Birth Injury Information
Approximately 3% of all births in the United States involve a serious injury. These birth injuries have a variety of causes – poorly managed high-risk pregnancies, genetic factors, infection, and even trauma sustained during labor or delivery. Some serious injuries and disabilities are directly caused or exacerbated by the action or inaction of medical professionals. If this happened to you, you may have legal recourse to recover compensation – compensation that could provide the care your child needs for life.
Identifying & Responding To High-Risk Pregnancies
Birth injuries can be more common in high-risk pregnancies, which is why it is the doctor’s job to provide adequate prenatal care, identify risks, and respond with a plan to mitigate injury. Some factors that could label a pregnancy high-risk include:
- Large birth weight
- Poor neonatal care
- Pre-pregnancy diabetes
- Gestational diabetes
- Pre-term labor
- Being over the age of 35
- Past pregnancy complications
Many women whose pregnancies are labeled high-risk do not experience any complications during labor or delivery, but some do. In some cases, doctors do everything within their power to properly respond to complications. It is when the doctor fails to meet an accepted standard of care that a birth injury could be determined as the doctor’s fault.
Common Birth Injuries
According to a National Vital Statistics Report by the CDC, some of the most common birth injuries are:
- Brain Injury
Infant brain injury could be caused by trauma or hypoxia/anoxia. Causes of brain injury during labor or delivery can include improper use of forceps/vacuum extraction, failure to monitor fetal heartrate, umbilical cord prolapse/strangulation, and infection.
- Cerebral Palsy
While in many cases the cause of cerebral palsy is unknown, there are many other cases of cerebral palsy that can be attributed to some sort of negligence or misstep during labor or delivery. One of the most common is oxygen deprivation leading to brain damage. Any type of brain trauma though can harm the baby’s development of muscle control, coordination, and reflexes. One to two out of every 1,000 children born in the U.S. are diagnosed with cerebral palsy.
- Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is the network of nerve fibers connecting the spine to the neck and arms. These nerves can be damaged, causing total or partial paralysis of the affected area, if the doctor uses excessive force, if birthing tools are used improperly, or in cases of prolonged labor where cesarean section should have been administered to avoid excessive pressure.
Babies can be injured during labor or delivery due to factors such as failure to treat maternal infection, labor induction mistakes, placental abruption, improper use of forceps or vacuum, and cesarean section mistakes, among other causes.
Birth Injury Causes
Some babies are born with congenital anomalies and other abnormal conditions at no fault of the doctor or hospital. Everything from genetics to prescription drug use during pregnancy can affect the child’s health and physical appearance. If your child was born with some type of injury or disability, or was diagnosed with one shortly after birth, it’s alright if you don’t have all the answers. Some of these injuries and disabilities are caused by doctor negligence, but it is difficult to determine cause until you speak with an attorney experienced in this field.
Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC’s birth injury attorneys were voted “Best Law Firms” by U.S. News in the areas of Medical Malpractice and Personal Injury Law. We know this field and know how to uncover the cause so parents can get the compensation they need to provide adequate care for their child. Initial case evaluations are free, and should you become a client, you won’t pay unless we win.