Birth injuries to mothers and children are surprisingly commonplace in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that approximately one out of every 33 babies, or about 120,000 babies annually, are born with a birth defect. While not all birth defects can be anticipated or prevented, some result from negligence. The term “birth defect” covers various conditions affecting a newborn infant. Some are mild, and the child will fully recover. Others may impact the child for the remainder of their life and even lead to premature death. Please keep reading to learn how a birth injury lawyer can help if you or your newborn child has suffered a birth injury.
Most Common Birth Defects Encountered, According to a Birth Injury Lawyer
Doctors and other medical professionals can provide negligent care to the mother during delivery, thereby causing a birth injury or defect. Negligent care could include:
- Not performing or misreading prenatal tests to uncover medical risks
- Not prescribing appropriate medications, vitamins, or courses of treatment
- Misreading vital signs that could indicate that the mother or child is in distress
- Using inappropriate tools or too much force during delivery
- Not inducing delivery or performing a cesarean section when necessary
When such negligent acts occur, the health of both mother and child is jeopardized. For the newborn, the risk of birth injuries increases. Some of the more common birth injuries observed include:
This injury occurs when small blood vessels underneath the baby’s skull are broken during birth. This can happen naturally or as the result of a doctor using a vacuum or force to assist with delivery. While most cases of cephalohematoma resolve within a matter of weeks, others may be more long-lasting.
Cephalohematomas may result in a circular injury on the baby’s scalp that may be indented. If the injury does not go away on its own, medical intervention may be necessary.
This condition describes nerve damage to the baby’s arms and hands. The baby will be unable to move or manipulate the affected arms and hands and will require consistent physical therapy to prevent further damage. Brachial damage often occurs during delivery as the baby passes through the birth canal.
The use of force to aid delivery can contribute to nerve damage that leads to brachial palsy. In some cases, the nerve damage is temporary and may heal with time and physical therapy. In other cases, the damage may be permanent.
Similar to brachial palsy, if forceps or other force is used to assist with delivery and injury occurs to the baby’s face, paralysis of the baby’s facial muscles may occur. The baby may be unable to move its facial muscles or close one of its eyes.
Bruising of the facial muscles may result in only a temporary injury. If the facial nerve is completely torn, however, the paralysis will likely be permanent.
Get Assistance from a Birth Injury Lawyer in South Carolina
Birth injuries can impact you and your new family at an especially vulnerable time. Lowcountry Law, LLC and our attorney Matthew Breen have dedicated our firm’s practice to help you and others achieve justice.
If you or your newborn child have suffered a birth injury, contact Lowcountry Law, LLC, right away for a free case evaluation.