Birth Injury Medical Negligence Wrongful Death Lawsuits
Arrival of a new baby is a joyous event that most parents await with eager expectations and excitement. While the vast majority of births occur without major complications, in rare occasions, babies are harmed during the birthing process. The injuries sustained while being born are known as birth defects and can range from benign conditions, such as swelling and bruising of tissues, to major traumas, such as fractured bones and overstretched spinal cord. While careful fetal monitoring prior to and during birth greatly decreases the risks of birth defects, no amount of supervision can completely cancel out the danger.
Medical professionals have identified a range of factors that often lead to birth complications and birth defects. For example, large newborn size often makes it hard for the baby to travel through the birth canal, especially if the mother is of small stature. The use of birthing devices, such as forceps and vacuum, during birth also increase the risk of birth injury. Babies who are delivered using a vacuum often develop cephalohematoma bleeding just under the skin of the head. While troublesome, this condition typically resolves by itself as the blood is absorbed by the body. If forceps are used to deliver the baby, he or she might be born with bruises. In addition, forceps sometimes put pressure on the facial nerve, which might affect the newborn's facial expressions. This condition also usually resolves within several days or weeks.
More serious damage is created if the baby sustains major head trauma during the birthing process. If the skull bones are damaged and/or the baby suffers from lack of oxygen, the newborn might develop cerebral palsy. Although rare, this condition is a major birth defect that negatively affects the development of motor functions, such as crawling and walking, advancement of speech, and progress of thinking and memory processes. While therapy and medications can greatly enhance the affected children's quality of life, currently there is no cure for cerebral palsy. The exact cause of cerebral palsy is also unknown; however, certain conditions, such as very low birth weight and premature birth have been linked to the onset of cerebral palsy symptoms.
While the use of the latest medical technologies and techniques have greatly increased the safety of the baby and the mother during the birth, sometimes medical professionals fail to provide adequate care, which leads to serious personal injury, such as hemorrhage, asphyxia and fractures. For example, in cases whereby midwives and/or doctors neglect to notice that the baby is in breech position (buttocks first), they might fail to implement special safety measures required by this birth position. As a result, they might directly or indirectly cause the death of the newborn that might have been avoided.
If the parents suspect that the injuries or death of their baby was caused by medical negligence, they should obtain legal aid to initiate prompt action against the medical personnel responsible for their suffering. While wrongful death cases can be complicated, an experienced lawyer can provide the grieving parents with thoughtful, effective assistance. In addition to revoking the licenses of the negligent medical professionals, a lawyer might be able to obtain a settlement that might help parents rebuild as normal life as possible.
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