Birth Injuries: Causes, Consequences, and Legal Options

Understanding Birth Injuries, Their Causes, Consequences, and Your Legal Options

By VSCP LAW

A birth injury can occur before, during, and/or immediately after childbirth. A birth injury can harm the baby as well as the mother. Below we’ll discuss some of the general categories in which a child could suffer a birth injury. For each of these categories, your legal options include filing a birth injury lawsuit and collecting compensation. The best person to help you do so is a medical malpractice attorney who specializes in birth injury cases. Here are three general categories of birth injury lawsuits.

 

 Brain Injury

 The brain is one of the most delicate organs during childbirth. It is also the most important organ in a person’s body because it controls the bodily functions as well as the cognitive processing. Thus, birth injuries resulting in brain damage can be the most devastating of any birth injury. There are a variety of brain injuries including hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE or, also, perinatal asphyxia), brain bleeds (hemorrhages or hematomas), periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), kernicterus, cerebral palsy, caput succedaneum, and hydrocephalus. Many of these are caused by hypoxia or a lack of oxygen in the blood.

 

 “Baby Born Blue”

Sometimes after birth, a baby will appear to be blue in color. This blue skin tone is due to a lack of sufficient oxygen to support healthy red blood cells. (Blood cells are only red when they have enough oxygen.) It’s actually common for a baby to appear blue immediately after birth and then to take a breath, which makes the blue tone disappear. If the appearance of blue skin remains for several minutes after the birth, this could be indicative of a more serious medical problem.

 A baby could be born blue because of issues during the labor and delivery that were not managed by her health care team. 

 

Erb’s Palsy and Brachial Plexus

 The brachial plexus is a series of nerves near the neck that provide movement and feeling to the shoulder, arm, and hand. Erb’s palsy describes the weakness and loss of motion in these body parts. Erb’s palsy is the most common type of brachial plexus palsy. This physical injury can result from difficult deliveries, such as with a large baby or where the baby was in breech position. The injury can also result from a prolonged or delayed labor — or when the person assisting the delivery exerted excessive force in pulling the baby from the birth canal.

 Birth injuries can be tragic, but parents of children who suffered birth injuries are not without legal options. If you believe your child suffered a birth injury, contact the attorneys at VSCP Law.

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