Labor during childbirth is painful. You shouldn’t have to make it worse by worrying about birth injuries. But they happen all too often – about seven per 1,000 children born in the United States.
Types of Birth Injuries
Many severe injuries can happen to a baby during the process of giving birth:
- Brain damage. Sometimes the newborn experiences a lack of oxygen to the brain during labor. The results can be mild or severe but get worse the longer the oxygen deprivation exists. Shock, difficulty breathing, coma, or death can occur.
- Cerebral palsy. This disorder affects the muscles and posture. Difficulty focusing on the eyes, walking, and mental cognizance are all symptoms. There are many causes of cerebral palsy – some related to birth injuries and others not. However, one reason may be the lack of oxygen to the brain described above.
- Erb’s palsy. There is a bundle of nerves near the neck that provide movement and feeling to the arm and hand. If these nerves are damaged, the baby may experience loss of motion or arm weakness. The nerve damage can happen when the newborn’s neck is stretched too much to one side during delivery. Often the damage is temporary, but not always.
- Cranial nerve damage. These nerves connect your brain to areas of your head, neck, and trunk. The cranial nerve can be damaged during childbirth if the newborn is improperly rotated or stretched during delivery. The result of this injury can be paralysis of the face or other parts of the body.
- Bone fractures. Babies have about 300 bones, more than the 206 that most adults have. With age, they fuse together. These bones are not yet hardened, especially in the head, and can easily be broken during labor.
- Abdominal wound. During a caesarian section, a physician’s knife can nick the baby’s abdominal area. This can do a lot of damage to a newborn’s liver or other organs.
Proving Medical Malpractice and Damages Available
During labor and all healthcare duties, a physician is required to exercise that level of care that other physicians would carry out under similar circumstances. If they don’t meet this standard of care and your newborn is injured, you may be able to sue for damages. These include economic damages, which are actual expenses incurred as a result of the injury, like the cost of additional medical care and lost earning capacity; non-economic damages such as pain and suffering, loss of companionship and society, and emotional distress; and punitive damages to punish the defendant for their misconduct.
To establish these damages, your healthcare provider must have acted with reckless indifference to you and your baby’s health during delivery. It’s unlikely this is the case under normal circumstances.
Your Jacksonville Birth Injury Attorneys
A new baby is a precious occurrence in your life. If that baby receives temporary or life-changing injuries during delivery, you may be able to sue your doctor or hospital for medical malpractice. Our specialists at The Doctor-Lawyer Firm stand by to represent you in your claim and to do our ultimate to get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (833) 633-6257 or contact us online.