You might expect a difficult labor and even complications during childbirth, but no mother should ever plan on a preventable birth injury happening to her son or daughter. Sadly, thousands of babies around the country suffer injuries during labor and delivery every year. Injuries such as loss of oxygen to the brain, broken bones, and infections can cause permanent health conditions for the rest of a child’s life.
Negligence-related birth injuries are unacceptable; the San Jose birth injury attorneys at Henshaw & Henry, PC take them very seriously. Let us investigate your child’s birth injuries for signs of malpractice, and help you fight for maximum compensation.
Any number of things can go wrong during the delivery of a baby. No two deliveries are the same. Yet competent doctors prepare and equip themselves to handle emergency situations and foreseeable or unexpected complications. It is when physicians are lax, negligent, careless, incompetent, or unprepared that preventable birth injuries occur. While the presence of a birth injury doesn’t automatically mean a doctor’s liability, it is at least cause to speak to a lawyer. Common negligence-based birth injuries include:
Injuries to the baby’s brain can occur during delivery if oxygen stops flowing (hypoxia, asphyxia, or anoxia). Starvation of oxygen to the brain can lead to a brain hemorrhage, brain ischemia, and disorders such as cerebral palsy. Other brain-related birth injuries include Jaundice and kernicterus. It is up to the physician to monitor fetal signs, recognize distress, and take appropriate emergency action.
Infant bones can break due to rough handling, misuse of birthing tools such as forceps, or failure to use the correct techniques during a difficult birth. Shoulder dystocia is a serious birth injury that occurs when the infant’s shoulders are stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone. Complications to the baby can include difficulty breathing, collarbone fracture, brachial plexus fracture, and cerebral palsy.
Brachial plexus injuries, or damage to the bundle of nerves in the shoulder, are common in babies who get lodged in the birth canal. Often, these injuries can cause Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy, which can cause weakness or loss of function in the affected arm. Pulling on the infant’s arm can cause these injuries.
Mothers can pass infections to their infants during pregnancy, such as strep or meningitis. It is the obstetrician’s job to test the mother for conditions that could harm the baby. The physician should then recommend supplements or other treatments to prevent the condition from passing to the infant. Negligent prenatal care is a form of medical malpractice.
If a doctor has diagnosed your newborn with a birth injury, speak with our San Jose birth injury lawyers right away. We know how devastating it can be to learn that someone else may have caused your child’s temporary or permanent injuries. A lawsuit can’t make up for what happened to your child, but it can pay for past and future medical expenses, physical pain, and emotional suffering. It can give your family the closure it needs to move on after a birth injury. Call (408) 533-1075 or contact us to schedule your free birth injury consultation with our San Jose personal injury lawyers.