. Contact us online to request more information about our services and your options to file a birth injury case.