What’s unique about birth trauma is an evaluation of two kinds of cases; one is brachial plexus, and one is brain damage. Brachial plexus cases refer to injuries that occur to the nerves of the child as it is being delivered. Generally speaking, the physician who delivers the child places too much traction on the baby’s head as it’s being delivered, and it damages the nerves that control the baby’s arms.
Brain damage is slightly different. We look at the prenatal records, and we see how the course of your labor went. Typically what happens is that there are warning signs during the delivery that the physician does not see or appreciate. Instead of doing a Cesarean section and delivering the child early, they allow the labor to progress and unfortunately that leads to lack of oxygen. When the baby is delivered, we find out the baby has suffered brain damage.
If someone is trying to evaluate a birth injury case, it is very important to first of all go to a lawyer who specializes in birth trauma and birth injury. It has to be a lawyer who is able to look at the prenatal records, but the most important aspect is for the lawyer to consult with an expert witness to look at what are called electronic fetal monitoring strips. Those are the strips that are on the side of the bed that show the baby’s heart rate, and show the contraction pattern. An expert can see warning signs that if a physician does not look at or see can result in birth injury.
In addition to brachial plexus and brain damage, there’s another area of birth trauma that should be evaluated, and that is fractured skulls or direct trauma to the brain. How that occurs is during the labor period, if a woman has the natural forces of labor and the baby is getting hung up and cannot be delivered, the forces of labor can actually pound the skull of the baby and cause brain damage or fractures of the skull. Again, a nationally renowned birth trauma attorney can look at the prenatal records, the delivery records, as well as the fetal monitoring strips to see if a type of damage like that has occurred.
Birth trauma can have a variety of causes, but the most significant effects are on you and your family. When your doctor fails to properly oversee your pregnancy, labor and delivery, your family can be affected forever. Sometimes, the symptoms of birth trauma are apparent immediately. Alternatively, it may take many months for an injury to come to light; in both cases, there is no substitute for the experienced Kentucky and Ohio birth trauma attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law.
Birth trauma by the numbers
Injuries during labor, delivery and infancy are far more common than we like to think. We wrote about the numbers last December, but they bear repeating. The most recent data available was from 2006; it showed:
- Nearly 157,700 avoidable injuries to mothers and newborns occurred during childbirth that year.
- Newborns covered by Medicaid had worse (higher) rates of injury than newborns covered by private insurance, though wealth did not appear to play a role in the difference in rates.
- Vaginal births with instruments accounted for the highest injury rates.
Healthcare professionals train for years to learn how to handle complications during labor and delivery. When trained and trusted professionals make mistakes, the consequences can last a lifetime. If your child has suffered complications from a birth trauma or birth injury, your family may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Kentucky and Ohio birth trauma attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Contact our Ohio legal team at 877.686.8879, our Kentucky legal team at 877.651.7764, or contact us today for a free consultation.