When many individuals think of the term “birth injury,” they think of cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that impact a child’s brain and spinal cord, which can lead to disabilities such as loss of muscle control and learning delays. Although this condition is often mentioned in discussions of birth injuries, it is only one of many types of birth injury a child can sustain as the result of physician negligence. Below are a few other conditions that can cause an infant and his or her family to suffer substantial damages.
When the nerves of the brachial plexus, the area around the shoulders, is damaged, a child can suffer from a disability of the affected area. Depending on the severity of the injury, this disability can be temporary or permanent, minor or severe. This can be caused by rough or inappropriate handling during delivery. One common type of brachial plexus injury is Erb’s palsy.
A newborn’s bones are very small and thin. During delivery, a newborn can suffer bone fractures as the result of misuse of equipment like forceps or a vacuum extractor, particularly during difficult deliveries. One common site of fractures for newborns is the clavicle, which can heal on its own with monitoring and time.
When a newborn does not receive enough oxygen during delivery, he or she can suffer from perinatal asphyxia. This condition can cause the child to suffer from labored breathing, shock, seizures, or coma. This can occur because of restricted blood flow to the infant or because of an oxygen deficiency in the blood. In some cases, complications related to perinatal asphyxia resolve themselves with time. In others, they cause permanent neurological damage.
When excessive pressure is placed on an infant’s head during delivery, the newborn can suffer from caput succedaneum or the swelling of the scalp. Although the scalp can appear bruised as a result of this injury, it is not life-threatening and will generally heal on its own.
A newborn’s face can be paralyzed or permanently scarred during delivery. In many cases, this injury is linked to difficult deliveries, specifically those that involve a large amount of pressure on the infant during the delivery process. It can appear in infants born with or without the use of forceps. In many cases, facial paralysis in a newborn resolves itself within a few months, but in some cases, the child suffers permanent nerve damage and paralysis of the facial muscles.
Work with an Experienced Brooklyn Medical Malpractice Lawyer
If your child was injured at birth because of a physician or other healthcare provider’s mishandling, work with a member of our team of birth injury lawyers at Peters Berger Koshel & Goldberg, P.C. Contact our firm today to schedule your initial consultation in our office, during which we can examine your case in greater detail to discuss your rights and legal options.