While the last thing an expecting mother wants to do is question her doctor, the sad reality is that mistakes happen, even in the delivery room. Indeed, many situations, if not handled properly or diagnosed quickly, may result in a newborn suffering serious injuries – injuries that otherwise could have been prevented had doctors and other medical staff simply done their jobs correctly.
Some of the most common, and typically preventable, birth-related injuries include:
- Brain Injuries/Cerebral Palsy: Oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) during childbirth can lead to a wide range of problems, including brain-related injuries. In some cases, a brain injury may even result in cerebral palsy, which is a condition that impacts a child’s muscle movements and is often accompanied by chronic seizures.
- Brachial Plexus Injuries/Shoulder Dystocia: The most common brachial plexus injury, shoulder dystocia, occurs when a newborn’s shoulder becomes trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. If the doctor pulls too hard, the brachial plexus nerves may become damaged, resulting in Erb’s palsy.
- Facial Paralysis: If an infant’s face has too much pressure on it during delivery, he or she may experience nerve damage and facial paralysis. This can commonly occur when a doctor uses a vacuum extraction tool or forceps.
- Caput Succedaneum: This is an injury that typically presents as intense swelling of an infant’s scalp. It is usually caused by excessive pressure during delivery, and is often linked to the improper use of vacuum extraction tools.
- Broken Bones: When doctors pull too hard or are simply too forceful, bone fractures are possible. Similar to instances of facial paralysis, bone fractures commonly occur when doctors improperly use vacuum extraction tools or forceps.
Expecting mothers and newborns should not have to pay the price when doctors or other medical professionals make mistakes in the delivery room. If you believe you or your child has suffered a serious injury or long-term medical problem due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse or any other member of the hospital staff, you need to speak with an experienced attorney today. A skilled attorney can explain your rights and help you obtain the justice you deserve.