A birth injury is an injury caused to a baby before, during, or shortly after labor. Most birth injuries are minor and will heal with time. However, some injuries are more serious and can have a life-long impact. Most birth injuries are preventable and are the result of medical negligence.
A common way that babies are injured during birth is when there is a lack of oxygen to the baby’s brain during delivery. This may happen because blood flow is restricted or because the blood getting to the baby lacks oxygen. One of the most common results of this lack of oxygen is cerebral palsy which is a neurological condition. Cerebral palsy can lead to impairments to muscle tone, motor skills, and movement. There can also be related complications such as learning disabilities, speech challenges, cognitive impairment, and issues with sight and hearing. In some cases, cerebral palsy can be totally debilitating. There are treatments, but there is no cure for cerebral palsy.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that controls movement and feeling in the arms. It runs from the spinal cord through the neck and down the arm. When the neck and shoulder are pulled apart during delivery, the brachial plexus can become injured. The nerves stretch, and the damage can range from minor to severe. The most common brachial plexus injury is Erb’s palsy. Erb’s palsy occurs when damage to the brachial plexus causes damage to the arm, making it weaker or lacking in sensation. If the damage is severe enough, the arm may even be paralyzed. Brachial plexus injuries typically heal with time. However serious, long-term damage can result.
The pressure exerted on a baby’s head during delivery can sometimes lead to a skull fracture. A fracture can also be caused by instruments used to deliver the baby. Most fractures are not severe and will heal with time without causing lasting damage. However, some fractures can be more serious and lead to other head injuries.
A number of different brain injuries can occur during birth. These include cephalohematoma, which is bleeding below the skull that is usually treatable. Another is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) which is brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain during childbirth. HIE is a common cause of cerebral palsy but can also result in other injuries. It can lead to the death of brain matter and abnormal development of the brain.
Contact a Birth Injury Attorney
Birth injuries are frequently the result of medical negligence. If your child sustained a birth injury, you should consult with an experienced birth injury attorney. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have been helping the victims of medical negligence for over 50 years. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.