The birth of a child should be a happy experience for parents. Unfortunately, that was not the case for the mother of a baby who was injured at birth. The mother has filed a lawsuit in Cook County on behalf of her daughter, who suffered serious birth injuries. The lawsuit alleges negligence and states that insufficient measures were taken to prevent injuries. The suit is seeking damages of more than $50,000 and is filed against two doctors and medical facilities.
The number of birth injuries in the United States has dropped considerably over the last 100 years. Hospitals and medical technology have improved through the years and this has helped reduce the number of infant deaths and birth injuries. However, there are still some infants who suffer birth injuries. An injury at birth is one that is caused by a mistake the doctor makes or by other negligent actions of the doctor or medical team. There are a number of different injuries that can be caused at birth.
· Brachial Plexus Injuries – Injuries can occur to the brachial plexus, the bundle of nerves located near the shoulder and neck. Injuries may be caused by pulling the baby. Minor injuries may heal over time while more severe injuries may result in a lifelong disability.
· Bone Fractures – Large babies pose the most significant risk for bone fractures because they can become stuck during delivery and birth. Bone fractures may occur when the doctor assists the birth by pulling the infant.
· Perinatal Asphyxia – Asphyxia is the lack of oxygen to the brain. A baby can experience perinatal asphyxia during a difficult or prolonged labor. Both babies and mothers must be properly monitored to prevent asphyxia.
· Spinal Cord Injuries – Spinal cord injuries are serious and may mean that the baby is partially or fully paralyzed. These types of injuries can happen when a birth is assisted, particularly if the baby becomes lodged during birth.
· Facial Paralysis – Paralysis of the face can occur when the brachial plexus is damaged or when the nerves are compromised. In severe cases, the baby will never fully regain use of the facial muscles, usually occurring in one side of the face.
Prevention of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are often caused by negligence on the part of the doctor or medical team. Failure to properly evaluate the baby prior to labor can result in a more difficult and prolonged birth. Some injuries can be prevented by performing a c-section. When the doctor needs to use forceps or a vacuum they must be used carefully to avoid injury to the baby. In this case, the mother states that the doctors failed to properly evaluate the baby’s heart rate during labor and delivery. Their negligence resulted in serious birth injuries to the child, which may likely be permanent in nature.
If your baby was seriously injured at birth, consult with the experienced legal team at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case.
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