A child being injured at birth can be a very upsetting and challenging time. However, it is crucial for new parents to understand that many birth injuries are preventable and that sometimes they occur due to medical negligence.
Doctors have a duty of care to every patient and are responsible for providing the best care possible, as well as anticipating things that might go wrong. However, doctors do not always admit their mistakes, so it is vital for new parents to be aware of the most common types of avoidable birth injuries and to pursue a lawsuit against the doctor or hospital if they wish to receive compensation.
Traumatic Brain Injuries
A traumatic brain injury suffered at birth can be severe and cause lifelong complications for the child. This type of trauma can occur during delivery and can result in a lack of oxygen reaching the brain and complications including:
- caput succedaneum
- normal head deformity
- subgaleal haemorrhage
- subdural haemorrhage
- subarachnoid haemorrhage
- epidural hemorrhage
Brain traumas are usually caused by medical negligence. If the brain injury was due to medical negligence, the parents are entitled to claim the hospital to help recover expenses for medical care for the child.
Bone fractures during or directly after birth can unfortunately happen, and though these types of injuries are unlikely to cause long term health complications, there may be grounds to claim if they occur because of negligence. A newborn’s skin and bones are very fragile, and if the doctors or nurses do not treat the baby with the appropriate amount of care, they could cause broken bones or fractures. It is the responsibility of physicians to make sure that the babies in their care don’t suffer avoidable harm that could have been prevented if it weren’t for human error.
Brachial Plexus Injury
Brachial plexus injuries affect the nerve network that is responsible for muscle control and feeling in the shoulder, arm, forearm, hand, and fingers. It is possible for an injury to occur that affects these body parts and prohibits them from functioning as they should. This type of damage is more likely if the birth is breech, the labor is long, if the baby’s shoulders are too wide to fit through the birth canal, or if the baby’s neck is stretched to one side. If the nerves become damaged, they can’t carry sensations normally, and the muscle movements may become weak. A child with this type of injury may require corrective surgery, and the sooner it is diagnosed, the more positive the outlook will be.
If you believe your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, the law ensures you have a right to hold health care professionals liable for them. To find out more about your rights, and how to start the process, contact the experienced and knowledgeable birth injury attorneys at Karlin & Karlin today.