Birth injuries can be devastating for families, causing physical, emotional, and financial hardships. It is important to understand the most common types of birth injuries, how they can be prevented, and what legal options are available if your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence. In this blog post, we will discuss cerebral palsy and other common birth injuries, as well as tips for prevention, detection, and pursuing legal action.
1. Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement, muscle tone, and coordination. It is caused by damage to the developing brain, often during birth. Cerebral palsy can result from a variety of factors, including infections, lack of oxygen, and trauma during delivery. To reduce the risk of cerebral palsy, pregnant women should receive proper prenatal care, including regular checkups and vaccinations. Additionally, healthcare providers should monitor the baby's heart rate during labor and delivery to ensure they are receiving adequate oxygen.
2. Brachial Plexus Injuries
Brachial plexus injuries occur when the nerves that control the movement and sensation in the arm are damaged. This can happen during a difficult delivery, such as when the baby's shoulder becomes stuck behind the mother's pelvic bone (shoulder dystocia). To prevent brachial plexus injuries, healthcare providers should be trained to recognize and manage shoulder dystocia, and may need to use special techniques or perform an emergency cesarean section if necessary.
3. Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
HIE is a type of brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain. This can occur during labor and delivery if the umbilical cord becomes compressed or if there are issues with the placenta. To prevent HIE, healthcare providers should closely monitor the baby's heart rate and oxygen levels during labor and delivery. If signs of distress are detected, immediate action should be taken to ensure the baby receives adequate oxygen and blood flow.
4. Skull Fractures and Brain Hemorrhages
Skull fractures and brain hemorrhages can occur during a traumatic birth, often as a result of improper use of forceps or vacuum extraction. To prevent these injuries, healthcare providers should be trained in the proper use of these tools and should only use them when necessary. If a baby is showing signs of distress, a cesarean section may be a safer option.
5. Detecting Birth Injuries and Pursuing Legal Action
If you suspect your child has suffered a birth injury, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. Early intervention and treatment can improve outcomes for children with birth injuries. Additionally, if you believe your child's injury was caused by medical negligence, you may have legal options. A birth injury attorney can help you determine if you have a case and guide you through the legal process.
- Keep detailed records of your child's medical history and any concerns you have about their development.
- Consult with medical professionals who specialize in birth injuries, such as pediatric neurologists or physical therapists.
- Research your state's statute of limitations for birth injury claims, as there may be a time limit on when you can file a lawsuit.
- Contact a birth injury attorney to discuss your options and the potential for compensation.
Understanding the most common types of birth injuries, as well as their prevention and detection, can help families navigate the challenges that come with these devastating events. If you believe your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence, it is important to seek legal advice from an experienced birth injury attorney. At Angel Law, P.C., we are dedicated to helping families in Portland and the surrounding areas seek justice and compensation for their child's birth injuries. Contact us today for a consultation.