Common Types of Birth Injuries

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woman holding hand of her partner while giving birth in a NY hospital

A birth injury is any type of injury a newborn suffers during childbirth. Birth injuries can occur due to complications during labor and delivery. They may or may not be due to doctor negligence. Birth injuries can range from minor to severe. An experienced birth injury lawyer can examine your case and determine whether medical malpractice played a role in your child’s birth injury.

The New York birth injury lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. work with families to seek justice and compensation for birth injuries and medical malpractice. We can help you determine whether your birth injury could have been prevented through proper care. Call today at 855-TOP-FIRM for a free, no-obligation legal consultation.

Common types of birth injuries in New York

Brain Damage

Babies delivered via vacuum assistance are typically at a greater risk of suffering brain damage. Using too much pressure with the forceps during delivery can cause injuries to the brain, which can cause a newborn to suffer mental and physical disabilities.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy occurs when infants do not get enough oxygen during birth. This could be due to the oxygen supply being limited by the umbilical cord. Cerebral palsy can lead to muscle stiffness, uncontrollable movements, and speech issues. Physicians must check for obstructions in the infant’s airways. Failure to do so could be considered medical malpractice.

Brachial Plexus Injuries (Erb’s Palsy)

Brachial plexus injuries happen when the nerves running through the spine, neck, arms, shoulders, and hands are injured. During childbirth, these injuries can be the result of prolonged labor or complications during the delivery that require the use of forceps or vacuums. The use of force during a hand delivery can also cause a brachial plexus injury.

Symptoms of brachial plexus injury can include partial or total paralysis, claw-like hands, and muscle contractions. Recovery from brachial plexus injuries can usually happen within six months, but more serious cases can cause permanent disability.

Bruising or Forceps Marks

Some infants may show signs of bruising on the face or head due to the trauma of passing through the birth canal. Forceps used can leave marks or bruises on the infant’s face and head. Babies who are delivered by vacuum extraction could have some scalp bruising or cuts.

Intracranial Hemorrhage

Intracranial hemorrhage involves bleeding within the brain or in the area between the brain and the skull. If the bleeding is not treated, the affected area of the brain could have permanent damage, and babies could develop cerebral palsy.

Spinal Cord Injuries

Physical trauma during delivery and congenital defects are among the causes of spinal cord injuries in newborns. Spina Bifida is a common disability where the baby does not develop properly and is more prone to injury.

Facial Paralysis

If a baby’s face has too much pressure applied on it during delivery, it can result in damaged facial nerves. Facial paralysis is more common when forceps or vacuum is used to pull the infant out. Facial paralysis may leave the baby with no ability to move the affected side of their face.

Broken Bones

During childbirth, the infant has must go through the birth canal. This can put a lot of pressure on their body and lead to broken bones. The collar bone is the most frequently injured bone. Other body parts prone to breaking, including the legs and arms. Broken bones can also result if the baby is improperly handled after birth. While they are typically easy to treat, fractures sometimes go unnoticed by doctors, leading to more serious problems down the road.

Oxygen Deprivation

Oxygen deprivation during childbirth can cause brain injuries, ultimately resulting in cerebral palsy or seizures. When the physician fails to monitor the baby during birth or allows the baby to remain in the birth canal for too long, brain injuries could result. Physical and mental disabilities can be the lasting consequences of oxygen deprivation.

Birth Injuries Caused by Negligence

Common forms of medical negligence that lead to birth injuries include:

  • Improper use of forceps, vacuums, and other delivery instruments
  • Improper administration of prescription drugs
  • Failure to diagnose the mother’s medical conditions
  • Failure to identify fetal distress or plan for complicated deliveries
  • Failure to order a timely C-section
  • Failure to address umbilical cord issues.

It can be challenging to prove these types of claims. However, the experienced New York birth injury attorneys at Finz & Finz, P.C. understand how to investigate a case and consult with medical experts to determine whether negligence occurred in your child’s case.

With birth injury claims brought on behalf of the child, the injured party is entitled to compensation, including:

  • Medical bills (past and future)
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Caretaking expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Disability
  • Increased risk of future harm
  • Shortened life expectancy

Numerous parties may be held liable for a birth injury, including:

  • Obstetrician
  • Anesthesiologist
  • Nurse
  • Midwife
  • Hospital
  • Lab technician
  • Medical device manufacturer
  • Pharmacist
  • Pharmaceutical company

Depending upon the facts of your unique birth injury case, any of the parties above may be liable.

Contact a New York Birth Injury Lawyer

Unfortunately, health care providers sometimes make preventable mistakes before, during, or after a baby’s delivery that cause birth injuries. This negligence may lead to a child having a disability that requires costly long-term medical care. If your child has been the victim of a birth injury caused by medical malpractice, you may be entitled to financial compensation.

The New York birth injury lawyers at Finz & Finz, P.C. work with families to seek justice and compensation for birth injuries and medical malpractice. We can help you determine whether your birth injury could have been prevented through proper care. Call now at 855-TOP-FIRM to set up a free, no-obligation consultation.