Let Us Help You Fight Back Against Negligent Medical Providers
The term “birth injuries” encompasses a wide variety of injuries that happen during pregnancy, during the delivery of a baby or shortly after a baby’s birth. Some of the injuries are relatively minor and can resolve on their own. Other birth injuries can cause lifetimes of physical, cognitive or behavioral disabilities that require extensive and specialized medical care. In some cases, birth injuries can be fatal. Birth injuries of any severity occur in approximately 3% of births.
Unfortunately, birth injury cases are often poorly investigated by negligent health providers, which results in delayed treatment and increased risk to both mother and child.
If you believe that your child has been injured due to poor prenatal care, inadequate labor management practices or negligent post-birth care, then we are here for you at Kaire & Heffernan, PLLC. We can help you explore all avenues regarding seeking compensation for your or your child’s injuries stemming from birth trauma.
Birth Injury Causes
Birth injuries occur when medical professionals fail to recognize warning signs early enough or respond inadequately to those signs. Injuries can also occur when health care providers are negligent or make mistakes during or after the birthing process. In some cases, preventable birth injuries may stem from a failure of hospitals to provide adequate staffing levels or an overabundance of midwives and physicians working against each other.
While parents sometimes blame themselves for birth injuries, many such injuries are the result of medical malpractice or medical negligence. Obstetricians, doctors in other medical specialties and nurses are responsible for monitoring the progress and health of pregnant women and their babies during pregnancy. If a medical professional fails to provide this basic level of care, he or she may be guilty of medical negligence. That negligence during pregnancy or delivery can cause your baby and your family hardship throughout your lives.
If you suspect that medical negligence caused your child’s injury, you may be entitled to receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, lost wages, future medical costs, and more. Filing birth injury lawsuits can be complex, so it is vital that you retain an experienced personal injury lawyer who will fight for you and your family.
Birth Injury Symptoms
Many birth injuries do not present symptoms right away. In fact, some birth injuries only show up years later when they have already caused significant damage to brain development or other body systems. Many children who suffer birth injuries have no outward signs whatsoever until they start to severely affect their lives. Some of the common symptoms of birth injuries include:
- Delayed motor development
- Lack of depth perception
- Muscle spasms
- Poor balance
- Poor coordination
Common Birth Injuries
Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves located between the shoulder and neck. These nerves control the arm, hand and fingers. Brachial plexus injuries are caused when too much force is used during a vaginal delivery involving shoulder dystocia (a condition in which the baby’s shoulder is wedged behind the mother’s pubic bone). A condition called Erb’s palsy is a common form of brachial plexus injury. Serious forms of Erb’s palsy can be permanent and can paralyze the upper body, inhibit arm movement, cause limpness and cause a lack of muscle control.
Spinal Cord Injury
Excessive traction or excessive rotation of the baby during a vaginal delivery can injure the baby’s spinal cord. Babies in the breech position are especially at risk of spinal cord injuries; therefore, these babies are normally delivered by cesarean section for their safety. A spinal cord injury can result in stillbirth or death shortly after delivery due to respiratory failure. Survivors may suffer permanent and severe disabilities. Often, spasticity develops later and can be misdiagnosed as cerebral palsy.
A broken collarbone is the most common type of fracture sustained during delivery. If your baby suffered a broken collarbone during delivery, he or she should also be checked for spinal cord and brachial plexus injuries.
Skull fractures can occur during delivery by either the misuse of forceps or a vacuum extractor, but they can also result from dropping the baby immediately after delivery. Skull fractures are serious and can lead to other birth injuries such as brain injuries.
Other Types Of Birth Injuries
The following list indicates some of the other common types of birth injuries:
- Birth asphyxia
- Bleeding below the scalp
- Bleeding inside the skull
- Brain injuries
- Breech birth
- Bruising from forceps
- Cerebral palsy
- Excessive bleeding
- Facial nerve injuries
- Fetal stroke
- Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIA)
- Meconium aspiration
- Muscle tears during delivery
- Neonatal hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
- Neurological injuries
- Prolapsed umbilical cord
- Skin irritation
- Soft tissue injury
- Wrongful death
File A Birth Injury Lawsuit
If you believe your child suffered a birth injury, then you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the hospital where your child was born or against the health care workers involved.
Your attorney will investigate whether your case has merit and help you decide if filing a suit is worth it. The more evidence you have about how your child was injured, the stronger your birth injury claim will be.
Contact Florida Birth Injury Lawyers
Please don’t wait until your child’s injuries get worse and become permanent. Contact us at Kaire & Heffernan immediately to obtain compensation for your family’s suffering and get funding for any ongoing medical care. Call our office today at 305-376-7860 or contact us online to set up a free consultation.