Birth Injuries FAQs

What Are the Most Common Birth Injuries?

The most common birth injuries include:

  1. Brachial plexus injury: injury to the nerves that control arm and hand movement.
  2. Cerebral palsy: a group of movement and muscle tone disorders caused by brain damage.
  3. Erb's palsy: paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the brachial plexus nerves during delivery.
  4. Fractured bones: broken bones in the baby during delivery, such as a fractured collarbone.
  5. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain during birth.
  6. Klumpke's palsy: paralysis of the hand and forearm caused by injury to the brachial plexus nerves during delivery.
  7. Shoulder dystocia: a delivery complication where the baby's shoulder gets stuck during delivery.
  8. Spinal cord injury: injury to the spinal cord during delivery, causing loss of movement or feeling in certain areas of the body.
  9. Umbilical cord prolapse: a delivery complication where the umbilical cord descends ahead of the baby, potentially depriving the baby of oxygen.

Some birth injuries can be prevented with proper prenatal care, adequate monitoring during labor and delivery, and appropriate use of medical interventions such as forceps or vacuum extraction.

Who is Responsible for My Child’s Birth Injury?

The responsible party for a child's birth injury can depend on several factors, including the cause of the injury and the circumstances surrounding the delivery. In some cases, the responsible party may include:

  1. The attending physician or midwife. If the physician or midwife failed to properly monitor the mother or baby during labor and delivery, failed to recognize and respond to signs of distress, or used excessive force during delivery, they may be liable for the injury.
  2. The hospital. If the hospital fails to properly train its staff, fails to provide adequate medical equipment and resources, or otherwise provides substandard care, it may be liable for the injury.
  3. The manufacturer of a medical device. If the injury was caused by a defective medical device, such as a vacuum extractor or forceps, the manufacturer may be liable.

It is important to note that birth injury cases can be complex and require a thorough understanding of the medical and legal issues involved. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine who is responsible for your child's birth injury and take appropriate legal action.

How Can I Determine if My Baby’s Disability is Due to a Birth Injury?

To determine if your baby's disability is due to a birth injury, you should consider the following steps:

  1. Obtain your baby's medical records. This includes prenatal care records, hospital records, and records of any follow-up care your baby received.
  2. Seek a second medical opinion. Consider seeking the opinion of another healthcare provider who specializes in birth injuries. They may be able to provide a more definitive diagnosis and give you a better understanding of the cause of your baby's disability.
  3. Consult with a birth injury attorney. An attorney who specializes in birth injury cases can help you review your baby's medical records and determine if there is evidence of medical negligence.
  4. Investigate the circumstances of the delivery. This may include reviewing the hospital's policies and procedures, interviewing witnesses, and obtaining additional medical records.
  5. Review the medical literature. Researching the latest medical literature on birth injuries can help you better understand your baby's condition and the potential causes of the injury.

If you believe that your baby's disability was caused by a birth injury, it is important to take action as soon as possible. There may be time limits on when you can take legal action, and the sooner you take action, the better your chances of successfully pursuing a claim.

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