Does every preventable birth injury lead to disability? No, not every birth injury causes your newborn to become disabled. For instance, children born with shattered bones heal but suffer from excruciating pain. So, how can parents seek justice if the defect was preventable? If the medical staff fails to provide a satisfying explanation for the incident, you may speak to your lawyer. Not all lawyers can help you. You need to hire a lawyer that specializes in birth injury cases and knows your state laws. For example, hiring a birth injury lawyer in Washington, D.C, would make sense if you live in Washington.
Here we’ll mention some stoppable birth injuries you should know about to get compensation for your child’s sufferings:
Most Common Preventable Birth Injuries
1. Erb’s Palsy:-
Also known as Brachial Palsy, this injury is caused by a doctor miscalculating how much pressure is needed during labor/delivery. So, if the newborn’s shoulders get trapped behind the pelvic bone of their mother, the doctor may apply intense pressure. This pressure can sometimes rip off the shoulder nerves and cause the child to suffer from imbalanced arm movement. Moreover, when a doctor misuses forceps, the infant can contract this paralysis with severe nerve damage.
You should immediately find a lawyer who excels in birth injuries caused by medical malpractice. So, this attorney will help you discover which legal options you can pursue to seek justice. This lawyer ensures that someone else’s negligence doesn’t go unnoticed by the relevant medical authorities.
2. Facial Palsy:-
Suppose the medical provider puts excessive pressure on the newborn’s face during the delivery period. In that case, it may damage their facial nerves. Consequently, there’s no movement in that affected part of the baby’s face. Also, if a nerve gets ripped, the child may need surgery. In such cases, you might notice that the newborn can’t close their eyes properly since that part of the face is damaged. A version of this disorder called Bell’s Palsy makes one side of the face droopy in adults.
When blood starts accumulating under the scalp, this condition leads to cephalohematoma. It may happen after the shattering of blood vessels on the fetus’ head during the delivery process. Due to medical malpractice, a doctor/nurse can end up damaging these blood vessels. Statistics show that around 2% of newborns develop this condition. Though cephalohematoma isn’t a severe injury itself, it may lead to other complications, e.g., anemia/jaundice. As a result, caution is necessary here.
4. Birth Asphyxia:-
If the baby’s brain doesn’t receive enough blood, this may lead to hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). It also occurs when the oxygen supply gets restricted to the brain (hence the word ischemic). In developed countries, HIE occurs in 1.5 per 1,000 childbirths. Also, some 15-20 percent of newborns diagnosed with this disorder don’t survive a week. So, it’s imperative to commence therapy within a few hours after this incident has occurred since it might save the newborn from impending death.
A medical provider carelessly using forceps/extractors may lead to preventable fractures. A doctor pushing the newborn can forcefully damage their skull, clavicle, or even spinal cord. Spinal cord injuries – therefore – are some of the severest avoidable congenital disabilities. They’re also accompanied by paralysis and neurological complications for the baby afterward. Also, a healthcare practitioner can accidentally pull/twist the child’s neck resulting in temporary/permanent damage.
6. Caput Succedaneum:-
If the newborn has a swollen scalp – appears like a bump on the head – this harmless condition may arise from caput succedaneum. It doesn’t damage the child’s skull or affect their brain. Also, this condition will eventually go away without any treatment required in a few days. The baby’s scalp will appear to be bruised/discolored, but caput succedaneum isn’t life-threatening. But, though it can heal independently, you’re liable for damages since this condition happens due to medical malpractice.
7. Cerebral Palsy:-
Cerebral palsy is probably the most common of all stoppable birth injuries. Statistics reveal that this injury occurs in 4 out of every 1,000 births, as reported by Birth Injury Support. CP involves a group of disorders in which children struggle with motion, posture, and maintaining balance. Also, some 50% of people with CP are intellectually disabled. It’s often caused by inadequate monitoring of mothers or failure to look after fetal distress by medical providers. Also, there’s no known cure for CP.
So, children who have cerebral palsy require lifetime therapy. It also contributes to many other health problems, e.g., audio/visual impairments, speech problems, and learning disabilities. So, you deserve compensation if your newborn has been rendered disabled by a doctor’s mistake.
How common are preventable birth injuries? Statistics show that 6-8 of every 1,000 children experience these birth injuries. Also, 50% of such injuries occur due to the staff’s negligence and misconduct. Some common defects include head injuries (not head molding), cerebral palsy, and oxygen deprivation. What kind of malpractice leads to newborns suffering from such deformities? Maybe the medical provider did not effectively respond to distress or misused medical devices. Perhaps they failed to provide oxygen to your child or prescribed the wrong medicine. The solution lies in hiring an expert birth injury lawyer to help you get compensation for the troubles you have faced.