Receiving the news of having a child is one of the happiest news ones can hear. Parents spend hours nesting, preparing, and ensuring their future baby gets the best care and medical health.
However, despite their utmost efforts to provide the best for their baby, their happiest day can become a tragedy due to medical negligence. How? Many babies can suffer injuries during childbirth that are mostly preventable.
What Is A Birth Injury?
Birth injury in newborn babies is the impairment of their body function or structure due to any negligence appearing at the time of the birth. Injuries in newborns usually happen due to physical pressure caused when the baby passes through the birth canal.
How Do You Legally Deal With Birth Injuries?
If you believe your child suffered a birth injury due to medical mistreatment, you can consider legal action. Legally, parents are eligible for damages if their child received birth injuries. Likewise, a birth injury lawyer can assist you as they specialize in medical mistreatment and birth injuries.
Once you find a birth injury attorney, they will start building up your case. First, your lawyer will have to prove that the reason behind your child’s injury was medical negligence caused by a professional that you trusted.
To build a case against the medical professional and institute that harmed your child, you have to prove three main things:
- The medical professional who cared for you and your newborn had committed to your medical care.
- The care and actions of the medical professional were negligent.
- The negligence caused by the medical professional resulted in your newborn’s injuries.
After carefully assessing everything and creating a compelling case with your lawyer, you can also choose to get your case reviewed by legal professionals. You can receive legal case reviews from Birth Injury Justice Centre. They provide excellent case reviewing by trusted legal partners that are free of cost, ensuring your child is protected and cared for.
Birth injury compensation
You may be eligible for compensation if your newborn’s medical caregiver commits medical malpractice. A good birth injury lawyer will make sure to allow you to seek the compensation that will aid you in giving your child the best possible care it deserves.
Furthermore, you can demand money for current and future medical bills in your compensation claim. Additionally, you can ask for ongoing therapy, adaptive devices, and in-home medical services for your child.
You can also claim damages for your and your child’s pain and emotional distress. Finally, parents can demand damages for lost wages, as many are forced to stay home to care for their newborns.
Common Birth Injuries Parents Should Be Aware Of
A child’s injuries during delivery can debilitate and disable them for the rest of their life. The damages can range from mild to severe and affect various body areas.
Tragically, there are many types of injuries that a child can suffer. These include:
Cerebral palsy is a condition that causes many disorders in an individual. For example, it can cause issues with mobility and posture. It can also cause Seizures, impaired vision and hearing, and speech disability with cerebral palsy.
Children suffer from this condition when their brains are damaged during or before birth. Time does not improve or worsen the injury. However, it may lead to additional health problems for your child.
Sadly, the condition comes with no cure. But you can improve your baby’s quality of life through therapy, medication, or surgery. Furthermore, depending on the severity of the condition, your child might enjoy life independently or need lifelong assistance.
Erb’s palsy is one of the most common injuries in newborns. It is a part of Brachial plexus palsy, a network of nerves in our neck that moves all the nerves in our arm. Since these nerves allow us to move and feel our shoulders, hands, arms, and gingers, a baby with damaged nerves has a weak arm and cannot move its shoulder.
The condition occurs mainly in a difficult delivery, when the infant’s shoulder or head is pulled or stretched, causing the stretching of the nerves, resulting in injury to the baby. It can also happen when a medical professional pulls the newborn’s feet during a foot-first delivery. The child’s head, shoulder, and neck getting caught up in the pelvic bone or the birth canal can also cause this condition.
Most children with Erb’s palsy regain their arm sensation and recover fully. Yet many children require medical surgery or various therapies to restore sense and recover. Despite the total medical effort, some children might never recover and are disabled for life.
Vacuum extraction complications
Some deliveries might need a vacuum extractor to move a stuck child out of the birth canal. The vacuum extractor latches onto the newborn’s head with a soft cup and produces a suction force that aids the doctor in pulling out the baby.
Although this medical tool is used only when the baby takes a long time to come out, it can sometimes lead to severe injuries. For example, brain bleeding, shoulder damage, or skull fractures can occur.
The incorrect use of vacuum extraction can lead to severe injuries leading to permeant brain damage and life-long disability.
Spinal cord injury
Spinal cord injuries disarray the linking between the brain and the whole body. It occurs after a difficult delivery when a specific part of the spinal cord is injured due to trauma. The injury can be mild or severe, as it might cause mild bruising or cause loss of reflexes and complete spinal tearing.
Most of the injuries to the spinal cord during delivery are a result of medical malpractice. Medical professionals improperly use devices like vacuum extractors and forceps, which can pull or twist a baby into a compromising position, causing this condition.
Moreover, spinal cord injury does not have any cure. However, depending on the severity of the injury, parents can consider treatment that includes a breathing machine, a feeding tube, and a bladder catheter. The therapy aims to redeem the child to the greatest extent possible through proper treatment.
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
Hypoxic translates to lack of oxygen; ischemic means insufficient blood flow; encephalopathy translates to brain dysfunction. Hence, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) is a brain disorder in which the brain fails to receive sufficient oxygen or blood flow for a certain amount of time.
Many factors can cause hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), for example, an infant suffering from an abnormally long labor. It can also occur when the fetus is in a wrong or compromising position. Other factors like placental bleeding, abruption, or umbilical cord prolapse can also cause this condition.
Currently, there is no cure for hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). However, if a child receives therapeutic hypothermia shortly after birth, it decreases the severity of permanent brain damage. Moreover, the infant might experience seizures, feeding problems, and hearing or vision issues.
While parents desperately await the day they will meet their child, in some cases, medical malpractice can turn their happiest day into a nightmare.
As parents, you bestow your trust in medical professionals and their expertise, who promise to deliver your newborn safely. Failing to make the right medical decision at the right time can result in your baby suffering lifelong injuries. If you believe your baby’s injuries result from medical negligence, you should contact a birth injury attorney who will guide you through the process and help you and your child receive justice.