Birth Injuries Can Mean Long-lasting Complications for Newborns
Posted on behalf of Goldberg Finnegan, LLC on Jul 17, 2014 in Medical Malpractice
Children that suffer birth injuries may have a tougher road ahead than most. These babies and their families are faced with the struggle of survival from the moment they are delivered, and as they age, special care may be required to help them live a flourishing or even ordinary life.
Birth injuries can be caused by a number of things, some in a health care provider's control and some not. Not surprisingly, medical errors during the birthing process (i.e., labor and delivery) may carry grave consequences for the infant. A failure to provide proper prenatal care, or failure to deliver in a timely manner when the baby is in trouble can have long-lasting effects on a newborn and its family.
Surveys indicate that 6.68 birth trauma injuries occurred per 1,000 live births in the U.S. in the year 2000 (National Healthcare Quality Report, AHRQ, DHHS, 2003.)
Frighteningly, it only takes the health care providers to ignore the warning signs or to otherwise take unreasonable actions to alter the life of a newborn forever. Lack of oxygen during delivery (perinatal asphyxia, hypoxic ischemic injury) can result in a child developing permanent neurologic (brain) damage, resulting in cerebral palsy and other catastrophic injuries, many of which necessitate long term, specialized care. Lack of oxygen or in-utero strokes or even trauma to the infants head can cause intracranial hemorrhaging, or a brain bleed, that can damage or kill the surrounding tissue, which may result in cerebral palsy or other forms of brain damage.
While not every case of cerebral palsy is the result of medical malpractice, the CDC's Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network notes that cerebral palsy affects one in every 323 children.1
Like cerebral palsy, brachial plexus damage is another common type of birthing injury that can result in serious complications. When the network of nerves that send signals from the baby's brain to their spine is harmed during delivery, the child could suffer from permanent disability, pain, loss of movement or atrophied muscles in the affected arm. The incidence rate of this injury is .3-2 per 1,000 live births. While cases of brachial plexus injury usually heal on their own, permanent damage can be done in certain cases.2
In most cases, hospitals and medical staff take the proper care to deliver healthy newborns to their families, but research shows human error (where the care providers act unreasonably, known as violating the standard of care) can and does affect the healthcare industry just like any other. The attorneys at Goldberg Finnegan defend the rights of families and children who've been harmed by medical negligence and birth trauma, and any person needing representation for their malpractice case is welcomed to contact our firm for a complimentary evaluation. We have registered nurse attorneys in our medical malpractice department who work on your case from the first phone call to the end.
To speak to a medical malpractice attorney today, fill out our online evaluation form or call (888) 213-8140.
- U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/data.html, 1 Oct., 2013
- Mayoclinic.org, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/brachial-plexus-injury/symptoms-causes/dxc-20127374?, 2014