Dallas Birth Injuries & Cerebral Palsy Attorney
Any child’s birth should be a time of great joy and celebration. But, when a serious birth injury occurs due to medical malpractice, the happiness turns to sadness as parents and family members are suddenly faced with a catastrophic bleak future for both the family and the injured child.
About seven in every 1,000 babies in the United States are born with a birth injury. These injuries can occur because of a mother’s illness or pre-existing health condition, complications during delivery or because of negligence on the part of doctors, nurses or hospitals during the delivery process.
Whether your baby survived a serious birth injury or died as a result of an obstetric error, you and your family can experience extraordinary financial strain and stress for many years to account for unforeseen medical expenses, physical therapy, special education needs and specialized medical equipment.
Many families have a tough time coping with all of this stress, both mental and physical.
What Is a Birth Injury?
The terms “birth injury” and “birth trauma” refer to injuries to a baby that occur because of medical complications during labor and delivery.
Common Examples of Birth Injuries
Birth injuries can be mild to severe, from minor bruising to serious nerve or catastrophic brain damage. Serious injuries include:
Facial Paralysis – Pressure on the baby’s face during labor or birth, or the use of forceps during childbirth, may cause injury to a baby’s facial nerves.
If a nerve is bruised, the paralysis will clear up within a few weeks. With more severe nerve damage, it may be necessary to surgically repair the damaged facial nerves.
Nerve Damage Brachial Palsy Injuries (Erb’s Palsy and Klumpke’s Palsy) – these injuries occur when the brachial plexus (a pipeline of nerves that controls movement of the arms and hands) is damaged.
These upper arm nerve injuries often occur from “shoulder dystocia”, when the baby’s shoulders blocks its passage through the birth canal. When the injury is minor, the baby will can recover within three months. In severe cases, there may be permanent nerve damage, and intense physical therapy and surgery is needed.
Bone Fractures – The most common bone fracture is to the collar bone or clavicle, which occurs during difficult births or breech delivery. Usually, the baby recovers quickly once the broken bone is fixed.
Injury to the Brain – A difficult or prolonged birth can cause oxygen shortage to the baby as a result of mother’s blood loss, or the twisting or compression of the umbilical cord. Significant oxygen shortage can cause brain damage, and may result in seizure disorders, cerebral palsy, or mental impairment.
The severity of the injuries is dependent on the amount of oxygen deprivation and in severe cases the baby does not survive.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
Baby injuries are more likely during a difficult or prolonged delivery. The difficulty of delivery is affected by such factors as:
- The baby’s size. Heavy babies can cause difficult or prolonged deliveries. When a baby weighs more than eight pounds, thirteen ounces, birth injury becomes more common. Also, premature babies (those born before 37 weeks) are more susceptible to injury because they are less well developed and more fragile.
- Cephalopelvic Disproportion – This occurs when the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis is not suitable for the child to be born by vaginal delivery and a C section should be performed.
- Difficult labor (“Dystocia”), or prolonged labor.
- The baby’s position – a “breech birth”, where the child’s buttocks or legs are presented first, is more likely to result in birth injury and a C section should be performed.
Medical mistakes can be a significant cause of catastrophic birth injuries. Serious medical mistakes include:
- Failing to recognize birth complications and difficulties with a larger baby, or in cases involving the mother’s health complications;
- Failure to recognize and respond to bleeding;
- Failing to recognize or treat umbilical cord entrapment;
- Failure to recognize fetal distress and failure to properly monitor the baby’s vital signs during labor;
- Failure to recognize the need for a cesarean section (c-section) when medically indicated;
- Failure to take action for a baby whose shoulder is stuck during delivery.
Contact Dr Shezad Malik to discuss a birth injury in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. During this emotionally and financially difficult time, the Dr. Shezad Malik Law Firm can provide important advice to families affected by such birth injuries as cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, and Erb’s palsy.
Children who are affected by cerebral palsy have problems with balance, coordination, fine motor skills or other complex movements. Sometimes, cerebral palsy symptoms, such as seizures or mental retardation, may be present as well.
Cerebral palsy can occur when medical personnel fail to properly monitor a baby’s status during labor and delivery. If the baby does not receive enough oxygen during the delivery process, a severe brain injury can occur which leads to cerebral palsy.
Our birth injury attorneys have the experience necessary to handle your case in a professional and compassionate matter. Contact Dr. Shezad Malik today to schedule your free consultation. We focus on the representation of families whose children have developed a disability as a result of negligent medical care.
Information and commentary provided by Dallas Fort Worth Personal Injury Attorney Dr Shezad Malik. The Dr Shezad Malik Law Firm can be contacted in Dallas toll free at 214-390-3189 ext. 2. If you or a loved one has been injured from a birth injury, please fill out our contact card for a free consultation.