While it is commonly accepted that a certain amount of risk comes to both mother and child during the course of labor and birth, this does not mean that all “complications” are natural or should simply be accepted. Some types of complications are the result of medical malpractice, and if you are living in Broward County or Palm Beach County, you should definitely retain the services of a personal injury attorney, such as Delray Beach personal injury attorney firm Baker, Zimmerman and Perez.
The terms “birth injury” and “birth trauma” can refer to a variety of injuries and conditions that happen to a baby in the course of labor and delivery; some of these will resolve themselves in the course of weeks, months, or as the baby grows. However, in some cases, injuries that result from the inappropriate use of forceps or vacuum tools, or complications that are caused by a failure to perform a Caesarian section in a timely manner, are much longer-lasting and serious. The possible complications are too numerous to list in detail, but there are some common injuries that should be discussed with a medical malpractice lawyer to see if you have a viable claim.
Bruises, marks, and fractured bones are some of the most common birth injuries; particularly where forceps are used, or when the baby is in breech position at delivery, these painful injuries can occur. More frightening-looking complications include injuries such as Cephalohematoma—bleeding between the bones of the head and their fibrous covering, resulting in a raised bruise—and subconjunctival hemorrhage, which is little more than broken blood vessels in the eyes, are not typically serious and generally resolve in a sort time.
Brachial palsy injuries, such as Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy, occur when the group of nerves that controls movement of the arms and hands is injured. When the injury only causes bruising or swelling, the infant generally recovers within a few months—in more severe cases, such as nerve rupture or tearing, the damage is more permanent and physical therapy and surgery may be required.
The most trying and angering birth injuries are brain injuries. In some circumstances, the baby may be deprived of oxygen, either through blood loss, or through the twisting or other damage to the umbilical cord. This lack of oxygen—called hypoxia—results in damage to the brain, which can range from mild to catastrophic. In the case of more severe brain damage, the child may face lifelong complications, such as seizure disorders or cerebral palsy, along with mental impairment. In addition to hypoxia, accidental injuries to the head may cause brain swelling, which can have similar results.
While some of these complications can occur even during the most routine and well-monitored births, there are some practices that can make them more likely; for example, failure to respond to fetal distress, or to observe or respond to umbilical cord entrapment, will make it more likely that the baby is deprived of oxygen, and therefore develops a brain injury. Inappropriate use of tools or medications associated with delivery is another risk factor that increases the likelihood of birth injury.
If you feel that your child’s injuries sustained at birth are the result of medical malpractice, it is vital to seek assistance from a personal injury attorney quickly. Florida medical malpractice laws severely restrict the timeframe under which claims can be forwarded, and the sooner you get in touch with a professional, the more likely you are to resolve your claim and receive compensation. If you live in the south Florida area, contact Broward personal injury attorney firm Baker, Zimmerman and Perez. We take pride in offering free consultations, and we will not charge you unless we win your case.