Birth trauma is a generic term used to cover cuts, fractures, and other injuries newborns sustain during labor and delivery. Roughly 2% of all live births in the United States are affected by birth injuries. Your pediatrician in charge of your newborn will inform you of birth injuries that the child has sustained. When you find out your child has suffered a birth injury, contact a birth injury lawyer in Baltimore as soon as possible.
4 Situations Where You Should Hire a Birth Injury Lawyer in Baltimore
1. Facial Paralysis
There are many situations in which you should contact a birth injury lawyer. One condition is facial paralysis. Facial paralysis can occur when pressure has been placed on the infant’s face during labor and birth, injuring the facial nerve. This can occur when forceps are used in the delivery. This injury is most noticeable after the infant cries. There will be no movement on the side of the face with the injury, and the eye can not close.
If the injury is caused by swelling and bruising around the nerve ending, the paralysis may improve within a few weeks. However, if the nerve has been torn, surgery may be required. As a result, it is wise to seek the advice of a professional who specializes in medical birth injuries to asses the damage so that the issue can be treated immediately. Find out more about birth injuries, negligence, and filing a claim.
2. Brachial Palsy
One of the more common birth injuries is brachial palsy. Brachial palsy is a condition that occurs after the nerves supplying the arms and hands, the brachial plexus, are injured during birth. For example, a brachial palsy injury is often sustained when shoulder dystocia occurs, which is trouble delivering the infant’s shoulder. This injury causes the child to lose their ability to rotate or flex their arm, sometimes leading to permanent motor control issues.
The injury may have caused bruising and swelling around the nerves. If so, the child may regain arm movement within a few months. However, tearing of the nerve can cause permanent nerve damage. Seek out a capable birth injury lawyer before pursuing action against the medical personnel because you, as the parent, have the “burden of proof, ” meaning you need conclusive evidence of medical neglect.
3. Broken Bones
Fractures of the collarbone are the most common break during the labor and delivery period. This occurs when there is difficulty delivering the child’s shoulder or during breech births. Thankfully, these breaks heal quickly, but the fracture is painful and limits the child’s arm and shoulder movement.
While broken bones can occur naturally through the birthing process, these bones may be caused by the improper use of birth-assisting tools. Broken bones can also be caused when the attending physician tugs too forcefully on the infant. Additionally, in rare circumstances, a medical professional may even drop the newborn, which may result in broken bones.
During the physical passage through the birth canal, a child can develop bruising and petechiae on the face, head, or other body parts. These can also occur as the child has contact with bones and other tissues in the mother’s pelvis as they make their way into the world. However, using forceps during delivery can leave marks on the head or face, especially when the attending physician has applied too much force.
In addition to injuries caused by forceps, vacuum assistance can cause birth trauma as well. Vacuum extraction, especially when misused or performed poorly, may cause lacerations and bruises on the baby’s scalp. In addition, any open wounds have the chance of developing infections and lasting scarring.
Before Pursuing Action After Birth Injuries
When you know there has been a birth injury, contact a birth injury lawyer before taking any actions against the medical personnel responsible. Your birth injury lawyer will help you gather the evidence needed to prove medical negligence. The evidence can and should include documents from the hospital or health center where the birth occurred.
These documents are necessary to prove that medical negligence has occurred. These documents will be shown at trial. A competent birth injury lawyer will be able to help you gather the correct documentation so that you are successful.
The only thing parents want is for their child to be born happy and healthy without birth defects. The reality is that this doesn’t always occur, and roughly one in 20 newborns will suffer from a birth injury daily. This injury can take future opportunities from your child before they even take their first step. If your newborn has suffered a birth injury, seek out an experienced birth injury lawyer.