Seven out of 1,000 births result in injury. In the United States, it is estimated that there are three birth injuries an hour, which calculates to 2,333 per month, or 28,000 per year. In the year 2000, 6.83 birth trauma injuries occurred per every 1,000 live male births, with 5.06 birth trauma injuries reported for every 1,000 live female births in the United States that same year. But these are not just statistics. They reflect harm to real families, and compensation may be due.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
Occasionally during the birthing process, the infant can suffer physical injuries. The causes can be because of the baby’s size or the position of the baby during labor. Some types of injuries that happen at birth include:
Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy
This is a complicated term that no parent ever wants to learn about, and once they do, it is a term they never forget. It refers to brain damage occurring because of a lack of oxygen to a baby’s brain during the birthing process. In our view, no child that makes it to term and does not have a genetic abnormality should ever be diagnosed with this condition. When this occurs, it is usually because of medical malpractice. If your child or a child you know made it to term, does not have a genetic abnormality and has been diagnosed with hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, call us. We may be able to help immediately.
Brachial Palsy or Erb’s Palsy
The brachial plexus is a cluster of nerves in the arms and hands that spread out from the spinal cord under the collarbone into the armpit. When these nerves become damaged, paralysis in the baby’s arms and legs can result. The nerves cannot send signals from the brain to the shoulder, elbow, wrist, or hand because of the damage, which means that the baby’s arms will not have full functionality. Erb’s Palsy is specifically when only the shoulder and elbow muscles are affected, but when all the muscles are affected, this is called total plexus palsy.
Swelling of the soft tissues around the skull, resulting in a conehead appearance, is often the result of a very difficult vaginal delivery. While it is very common and usually benign, it can lead to other issues such as newborn jaundice.
This occurs when there are small ruptures to the blood vessels located just beneath the eye. They can result in one or both the eyes displaying as a red spot or band on the eye’s surface. While it does not cause permanent eye damage, the redness can last for several days or even up to two weeks.
One of the most common types of birth injury is fractures, particularly clavicle or collarbone fractures. These usually occur when there are challenges delivering the baby or during a breech delivery. The infant’s bones cannot handle the force exerted on them, resulting in these fractures.
What A Birth Injury Lawyer Can Do For You
Prosecuting a birth injury case is one of the most complex, time-intensive, and costly cases for medical malpractice attorneys. An attorney needs significant experience handling these cases and will need a client’s help lining up key experts like:
- Experts to explain the birthing process and what went wrong
- Experts to examine the placenta to explain the timing of the brain injury
- Radiology experts to interpret the brain injury and explain how it occurred
- Physical medicine experts to set forth the plan of care for your child throughout their life
- Lifecare and economic experts to calculate the cost of future care
- Pediatric experts to explain your child’s likely life expectancy
And after the resolution, a case manager will need to help navigate through the morass of health insurance nightmares that occur as you try to arrange care.
Taking care of a brain-damaged child is a lifelong, 24/7 commitment by the parents. At Casey Injury Law, we are prepared to fully explain this commitment and the cost to make your life better. We can also help make medical care safer by changing processes and procedures so what happened to you and your child does not happen to anyone else.