Every expectant parent hopes for a healthy baby. The vast majority of obstetricians, midwives, and other labor and delivery personnel utilize safe methods and are skilled and knowledgeable in their practice. However, there are exceptions. Unfortunately, birth injuries as a result of excessively strenuous labor, improper or forceful delivery methods, and physician negligence occur every day. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) more than two million significant birth injuries are reported every year in the United States alone. The increase in “planned births” through Cesarean sections and labor induction methods is often blamed for difficult deliveries and related birth injuries. Below is a list of the most commonly reported birth injuries.
Brachial plexus injuries (BPI): There is a bundle of nerves that begins at the upper spine and extends through the neck, shoulder, arm, and into the hand. When these nerves are damaged during the birth process the result can be mild and temporary to severe and permanent disability. Neuropraxia, the mildest form of BPI, involves the stretching of the nerve. Neuroma, on the other hand, is a serious injury in which the nerve is torn and fails to heal properly. The most severe BPI injury, avulsion, occurs when the nerve roots are torn from the spine causing complete and permanent paralysis.
Bone fractures: Broken or fractured bones are often the result of a difficult or complicated delivery. If a medical professional uses too much force while delivering a baby, breaks can occur. The most commonly fractured bone is the clavicle (collar bone). These injuries are usually temporary and can heal on their own or by immobilizing the area.
Perinatal asphyxia: This condition is caused by a lack of oxygen during the labor and delivery process. When there is insufficient blood flow to the fetus or newborn, it can result in difficulty breathing, a pale complexion, seizures, shock, and even coma. This condition can lead to permanent neurological damage.
Spinal cord injuries: With the potential to cause complete paralysis and neurological problems, spinal cord injuries can be extremely serious. Traumatic nerve and spinal cord damage, and meningeal tears are often the result of the improper use of forceps.
Cerebral Palsy: A diagnosis of cerebral palsy is devastating for parents. Occurring in approximately two or three infants per 1,000 births, cerebral palsy can cause weak muscles and muscle spasms, as well as a lack of motor skill development. There is no cure for cerebral palsy.
Altman & Altman, LLC, – Boston’s Birth Injury Attorneys
The birth of a baby should be a joyous occasion. Unfortunately, birth injuries affect millions of babies, and their families, every year. Some of these birth injuries are extremely mild and temporary, but some are not. In addition to physical and emotional pain and suffering, a family may find themselves in serious financial trouble as a result of mounting medical bills and lost wages. At Altman & Altman, LLP., we have have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for nearly 50 years. Our compassionate, knowledgeable legal team understands the emotional complexities surrounding birth injury cases. Our goal is to get you the compensation you deserve so that you can focus on your child without the looming threat of financial disaster. Our attorneys have an impressive track record of obtaining compensation for our clients. Contact us today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.