Childbirth is an emotional, intimate moment for new parents. Unfortunately, there are plenty of cases where, during the birth process, the newborn may suffer a physical injury. Parents need to know their rights to check their child’s medical records if they suspect that medical malpractice caused the damage. In our following guide, we’re sharing some top facts on birth injuries and what one can do when facing this complex scenario.
The Main Causes behind Birth Injuries
No parent walks into the hospital during childbirth expecting the worst-case scenario. However, one of the primary ways families can reduce the chances of dealing with this complex situation is to plan with their attending medic and check for any obstetrical risk factors before birth. A difficult birth can happen because the baby weighs over 8 pounds or 4 kilograms, or labor has started before 37 weeks. Other common factors detected during these cases occur when the mother’s pelvis doesn’t have the ideal conditions for natural childbirth, maternal obesity is present, or labor has extended for more than 12 hours. However, if medical professionals cannot deal with these factors and make mistakes during the procedure, the chances of suffering any birth injury increase significantly.
Most Common Birth Injuries
During vaginal birth, there’s a chance that the baby’s shoulders might get stuck along the mother’s pelvic bone. If this happens, it can cause several birth injuries like Klumpke’s palsy, Erb’s palsy injury, skeletal fractures, among other affections. While these are the most common birth injuries, the list isn’t comprehensive, and other complications may happen during childbirth. If no nerves are compromised, the baby only requires special exercises to recover arm movement and monitor how swelling and bruising evolve during the following days and weeks. Unfortunately, when the broken shoulder ends up tearing a nerve, it can cause permanent nerve damage to the newborn, and here is where parents should be on high alert if the medical professional’s performance had anything to do with the injury.
When Should I Seek Legal Compensation
You should first determine the cause of your or your baby’s injury and confirm by another doctor that it was due to medical malpractice. Suppose your baby is suspected of having suffered from a neurological condition during childbirth. In that case, it’s highly advisable that you ask for the hospital’s medical records and seek advice from a medical malpractice attorney. Thanks to the registries, it’s possible for a legal attorney to identify signs of potential medical malpractice and build a case for economic compensation. For reference, medical costs for children with any degree of cerebral palsy can cost ten times more than a child without that condition. Therefore, mothers should use all the resources available to know their best legal options to move forward in such a complex scenario.
Once the baby arrives, all families deserve peace and tranquility to plan their next step. Still, if they’re faced with such a devastating situation, they must get legal advice for a thorough evaluation of their case and learn about their options and resources.