Unfortunately, birth injuries are prevalent in the hospital each and every year when babies are brought into the world. Parents must be prepared for anything to happen when they go through the birth process, good and bad. During the process, a baby may suffer from a physical injury that is simply the result of being born, or sometimes due to negligence on the part of the provider. Sometimes this has to do with the size of the baby, the special circumstances surrounding the birth, or a difficult or prolonged labor.
Understanding some of the most common birth injuries and how they occur can sometimes lead to better prevention in the first place. My taking preventative care, mothers and doctors can prepare for any situation and possibly save a child’s life.
Caput Succedaneum: This is when soft tissues in the baby’s scalp swell significantly as the baby is passing through the birth canal. However, this can be a pretty common occurrence for babies who are vacuum delivered and bruising of the area should disappear within a few days.
Cephalohematoma: This is an area of bleeding underneath one of the cranial bones. Depending on the size of this occurrence, it could take several weeks for the bleeding to disappear completely.
Bruising/Forceps Marks: Babies will sometimes receive marks and bruising on themselves simply from the birth process. If forceps are used to deliver the baby, they could leave temporary marks on the baby’s face and head. They may even receive some scalp bruising.
Subconjunctival Hemorrhage: This is when a baby’s small blood vessels break in their eyes. This is a very common condition and does not cause any long-term damage.
Facial Paralysis: Pressure put on a baby’s face during birth may cause the facial nerves to become injured. In a couple of weeks, this could improve if the nerve was only bruised. However, in some cases surgery will be necessary.
Brachial Palsy: This occurs when the group of nerves that supply the arms and hands are injured. This happens often when it is most difficult to deliver the baby’s shoulder. If the nerves tear, this could result in permanent damage.
Fractures: Two of the most common fractures that occur during delivery are fracture of the clavicle or collarbone. If there is a breech delivery, there is a higher chance of these accidents occurring. A typical treatment method includes limiting movement of the arm and shoulder.
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Bringing a Claim for an Injury
Let’s say that you believe medical malpractice is part of your case – where do you turn? You must be able to prove your case, first of all. This includes proving that the defendant owed a legal duty to your baby, breached that legal duty by failing to act in a reasonable way, and that it caused harm to your baby. If you win a case, many of the damages awarded as part of a successful lawsuit will go to the child in many cases, sometimes in the form of a trust. Many of the damages will include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and loss of future earning capacity.
The first step in making your claim is speaking to an attorney who is experienced in these types of lawsuits. At Maggiano, DiGirolamo & Lizzi, we are here to handle your case. If your newborn child has suffered at the hands of a negligent caregiver, give us a call today! Act now.