Medical malpractice is a diverse field that can encompass a wide range of situations. However, one of the most common claims that fall under the umbrella of malpractice is the matter of birth injuries.
While every birth mishap cannot be considered a legitimate reason to bring forth a claim, there are certain conditions that could very well have been caused by a doctor’s negligence or inability to provide the proper care and precaution.
Birth Injuries: A General Overview
Regardless of improved nutrition and widespread access to prenatal care, it is estimated that around 3% of children in the United States suffer from birth defects. Children with minor injuries may recover fairly quickly, but others are inflicted with disabilities that can last a lifetime.
These birth injuries can be due to a variety of unavoidable circumstances that occur during birth; however, it is also an unfortunate fact that the culpable errors of doctors and nurses during the birthing process can cause these injuries as well.
6 Common Types of Birth Injuries
There are many types of birth injuries, but the most common are the following:
- Cerebral Palsy (a disorder caused by brain damage before or during birth that impacts motor skills, movement, and muscle tone)
- Mental Retardation
- Oxygen Deprivation
- Erb’s Palsy (a partial or total paralysis of the arm that may be permanent)
- Brachial Plexus Palsy (damage to the brachial plexus, a network of nerves that controls arm, hand, and finger function)
- Klumpke’s Palsy (paralysis of the wrist or hand via damage to the spinal column)
When Do Birth Injuries Generally Happen?
Birth injuries, whether abdominal or vaginal, typically arise during operative delivery processes. “Operative deliveries” means the use of certain tools designed to assist with the birthing process, such as forceps, vacuums, or cesarean section. These deliveries are performed when it is considered a safer option than allowing the pregnancy to carry on.
Complications can arise from these processes, including the following:
- Lack of oxygen, which can happen when the umbilical cord wraps around the baby’s neck. It can also occur when the baby is left in the birth canal for too long without intervention.
- Failure to diagnose or correctly treat seizures after delivery.
- Failure to diagnose and treat conditions that arise when a baby inhales its own fecal matter and amniotic fluid, which induces choking.
- Excessive force used during delivery.
- Improper use of tools.
- Improper tube insertion in a newborn that requires oxygen (which can result in brain damage).
Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
When a child is born with birth injuries, it can be a traumatizing and heartbreaking experience. If you or a loved one suspects that a birth injury may be the result of medical malpractice, call 843-722-8070 immediately to speak with an attorney at Clore Law.