Orlando Birth Injury Lawyer

What Are the Types of Birth Injuries

Obstetrical doctors and nurses are trained to look for signs of fetal distress during labor and delivery, and to act quickly when they are identified in order to avoid injuring the baby and mother. Failure to identify and respond to these signs can result in a devastating and preventable birth injury with lifelong consequences. Similarly, improper use of birth-assisting tools such as vacuum extractors and forceps, or improper use of birth-assisting drugs like Pitocin, can also cause lasting harm to a baby. If you believe your child’s birth injury resulted from the error of a healthcare professional or hospital, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice claim. Doctor negligence can result in the following preventable birth injuries:

  • Cerebral palsy, resulting in permanent damage to movement, posture and muscle tone
  • Cephalohematoma, resulting in bleeding beneath an infant’s scalp
  • Caput succedaneum, a swelling of the newborn’s scalp caused by prolonged pressure during birth
  • Brachial plexus injuries, affecting the nerves of the shoulder, arm and hand
  • Brain injuries, resulting from a lack of oxygen to the baby
  • Bone fractures, caused by excessive and overly-forceful pulling during delivery
  • Fetal stroke, resulting from birth asphyxia
  • Spinal cord injury, often resulting from a missed diagnosis of spina bifida
  • Facial paralysis, in which excessive pressure damages a baby’s facial nerves

What Are the Most Common Consequences of Birth Trauma

Birth injuries can result in lifelong physical and cognitive disability, which can have a huge impact on not just the victim, but their family as well. Expensive, ongoing medical treatment may be required throughout the child’s life. As the child grows, they may require caregivers and other resources to accommodate their special needs. Parents may have to give up their jobs in order to provide full-time care to the child. With so many financial burdens, it is important to take legal action to hold negligent doctors accountable for their error.

What Is the Most Common Cause of Birth Injuries?

Oxygen deprivation, also known as asphyxiation or birth asphyxia, is one of the most common causes of birth injuries. Asphyxiation often leads to hypoxia or anoxia, two conditions involving reduced oxygen supply to organ tissues. Both hypoxia (insufficient oxygen supply, despite adequate blood flow) and anoxia (no oxygen supply, despite adequate blood flow) can result in serious complications, including brain damage. Put simply, when oxygen levels fall too low during the birthing process, infants can quickly suffer serious and sometimes lifelong birth injuries. Some of the common causes of insufficient oxygen supply during birth include:

  • Too little oxygen in the mother’s blood
  • Early separation of the placenta
  • Umbilical cord complications, such as the cord becoming wrapped around the baby’s neck
  • Maternal infections, especially when they are not treated
  • Blocked or malformed airways
  • High or low maternal blood pressure
  • Preeclampsia (high maternal blood pressure) and eclampsia
  • Severe jaundice and/or kernicterus
  • Physical damage to the infant during delivery
  • Improper use of vacuum extractors/forceps
  • Prolonged labor/failure to order a timely cesarean section (C-section)

What Are the Effects of Oxygen Deprivation During Birth?

Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are responsible for monitoring the health of the baby during the labor and delivery process. When they fail to do so, they can miss signs of fetal distress. Failure to react and correct poor oxygen supply during birth can have devastating consequences for the child and his or her parents. Some of the effects of poor oxygen supply to the infant during birth include:

  • Brain damage
  • Cerebral palsy
  • Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE)
  • Epilepsy and seizure disorders
  • Behavioral disorders
  • Learning disabilities and cognitive delays

A child who suffers birth asphyxia may struggle in reaching developmental milestones and could have difficulties caring for him/herself for the remainder of his or her life. Immediate treatment for resulting issues can be incredibly expensive – and the lifetime cost of caring for a child with serious physical or cognitive limitations can be exorbitant. You and your family should simply not have to put up with the immense burdens of a medical professional’s negligence on your own.