Birth injury encompasses a lot of injuries that occur to a child. Most people think birth injury simply means brain damage, and it certainly does. When a child is born and they start to miss developmental milestones, they can’t talk in the timeframe that they should, the child can’t walk or feed themselves, then people begin to investigate what occurred to the child.
Many times what we find is that a lack of oxygen during birth is what led to that brain damage. But birth injury also encompasses and includes what’s called shoulder dystocia. That simply means that a child is being born, and that child is larger or heavier than would fit through their mother’s birth canal. And what occurs in that instance is, nerve damage in and around their neck and shoulder area leads to what’s called brachial plexus injury. What we found is that occurs not simply because the baby was larger than the doctor anticipated, but because the obstetrician actually places too much traction on the babies head when it’s being delivered, and that’s negligence. We can determine that from reviewing the records.
The second injury is brain damage, and that can occur two ways. If physician does not deliver a child timely, they have a lack of oxygen to their brain and that leads to brain damage. And secondly, brain damage can occur if a physician gives too much medication to the mom while laboring, causing contractions that are too close together. That trauma can actually also cause brain damage, so it’s very important to look at the records, determine the type of injuries that can occur and whether or not it was the result of medical negligence.
The many types of birth injury
Childbirth is a complex process, and injuries or trauma that occur before, during or after childbirth can have lifelong consequences. Pregnancy involves a large number of medical professionals who must act as a team to relay relevant information at all stages. When one link in the information chain is broken, the consequences can affect your child and your family forever.
There are a number of complications that can arise during labor and delivery, all of which require a medical team to respond quickly and appropriately. Complications and trauma can occur at every stage of pregnancy, labor, delivery and infancy. The most common types of birth injuries at different stages can include:
- Prenatal negligence. When screening or testing for certain medical conditions is conducted improperly or not at all, both mother and child are exposed to unnecessary health risks.
- Labor and delivery negligence. When healthcare professionals fail to monitor vital signs or notice a problem, labor can be delayed and the vital supply of oxygen to the infant can be cut off, resulting in permanent brain damage.
- Negligent use of medical devices or drugs during delivery. When tools like forceps, vacuum extractors or drugs are used or administered improperly, permanent damage can occur.
- Postpartum negligence. When healthcare professionals fail to adequately monitor a newborn, life-threatening health issues can cause long-term disability or even death.
If your child was injured through negligence at any stage of your pregnancy, labor, delivery or post-partum care, you may be entitled to compensation. The experienced Ohio birth injury attorneys at Crandall & Pera Law can evaluate your case and help get you the compensation you deserve. Call our Ohio legal team at 877.686.8879, our Kentucky team at 877.651.7764, or contact us today for a free consultation.