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Birth Trauma Injury
The birth of a baby is both an exciting and worrisome time for parents. When something goes wrong in the birthing process, it can have devastating and lifelong consequences for the newborn child and the family who are the primary caregivers. At the time of the birth of the child, and where complications have occurred, it is very difficult for the family to ask questions of the medical team as to what has happened. In many instances little information will be volunteered by the medical team. Birth trauma cases are complicated. The birthing process involves several parties and factors, any of which could play a significant role in the unfortunate outcome of a birth trauma. Trying to determine the at fault party and the substandard care is very difficult. In addition to finding out “what went wrong”, one also must show that the action or actions that were below the expected standard of medical treatment was the cause of the birth trauma and lifelong injury.
Birth injuries can include Brachial Plexus injuries (nerve damage which causes paralysis in the arm); fetal and neonatal stroke; Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE); Shoulder dystocia; Spinal cord injuries; Jaundice, Kernicterus and Hyperbilirubinemia; Meconium and Meconium Aspieraton Syndrome; Newborn infections; Seizures; Trauma from forceps and vacuum; Cerebral Palsy; Facial Paralysis. Any of these incidents, and others, may result in a serious physical impairment or brain injury that will irreparably alter the course of the baby’s life resulting in lifelong and expensive needs. The injury could arise due to improper treatment prior to the birth; errors in the birthing process; or develop and be revealed during the first few months after birth.
Injuries from the birthing process can result in very serious lifelong physical and mental/cognitive trauma to the newborn child. Where serious injury has occurred, there can be significant future cost consequences. The prospects of the child and future needs must be assessed. This would include the future loss of income due to the inability to work; medical, rehabilitative and attendant care needs. This is can be extremely daunting trying to determine and calculate future losses. In addition to the child’s losses, birth trauma injuries will often result in financial hardships for the family, particularly parents. Where there is a need for constant care and supervision it will be difficult for a parent to maintain employment. Parents will be concerned about their child’s immediate and future care, and this will also include concerns for the care of their child after the parents are no longer able to assist.
Birth trauma cases are extremely difficult due to the medical complications. While some injury is due to an unfortunate and perhaps unavoidable accident, there are times when the birth trauma is the result of a preventable mistake or some negligence on the part of the delivery team and health professionals. The mistake or negligence can arise where there is a failure to identify or assess a high risk pregnancy; delay or failure to recognize signs that the baby is in distress; improper use of forceps; delay in delivery; the improper administration of medications; the failure to properly monitor mother and child before and during the pregnancy and birth. Given the complications of the birthing process, there are many areas where negligence resulting in serious harm to the baby can occur. A birth trauma lawyer, along with the assistance of medical experts, can review the medical information and assess where an error occurred and further determine whether that error resulted in an avoidable serious harm and lifelong impairment to your child.
If you have concerns about the birth of your child and outcome, and you have concerns for your newborn child’s future, then don’t hesitate; contact our firm to assist you with an assessment of your family’s particular matter.
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