Sometimes a baby is brain injured at birth, but the parents may not realize it. Symptoms may not manifest for months, or years. Parents may only begin to suspect when certain developmental milestones are not met, or when they have another child and begin to have the ability to compare. However, it can be apparent in many cases that there has been significant trauma and injury to the newborn during the birthing process.
Types of birth injuries include but are not limited to:
Cerebral palsy – the term essentially relates to a variety of brain injuries that can occur around the time of the baby’s birth and shortly thereafter. Many believe that these types of injuries are caused by medical personnel negligence. Symptoms of cerebral palsy may include speech impediments, motor skill and movement limitations, and learning disabilities. Symptoms in babies include:
- Not reaching or being behind developmentally in milestones like rolling, crawling, sitting, standing, or walking
- Lack of muscle control
- Coordination and balance problems
- Vision or hearing problems
Fetal distress – when the unborn baby does not access oxygen because of complications with the umbilical cord. Indications of fetal distress include an abnormal heart rate on the part of the unborn child. This can be monitored through a fetal stethoscope or through an electronic fetal heart monitor. If distress is found, immediate steps can be taken to make sure the baby stays safe.
Brachial Palsy or Brachial Plexus Injury – this happens when the nerves that run through the arms and hands are injured. It happens for the most part when there is shoulder dystocia or a problem delivering the baby’s shoulder. A lack of sensation or strength can result. If the nerve is torn, there can be permanent damage. These types of injury can potentially be caused through forceps, if the baby’s nerves were torn or stretched during the pulling.
Erb’s Palsy – The baby’s shoulder is caught behind the mother’s pubic bone, which can cause significant nerve damage of the arm and neck.
Brain Injury – When doctors use vacuum extractors and/or forceps to forcibly remove a baby from the womb, serious injury can result. Pulling, manipulating, or otherwise twisting can sometimes lead to traumatic spine and brain injury, or even fracture of the skull of a baby in the process of being born.
Negligent acts that can lead to these types of injuries include:
- Failure to monitor the mother or the unborn child
- Negligent intubation
- Negligent care and treatment of a neo-natal newborn baby
Medical providers in neonatal and birthing centers can cause significant, horrific harm when they are negligent with regard to standard, accepted medical malpractice. Babies can suffer a wide range of birth injuries, including severe and permanent damage, as well as wrongful death. Medical providers can be held accountable for the trauma and tragedy that they have caused.
Questions or Concerns About What Happened at the Birth? Experienced Personal Injury Attorney: (610) 565-0240
At the Law Offices of John E. Kusturiss, Jr., in Media, Pennsylvania, you will find attorneys who understand the ramifications that a family may be experiencing when their baby has suffered a birth injury that should never have happened. We are here to answer your questions, explain your rights, and pursue justice to the full extent of the law in your behalf, should you have a legal basis to file a medical malpractice claim.
We offer a free initial consultation so that you can get your questions answered. We can help you obtain medical records and review them so you understand what happened.
In addition to representing clients who have suffered grievous harm due to the negligence of medical personnel, we also represent personal injury cases, and criminal defense and family law cases. We work with clients throughout Springfield, Chester, Upper Darby, Ridley Park, Newtown Square, and Havertown, PA.