Birth Injuries

The birth injury lawyers at Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers in Boston have experience and expertise in all types of birth injury cases, even the most complicated ones.

More importantly, our attorneys understand the sensitivity and seriousness of birth injury cases and are committed to handling your individual case with compassion and the utmost care. Our consultations are free and confidential. We will meet you in your home, the hospital or any other place that is most convenient for you.

Our office is equipped to properly investigate these complicated cases and obtain justice for the families we represent. We work with medical experts who can help us determine whether a doctor, nurse, midwife or other medical professional breached the standard of care. We have the resources to take your case from investigation through litigation, if necessary.

Having a baby who is injured at birth is a traumatic experience and can result in long-term disability and even wrongful death. In addition, birth injuries can take a financial and emotional toll on your entire family.

If your child has suffered a birth injury or you suspect that your child was injured during birth, you need to contact an experienced and knowledgeable birth injury lawyer to make sure that you and your child receive the compensation and justice that you deserve.

Most Birth Injuries Are Caused by Medical Malpractice

Babies usually suffer birth injuries because of medical malpractice by those entrusted with their care. This can include doctors, nurses, hospital staff, medical emergency staff and midwives.

Birth injuries might be more common than you think. Statistics show that for every 1,000 infants born in the United States, six to eight have birth injuries.

Here are some common causes of birth injuries:

  • Failing to schedule an emergency C-section
  • Improper use of tools such as forceps during delivery
  • Pulling too hard on a baby during delivery
  • Failing to detect fetal or maternal distress
  • Failing to properly treat maternal infections
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Medication errors
  • Complications with a premature delivery

A birth injury attorney will help you hold all potentially liable parties accountable for their actions and help you navigate a medical malpractice lawsuit, if necessary.

How Do I Know If My Baby Has Suffered a Birth Injury?

Certain birth injuries can be spotted early, while your baby is still in the hospital. Other birth injuries are harder to detect and might not be noticed until your child hits certain growth stages or starts school.

Here are some early symptoms that can signal a birth injury:

  • Arched back while crying
  • Bulges on head
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Appearing blue or extremely pale
  • Difficulties sucking, eating and swallowing
  • Excessive drooling
  • Excessive fussiness for no reason
  • Grunting or high-pitched crying
  • Rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Light sensitivity
  • Spastic movements
  • Seizures

Other symptoms of a birth injury can present themselves through health issues such as anemia, fever, hypertension or hypotension, low heart rate, low levels of oxygen in the blood, coughing or wheezing, poor weight gain, constipation and jaundice.

If you suspect that your baby was injured at birth, a birth injury lawyer can help you investigate your case to see what went wrong and who’s to blame.

What Are Some Birth Injury Symptoms That Appear Later in a Child’s Life?

Sometimes a parent might not realize that a child was injured at birth. In these cases, the birth injury is identified when the child experiences a delay in reaching a developmental step or milestone such as sitting, crawling or grasping objects.

Other symptoms that can signify a birth injury include:

  • Poor weight gain
  • Poor growth
  • Problems with speech
  • Frequent outbursts
  • Lethargy
What’s the Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect?

A birth injury is any type of injury that a baby sustains during the birthing process, or immediately before or after the birthing process. Birth injuries usually occur as babies are making their way through the birth canal and mostly affect a baby’s head, neck and shoulders. Certain birth injuries are referred to as “birth trauma.”

Keep in mind that a birth injury is not the same as a birth defect. A birth defect is a condition that a child is born with because of DNA or some medical predisposition.

Birth injuries can be minor and temporary in nature and can resolve without any treatment. Other birth injuries can be serious and last a lifetime. Two infants can suffer the same birth injury but their symptoms might be different and vary in severity.

Oftentimes, parents don’t learn of their child’s birth injury until their child starts attending school.

Even if your child has suffered a minor birth injury or trauma, you could still be entitled to compensation. A skilled birth injury attorney will help you make that call.

There Are Many Different Types of Birth Injuries

There are numerous types of birth injuries. The majority of birth injuries fall under the categories of brain-related injuries, muscle-related injuries, injuries related to delivery or injuries from infections.

Here is a list of other common types of birth injuries:

Erb’s palsy, or brachial plexus palsy, occurs when the group of nerves that services the baby’s arms and hands is damaged. This usually occurs when the doctor has difficulty delivering the baby's shoulder. Brachial palsy causes the baby to lose the ability to flex and rotate the arm. “Palsy” is a medical term that refers to various types of paralysis.

Caput succedaneum is a significant swelling of the soft tissues of the baby's scalp that develops as the baby travels through the birth canal. Babies who are delivered by vacuum extraction are more likely to have this condition.

Cephalohematoma is an area of bleeding between the skull bone and its covering. It usually appears after birth as a raised lump on the baby's head. Depending on size, most cephalohematomas take a few weeks or months to disappear. If the cephalohematoma is large, a baby can develop jaundice as the red blood cells break down.

Bell’s palsy, or facial paralysis, involves injury to the facial nerve and can be caused by pressure on the baby’s face or the use of forceps during delivery. If the nerve is bruised, the paralysis typically subsides in a few weeks, but if the nerve was torn, surgery could be required.

Fractures, including clavicle or collarbone fractures, which are the most common fractures that occur during labor and delivery. The clavicle can break during a breech delivery or when there are problems delivering the baby's shoulder. A baby with a fractured clavicle usually doesn’t move the arm located on the side of the break.

Subconjunctival hemorrhage is the breakage of small blood vessels in a baby’s eyes. One or both eyes might have a bright red band in the white part of the eye. This is a common injury and can heal in a week or so.

Oxygen deprivation at birth or soon after birth can cause serious health problems. This type of birth injury can occur if the placenta separates too early or if the umbilical cord gets wrapped around the baby’s neck. Oxygen deprivation can damage a baby’s cerebellum, which is the part of the brain that controls motor functions, and result in permanent disabilities such as cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, blindness and learning disabilities. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that affects an individual’s ability to move and maintain balance. It’s the most common motor disability in childhood. If a baby does not start breathing independently after birth and the delay lasts for three minutes or more, the infant runs a high risk of serious brain damage, as well as seizures, coma and even death.

Spinal cord injuries are usually caused by the use of forceps and can result in serious injuries such as paralysis and neurological problems.

This is a short list of common birth injuries. If you believe your child was injured during birth, make sure you obtain prompt medical treatment for your child. Quick medical attention has the potential of minimizing any resulting health issues.

Your next step is to speak with an experienced birth injury attorney, who can help you investigate and identify the cause of your child’s injuries and make sure you receive full and fair compensation.

Are There Other Factors That Can Contribute to Birth Injuries?

According to Stanford Children’s Health, in addition to medical malpractice, there are various factors that can contribute to an infant sustaining a birth injury.

Birth injuries are more likely to occur when:

  • The baby is large (over 8 pounds, 13 ounces)
  • The baby does not present head-first in the birth canal
  • The baby is born prematurely
  • The size or shape of the mother's pelvis or birth canal makes it difficult for a normal vaginal birth
  • Labor is difficult or very long
  • The mother is overweight
  • A cesarean delivery is required
  • Devices such as vacuums or forceps are used for delivery

To learn more about how a birth injury lawyer can help you after your child has sustained a birth injury, contact Jeffrey Glassman Injury Lawyers today at (617) 777-7777 or use our online form.

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