The birth of a child should be one of the most joyful days in the life of a parent. Yet for some parents, the joy turns tragic when the baby suffers a serious injury during birth. There are a number of different types of injuries that may occur due to the negligence of the doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals attending to labor and delivery. Of the injuries that could happen, spinal cord injuries are among the most severe. A spinal cord injury could cause a permanent disability and the child may require lifelong care.
Spinal Cord Injuries
A spinal cord injury can happen during the birth process. A breech or transverse position is likely the most common reason that a spinal cord injury may occur. Traction on the baby’s trunk or twisting the trunk can put stress on the spinal cord and can injure it. The doctor must try to manually manipulate the baby’s position which can cause injuries. The best way to avoid these types of injuries is to properly evaluate the baby’s position prior to labor and delivery.
A spinal cord injury can range in severity depending on the circumstances of occurrence. A minor pull or stretch injury may heal over time and the symptoms may not be painful. If the spinal cord is severely pulled or twisted it could cause paralysis. Varying degrees of injury could allow movement but the limb may be painful or may have reduced feeling or a tingling sensation. These problems may or may not improve.
Diagnosis and Treatment
When a baby suffers a spinal cord injury the symptoms will be present immediately. The baby will show symptoms that may include the inability to move some of his limbs. The baby may score low on the Apgar test, which is an indication of a medical problem. Testing will be required to determine the extent of the injury and a treatment plan will need to be established. Sometimes the scope of the problem will not be immediately known. The infant may require physical therapy or other treatments to assist in movement.
Prevention of Spinal Cord Injuries
Injuries such as those to the spinal cord can be prevented with adequate prenatal care and continuous monitoring. When a baby is turned when labor begins it can present a serious challenge and the potential risk for injuries. The doctor should decide the best way to proceed in such a case. One possible way to prevent injuries to the baby is by performing a c-section. This will allow the baby to be removed without injury. In some cases, an emergency c-section will be necessary.
Resolving Birth Injuries
Birth injuries are certainly unexpected. When they do occur they can cause emotional, physical and financial demands on parents. Birth injuries caused by the mistake or neglectful act of the doctor or other medical staff are considered medical malpractice. The parents may be able to seek damages to cover the high costs of medical care and treatment as well as compensation for a loss of quality of life. If your infant was injured at birth do not delay. Contact the skilled lawyers at Levin & Perconti to discuss your case.
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