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Birth Injuries to Children During Labor and Delivery Process

A birth injury is different from a birth defect. Birth injuries typically occur during the labor and delivery process and are often due to a medical mistake. Birth defects usually develop during pregnancy, beginning in utero. When a child suffers a preventable birth injury, the emotional and financial toll can be devastating for the family. Some birth injuries are minor and heal on their own with time. However, more serious birth injuries can cause permanent mental, physical and emotional damage.

A Boston birth injury lawyer can help you determine how to proceed if your child has suffered due to medical negligence. Birth injuries can be minor or severe, and they may or may not be caused by medical negligence. The most commonly-cited birth injuries include:

Brachial Plexus Injuries (BPI)

When the bundle of nerves originating from the upper spine are damaged during labor and delivery, the child may suffer a BPI. This injury can be temporary or permanent. A neuroma is one type of BPI in which a torn nerve fails to heal properly. Avulsion – the most serious type of BPI – occurs when the nerves are completely torn from the spine, resulting in total paralysis.

Bone Fractures

One of the most common birth injuries, bone fractures usually heal on their own. Bone fractures can be caused by medical negligence, but often they are the result of a difficult or complicated delivery. The most commonly-fractured bone in a newborn is the clavicle (collar bone), which may need to be broken if the infant’s shoulders are too wide to safely fit through the birth canal.

Perinatal Asphyxia

When a newborn doesn’t receive enough oxygen during the delivery process, he may suffer from perinatal asphyxia. Depending on the severity and length of oxygen deprivation, the child may be perfectly fine or he could have permanent damage to the brain.

Cerebral Ischemia

A newborn can suffer severe brain damage when there is a reduction in blood flow during labor and delivery. Cerebral ischemia may be caused by infection, shoulder dystocia, and overmedication of the mother.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Spinal cord injuries are generally severe and often result in permanent damage. The use of forceps is frequently a factor in cases involving spinal cord injuries in newborns. In addition to complete paralysis, spinal cord injuries can often cause neurologic problems. A MA birth injury lawyer can help you recover damages if your child has been injured during the labor and delivery process.

Cephalohematoma

A condition that generally occurs during the labor and delivery process, cephalohematoma is often linked to the use of forceps. Pooling of blood between the skull bone and inner layers of skin may result in a hematoma, which typically looks much worse than it is. In most cases, this condition is harmless and will heal on its own. However, if your child exhibits additional symptoms, such as anemia, jaundice, infection or unnatural bulging on the head, you should consult with your doctor immediately.

Cerebral Palsy

Characterized by weak muscles, muscle spasms and problems with motor skill development, cerebral palsy affects about three in 1,000 children. There is no cure for this life-long medical condition, and the effects can be debilitating.

Altman & Altman, LLP – Birth Injury Lawyers Serving All of MA

If your child has been injured due to medical negligence, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years, and we have extensive experience with birth injuries. Our compassionate, knowledgeable attorneys understand the emotional complexities of cases involving young children. We will be by your side throughout the entire process. It is our goal to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can get on with your life. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.