The birth of a child is usually a joyous occasion and most newborns are delivered safely and in good health. However, problems may arise during the pregnancy or delivery that lead to birth injuries. If the injuries were due to the negligence of an obstetrician, hospital or other medical provider, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit.
The Law Office of Michael LoGiudice represents families whose children were victims of birth injuries in the greater New York area. If your newborn was injured because a medical provider failed to diagnose or respond to problems during childbirth, or due to the improper use of medical devices or poor prenatal care, we can help you obtain meaningful compensation.
Common Birth Injuries and Their Causes
Birth injuries are the result of complications that arise during labor or delivery that either lead to oxygen deprivation or physical trauma. A baby can be deprived of oxygen for a number of reasons, particularly after being left in the birth canal too long during a difficult delivery. Physical injuries can be also caused by improper use of a medical technique or device, such as forceps or a vacuum pump.
Some common birth injuries include:
- Cerebral palsy – Oxygen deprivation, maternal infections, and infant infection can all lead to cerebral palsy (CP). Children with CP have problems with muscle control and motor skills and often suffer from muscle spasms and speech impediments. Severe cases can lead to paralysis, intellectual disabilities, epilepsy, and other impairments that require lifelong care.
- Brachial plexus injuries (Erb’s palsy) – These injuries involve damage to the nerves that connect the spinal cord to a newborn’s arms and hands. Brachial plexus injuries can occur when excessive pressure is applied to a baby’s head or neck during a difficult birth. Babies with Erb’s palsy may suffer paralysis of the shoulder, arms or neck, loss of muscle control or sensation in the arms or hands. While minor nerve damage may heal in time, torn muscles can lead to permanent damage.
- Cervical dystonia (spasmodic torticollis) – Head, neck or shoulder injuries that occur because of a medical mistake that lead to contraction of the neck muscles, causing a baby’s head to tilt forward or backward or twist to the side.
- Shoulder dystocia – This birth injury occurs during delivery when a baby’s head and shoulders get trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone. Although shoulder dystocia is rare, it can lead to complications that severely harm the mother, cause significant injuries to the baby and even lead to death.
- C-Section Injuries -Medical errors and negligence during C-sections can cause facial lacerations, fractures, cervical cord injuries or nerve damage. Infants can also suffer respiratory distress that leads to long-term health problems.
- Other birth injuries – Babies are also susceptible to infections, such as group B strep infection or meningitis, that can be caught from mothers as babies pass through the birth canal. Other injuries that can be caught from the mother include folic acid deficiency, anemia, and spina bifida, all of which are preventable if doctor’s make the correct diagnosis.
Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice
If a birth injury was caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or hospital, there may be grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit. All medical professionals are required to provide the appropriate standard of care during both the pregnancy and the delivery. This means that they must be diligent at all times when treating mothers, recognize potential risks to the mother and child, and respond by providing the proper medical care.
In particular, doctors must continuously monitor the mother’s health to minimize the risk of complications during childbirth. Doctors should also rely on ultrasound images to assess the position of the fetus before labor to minimize the risk of a difficult delivery and birth trauma. In order to have a valid claim, it is necessary to demonstrate that a medical professional failed to provide the mother and her baby with adequate medical care and this caused the baby’s injury.
Dedicated Birth Injury Attorney
The law office of Michael LoGiudice has extensive experience pursuing birth injury lawsuits. We are keenly aware that birth injuries can have devastating consequences for both the child and the parents. Many birth injuries lead to permanent damage that requires lifelong care, which can be an emotional and financial burden for the parents. These children are frequently subjected to long-lasting pain and suffering.
If your newborn suffered a birth injury, you may be entitled to compensation including medical expenses, pain and suffering and loss of future earning capacity. Although a monetary award will not end your child’s pain and suffering, we believe that negligent medical providers must be held accountable for birth injuries. Fill out a contact form or call our office today for a free consultation.