A “birth injury” is defined as any type of damage to an infant’s body, before, during or after birth. Complications in the process of pregnancy, labor or delivery can result in a wide variety of injuries to a newborn baby. Some common types of injuries include paralysis, fractured collarbone, fractured arm, Cerebral palsy, Brain damage, Erb’s Palsy, and Brachial Plexus palsy.
The most serious birth injuries involve damage to an infant’s brain, causing brain damage, Cerebral palsy, seizures, and mental retardation. These brain injuries are caused by oxygen deprivation or bleeding inside of the brain from trauma during pregnancy, labor, or delivery. Medical personnel may be held accountable under certain circumstances, including,
- Improper use of Pitocin during labor
- Failure to interpret and respond to changing conditions of the fetus during labor
- Failure to perform a C-Section in a timely fashion, in the presence of fetal distress
- Failure to deliver the infant when the membranes have been ruptured for too long
- Excessive use of vacuum extraction
Erb’s Palsy is a term used to describe the result of damage to the nerves of the brachial plexus, which arise in the cervical spinal cord and travel to the arm. It often occurs in connection with shoulder dystocia, where the shoulder of the baby gets stuck behind the pubic bone, after delivery of the head. Damage to the brachial plexus nerves can occurs from excessive pulling or traction, in connection with the delivery. As a result, the baby’s arm may not be able to be fully extended or raised over the head. Examples of negligence for shoulder dystocia include:
- Failure to obtain a proper obstetrical history
- Failure to manage diabetes during pregnancy
- Failure to manage excessive weight gain
- Exerting excessive force or traction on the baby’s head
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction during delivery
The attorneys at the Lum Firm should be contacted if your infant has suffered a birth trauma and you suspect those injuries were caused by medical negligence.