Utah Attorney Discusses Common Birth Injuries That Are Often the Result of Medical Malpractice
The birth of a new baby can be one of the happiest moments in life. When a baby suffers a birth injury, however, it can be devastating. Many birth injuries are unavoidable and not the result of medical malpractice. Other types of injuries, however, suggest medical malpractice may have been involved. If your newborn suffered any of the following types of injuries, you should contact an experienced Utah birth injury lawyer immediately.
Cerebral Palsy is a permanent condition that causes weak and undeveloped muscles and affects an infant's motor functions. It can be caused by trauma and/or lack of oxygen during labor and birth as well as by other complications of pregnancy. Delay in delivery can lead to hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). When this occurs in full term babies, there will be evidence of severe PH abnormalities in the cord blood. There may also be signs of oxygen deprivation on the fetal monitor strip, very low Apgar (Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, and Respiration) scores, and other abnormalities.
Erb's Palsy can also occur as a result of a difficult childbirth or labor. It is a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the main nerves in the upper arm. It can be caused if the head of the infant is pulled to the side when the shoulders pass through the birth canal. It can also be caused by excessive pulling on the shoulders or other complications.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a nerve network that sends signals from the spine to the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands. Injury can occur when these nerves are pulled, stretched, ripped, or compressed during childbirth. Such injuries can vary in severity and are classified in the following categories:
- Erb's Palsy (discussed above)
- Klumpke's Palsy. This affects the lower brachial plexus nerves and occurs when the infant's arm is pulled during delivery.
- Neuropraxia. This is probably the most common type of brachial plexus injury and presents as numbness, tingling, weakness, or burning in the affected area.
- Neuroma. This occurs when scar tissue covers the affected nerves and interferes with the nerves ability to send messages to the muscles.
Cephalohematoma refers to a collection of blood in a newborn infant's head. It can appear as a bulge or bump on a baby's skull and is usually the result of damage to the periosteum. It can be very painful and lead to complication such as cranial pressure, infection, and nerve damage. It may require emergency surgery.
If an infant's face is exposed to excessive pressure during childbirth, the child can experience facial paralysis. This may leave the baby unable to open or close one eye or to make normal facial movements on one side.
If your child has suffered a birth injury, contact an experienced Utah birth injury lawyer today
I am Utah attorney Jared Faerber with nearly 20 years experience helping injured people. I'm happy to talk to you for free to see if I can help. (801) 438-1099.