The birth of a child should be a time of joy and hope for the future for parents and other relatives. Unfortunately, when negligence on the part of a medical professional injures the baby during birth, that joy can abruptly turn to sadness, grief, and anger.
If a baby is injured during birth, the impact could be far-reaching. In some of the worst-case scenarios, the child might suffer severe injuries that could require lifetime care. While medical professionals might not always be able to diagnose every issue or prevent every injury from happening, they are expected to adhere to an adequate standard of care at all times. If they fail to meet this standard, the medical professional and possibly the facility they work for could be liable for the harm your child has suffered and the impact the injury will have on their life in the future.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
There are a number of medical errors that could result in your child experiencing a severe injury at birth. Some of the most common include:
- Failure to diagnose and/or treat issues before delivery.
- Delivering a baby prematurely.
- Improper use of medications during the birth.
- Improper use of delivery instruments.
- Not performing a cesarean section (C-section) when it is necessary.
- Failure to use reasonable care.
In some cases, a child will fully recover from an injury suffered during the birthing process. However, there are other instances where a birth injury could result in the child requiring special medical attention for their entire life. While this could potentially cost millions in medical bills, it can also take away your capacity for full-time employment.
Some examples of birth injuries that might require lifetime care include:
Brachial Plexus Birth Injuries
The brachial plexus is the nerve system between the neck and the shoulders that controls the function of muscles in your upper limbs and chest. A brachial plexus birth injury occurs in 1-3 out of every 1,000 births. This happens when the nerves are compressed, stretched, or torn during the delivery.
A brachial plexus injury can cause lifetime issues to develop, such as Klumpke Palsy, Horner’s syndrome, or Erb’s Palsy. Some infants who suffer this injury at birth will eventually recover. However, others go through extensive surgery and therapy and will never make a full recovery.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury that is the result of medical malpractice could leave the child paralyzed. This type of injury can be caused by accidental blunt force trauma during the birthing process or failure to diagnose a pre-existing medical condition, such as spina bifida.
A spinal cord injury can disrupt the connection between the brain and the nerves throughout the body, leaving your child with lifelong complications including:
- Loss of touch sensation
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Stinging nerve pain
- Weakness or paralysis
Cerebral palsy is caused when a child’s brain is damaged during the early stages of development, causing the loss of vital motor skills. The signs of cerebral palsy can develop early in young children and include:
- Developmental delays
- Abnormal muscle tone and posture
- Inability to roll over or perform functions with their hands
- Inability to stand even when supported
The most common cause of cerebral palsy is when an illness or injury causes damage to a brain otherwise developing normally. Medical malpractice can be to blame for many of these cases. If a healthcare professional fails to respond appropriately to many situations that arise in the delivery room, a serious birth injury resulting in the development of cerebral palsy might occur.
Contact a New York Birth Injury Lawyer
If your child sustained a lifelong injury at birth as a result of the negligence of a medical professional, contact the New York birth injury attorneys at the Mandel Law Firm right away for help. Our consultations are always free, and we’ll be ready to take immediate action to help your family get the answers and justice that you deserve. Call us at (646) 779-1441 or fill out an online contact form to speak with one of our lawyers right away.