The birth of a child is one of the happiest occasions in one’s life. In a majority of cases, births occur without complications or adverse incidents. However, there are a number of cases where avoidable complications and problems arise as a result of medical negligence during the labor or delivery process. Such shortcomings in care could result in severe long-term health complications and/or permanent injury for the child. There are a number of potential injuries children may suffer due to medical negligence of healthcare providers during the birthing process. Here are some types of birth injuries which can be due to medical negligence:
- Bone fractures: For example, the clavicle, commonly known as the collarbone, can fracture if too much traction or pressure is exerted upon it during delivery.
- Brachial plexus injuries (BPI): There is a bundle of nerves that exits the cervical spine of the fetus called the Brachial Plexus. These nerves control shoulder, arm, hand and wrist function and feeling. When these nerves are damaged during childbirth by an obstetrician or midwife utilizing too much force in attempting to deliver the baby, it can result in injuries to these nerves causing permanent paralysis of the arm and/or loss of function and mobility. It can also result in physical deformity.
- Perinatal Asphyxia/Cerebral palsy: When the blood/oxygen supply to a fetal or newborn brain is cut off or otherwise compromised during labor, birth or during neonatal care (after birth), and/or if infection is not properly addressed, it may result in brain injury causing Cerebral Palsy. Children with cerebral palsy suffer from a myriad of conditions including but not limited to muscle spasms and contractures, deficits in motor and cognitive functioning, respiratory, digestive and ophthalmic (vision) issues.
- Facial paralysis: When a facial nerve is damaged, it can result in temporary or permanent paralysis of facial muscles.
- Intracranial hemorrhage / subarachnoid hemorrhage: Bleeding in and around the brain may result in seizure disorders, vision, auditory and cognitive conditions, and even cerebral palsy (see above).
- Spinal cord injuries: Trauma during delivery can result in damage to the spinal cord causing permanent paralysis of the legs, torso and arms, and may affect the functioning of various organ systems.
If healthcare providers (doctors, nurses and midwives) fail to afford proper treatment during labor, delivery or after birth, the child’s family may be able to file a medical malpractice claim seeking compensation for the child’s injuries and associated costs of care. Damages may also include pain and suffering and potential lost earnings. Additional claims may be made for the child’s parents. If your child has been injured at birth, please contact the experienced New Jersey birth injury lawyers at Blume Forte to discuss your potential claim at no cost. Please call (973) 635-5400.