Most parents’ express wish is simply to have a healthy baby, but sometimes things go terribly wrong in the last few hours of delivery. Birth can be a complex process, and when medical interventions are necessary, risks arise.
Although many birth injuries do not have permanent effects, some do require follow-up care, or even cause costly, debilitating lifelong complications. Because of the nature of birth injuries, subsequent medical care can often be financially devastating to families.
Unlike birth or genetic defects, birth injuries are often preventable and occur during any phase of the delivery process
Today, legal recourse is available to make sure those medical professionals who are at fault in birth injuries pay for necessary care. What are the most potentially serious birth injuries?
- Brachial plexus injury: This nerve injury affects the arm and hand, often as a result of a difficult delivery or a collarbone fracture. These injuries range in severity, with some resolving entirely and others remaining permanently. For those with lifelong complications, the nerve pain and paralysis can impede education and inhibit employment options.
- Bone fractures: Any number of bones can be injured prior to or during delivery; however, the majority of these fractures heal quickly and without serious intervention. In some cases though, such as fractures of the spinal column as a result of forceps misuse, the resulting paralysis or neurological issues can be irreversible.
- Cerebral palsy: This incurable injury can actually result from a range of birth injuries, some genetic, others environmental, and still other from preventable asphyxia, infections, or traumatic handling during delivery. Degrees of deficiencies vary, but cerebral palsy generally results in muscular issues: lack of tone and control, problems with coordination and balance, postural issues, and difficulties with reflexes. Cerebral Palsy rarely affects intelligence, but speech and communication may be impaired or severely hindered.
- Intracranial or subarachnoid hemorrhage: These are both varieties of bleeding within the skull and brain as a result of head injury or trauma during the birth process. The symptoms of these hemorrhages are formidable, including seizures, coma, and even death.
- Meconium aspiration syndrome: Meconium is the infant’s first stool. In some difficult deliveries, meconium is released into the amniotic fluid prior to or during birth. If the meconium gets into the infant’s lungs, it can lead to pneumonia and pulmonary hypertension through the child’s first decade of life.
- Perinatal asphyxia: As with any asphyxia, this disorder occurs when the infant, does not receive sufficient oxygen. Depending on the duration of the deprivation, the results can range from minimal to grave, including seizures, shock, coma, or ineliminable neurological damage.
While the majority of hospital births in the US occur without any significant complications, about 7 in every 1000 births do lead to injuries. In some of these situations, the medical professionals involved are accountable for the damages and ongoing medical care these infants require.
If your infant has suffered one of the aforementioned injuries during delivery, contact the experienced Kentucky and Ohio medical negligence lawyers at Crandall & Pera Law. We will meet with you to discuss your individual situation and help to get you the compensation you deserve. For a free consultation, call our Kentucky legal team at 877.651.7764, our Ohio legal team at 877.686.8879, or contact us today.
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