Birth Injuries

Common Birth Injuries

Category: Birth Injuries |

When you’re about to have a baby, you hope that your brand-new infant will be perfectly healthy. However, there are potential complications that may arise during labor and delivery that can lead to serious injury. A birth injury is one that occurs before, during, or after delivery and can be the result of the negligence of a doctor or other medical professional. Some of these injuries will heal with time and proper medical treatment, but other injuries can lead to lifelong disabilities requiring many years of therapy and treatment. Some common birth injuries include: Erb’s Palsy An Erb’s Palsy injury can result from shoulder dystocia which occurs when a baby’s shoulders are too large for the birth canal. If a medical professional uses too much force on the baby’s head during delivery, it can result in stretched or torn nerves. Permanent injury to a baby, such as paralysis of an arm, hand, or finger can result. Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that can sometimes occur when there is a lack of oxygen during delivery or from direct trauma to the brain. Cerebral palsy can cause a variety of symptoms such as muscle spasms, seizures, and developmental delays. This birth injury can result in the need for lifelong medical care. Cerebral palsy can sometimes be the result of a failure by medical personnel to properly monitor the baby during labor, failure to recognize that a C-section is necessary, or the improper use of assistive devices during labor. Brain Injuries Brain injuries are the most serious form of birth injury. Brain injuries are typically permanent and cause physical and mental symptoms such as developmental delays. They can be the result of a lack of oxygen or physical trauma during delivery which sometimes results from the use of assistive devices such as forceps. Fractures Even though a baby’s bones are generally more flexible than an adult’s, they are still very delicate and can be fractured if the baby is not handled carefully and properly during delivery. Cephalohematoma Cephalohematoma typically appears several hours after a baby is born and can be caused by the improper use of assistive devices during delivery. Cephalohematoma is indicated by a bump on the top of a baby’s head that is a sign that bleeding is occurring beneath the cranium. The bump usually clears up in a few months, but there is a risk of complications. Contact a Trusted Attorney If your baby has been injured as the result of negligence, you should consult with an experienced personal injury attorney. Contact the trusted lawyers at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk online or call us at 1-800-753-5203 to schedule your free consultation.

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The Most Common Types of Birth Injury and How To Detect Them

Category: Birth Injuries |

Aggressive Attorney Serving Families of Victims of Birth Injuries in the Tampa Area If you are concerned that your child may have suffered an injury at birth, you need to speak with an attorney about your rights. Many types of birth injuries can have lifelong consequences for newborns and their families. For many families, the financial strain of seeking treatment and addressing long-term needs can be too much to bear. The first step toward recovering from a traumatic birth injury is to obtain a diagnosis that identifies both (i) the cause of the injury, and (ii) the immediate and long-term consequences for your newborn. The following are 10 of the most common types of birth injuries that can entitle families to seek financial compensation from the doctors and hospitals that are responsible. 10 Most Common Types of Birth Injuries 1. Brachial Plexus Injuries The brachial plexus is made up of nerve fibers that run from the spine, through the neck and into the arms. During delivery, if the infant is subjected to excessive force or pressure, the brachial plexus can sustain damage leading to injuries and conditions, including: Erb’s Palsy Klumpke’s Palsy Neurapraxia Neuroma 2. Bone Fractures Bone fractures can result from use of excessive force during delivery, as well. A fractured clavicle (collarbone) is among the most common birth-related bone fractures, though arm, leg, facial, spinal, and other fractures are possible, as well. 3. Cephalohematoma A cephalohematoma is a type of birth injury characterized by the pooling of blood underneath the newborn’s scalp, between the skin and the skull. Cephalohematoma injuries are commonly associated with improper use of forceps and vacuum extraction tools, though other errors during both natural and C-section deliveries have also been known to cause cephalohematomas. 4. Caput Succedaneum Caput succedaneum injuries are characterized by swelling which appears as a lump or bump on a newborn’s head shortly after delivery. They are most commonly caused by prolonged pressure on the fetus during labor. The likelihood of an infant suffering from caput succedaneum increases if the amniotic sac ruptures early in the birthing process. 5. Perinatal Asphyxia Perinatal asphyxia is a potentially dangerous condition that results from disruption of the infant’s oxygen supply during labor or delivery. For newborns, this oxygen deprivation can lead to physical injuries, commonly including damage to the brain. Acidosis, cerebral palsy, and seizures are all potential consequences of perinatal asphyxia as well. 6. Intracranial Hemorrhage Intracranial hemorrhage refers to bleeding within the skull. Trauma during delivery and birthing errors that cause damage to the blood vessels and arteries in the brain are common causes of intracranial hemorrhages. Cerebral hemorrhage (bleeding within the brain) and hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding caused by a torn blood vessel) are two common types of intracranial hemorrhage. 7. Subconjunctival Hemorrhage Subconjunctival hemorrhage is a condition that occurs when there is damage sustained to the blood vessels under the conjunctiva (the clear surface of the eye). While subconjunctival hemorrhage can have many causes among infants, subconjunctival hemorrhage most commonly results from trauma or physical stress during the delivery process. 8. Facial Paralysis Trauma during delivery can also lead to facial paralysis. One form of facial paralysis is Bell’s palsy, which typically affects one side of the face (though in some cases it can affect both). Bell’s palsy and other forms of facial paralysis can lead to blindness, loss of sense of taste, and other sensory impairments. 9. Spinal Cord Injuries Birth-related spinal cord injuries can result from trauma during delivery, or from failure to diagnose spina bifida – a condition in which the vertebrae in a fetus’s spine do not fully enclose the spinal cord. Most birth-related spinal cord injuries occur in the neck area; and, generally speaking, the higher on the spine an injury occurs, the more severe the consequences will be. 10. Cerebral Palsy Cerebral palsy is a birth injury that results from malformation of the brain before, during, or after delivery. Cerebral palsy can affect a newborn’s muscle control, coordination, and balance, and can have numerous other long-term consequences as well. Spastic cerebral palsy, athetoid cerebral palsy, and ataxic cerebral palsy all have different symptoms and prognoses. How to Detect Common Birth Injuries For new parents, detecting birth injuries can be difficult. Your newborn is not able to communicate his or her pain or discomfort, and in some cases doctors who are responsible for causing birth injuries may not be fully forthcoming about the potential consequences of their mistakes. You need to obtain a prompt and thorough medical diagnosis, but if you suspect that medical malpractice is to blame for your newborn’s injury, you are understandably wary about asking another doctor in the same facility for help. Nonetheless, you need to seek medical attention for your newborn, and it is important to keep in mind that there are many doctors who have sustained long careers without making the types of mistakes that led to your new child’s injury. The following are all potential symptoms of various birth injuries that may require prompt medical attention: Abnormal reflexive responses Anemia Disfigurement of the arms, shoulders, legs, or back Jaundice Lack of sensory response Swelling or bruising around the skull As your child grows, it is possible that you may begin to notice symptoms of a birth injury that were not observable at earlier stages in his or her development. Among toddlers and young children, additional symptoms of different forms of palsy and other birth injuries include: Behavioral issues Bladder control problems Developmental delays Emotional instability Lack of coordination or muscle control Poor eyesight Speech impediments Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), x-rays, mental health screening, and other forms of diagnostic testing may be necessary to identify a child’s birth injury and the specific cause behind it. If you are not sure how to get the testing your child needs, the legal professionals at Abrahamson & Uiterwyk can help. Contact Abrahamson & Uiterwyk in Tampa, FL about Your Child’s Birth Injury If you are concerned that your child may have sustained an...

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The Tiniest Victims: What to Do When Your Child Suffers Birth Injuries

Category: Birth Injuries |

It’s believed that for every 1,000 babies born in the United States, five will suffer an injury during birth. Not only can this cause untold suffering to the child and their parents, but birth injuries may result in the need for lifelong care. How do you cope when this catastrophic event affects your child, and is there any way to get justice? Read on for the answers. Get the medical help your child needs As a parent of a child who was injured during birth, your baby must be your primary focus at this time. Do everything you can to get the medical help they need, whether it be surgery, physical therapy, medication, or any other recommended form of treatment. Keep careful records Get every piece of information you can surrounding the child’s birth and resulting injury. This includes the name and contact information of any doctors, nurses, technicians, anesthesiologists, and other healthcare professionals who were present at the time. Gather hospital records about your child’s diagnosis, prognosis, and course of treatment. Track every bill you receive Keep track of any and all expenses related to your child’s birth injury. This includes bills from the hospital, doctor, and other parties for the birth itself, as well as the resulting treatment. Keep receipts for prescriptions, transport costs to and from follow-up doctor visits, specialist consultations, and medical equipment. Also take notes on how much the birth injury is costing you in regards to your job, including lost time and wages, vacation or sick days you sacrificed, or promotions you had to forego. Call an experienced birth injury attorney Birth injuries can be agonizing to deal with, but you do not have to fight this battle alone. Call an experienced, compassionate attorney to help fight for the justice you deserve, and the birth injury lawsuit your child may need to heal. Get help from caring Tampa birth injury lawyers. If your child was the victim of a birth injury, we want to help you. The staff of Abrahamson & Uiterwyk is available 24 hours a day / 7 days a week, and can be reached at 1-800-753-5203. Once you go over your case with us in a free evaluation, we’ll know better how to help you and your child. Call us today.

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Understanding Birth Injury Lawsuits in Florida

Category: Birth Injuries |

According to the National Vital Statistics Reports Expanded Health Data From the New Birth Certificate, 2006 a number of pregnancy risk factors are identified. These include diabetes, hypertension, medication, infection and labor. The form also identifies whether forceps or vacuum extraction was used, whether labor was induced or birth was by cesarean section. Recognizing the Need The state of Florida recognized that there are risk factors associated with pregnancy and birth. It understands that these birth injuries may involve significant cost to both the parents and obstetric physician. The goal was to enact legislation that would work to eliminate the financial burden and promote care of a child with a birth injury. In 1988, the Neurological Injury Compensation Association (NICA) looked to address that need. Florida’s Malpractice Lawsuit Alternative This Florida-based organization works to stabilize medical malpractice insurance for obstetricians. To qualify for the benefits provided under NICA, the mother must be treated by a participating obstetrician and give birth in a hospital. NICS will evaluate whether the child’s neurological injuries sustained during birth are covered under the statute. The NICA website provides a listing of participating obstetricians. The funds provided by NICA are used to provide necessary care to the injured child. This care can include equipment, medication and travel. Florida Statutes The Florida Law that addresses the filing of claims and responses relating to infants injured at birth is found in Chapter 766.305. This law provides information to be provided in the petition, who should receive a copy of the petition, information to be provided to NICS, and procedures to be followed after filing. Under this law, all medical records, prognosis and evaluations, documentation of expenses and reimbursement from any private or government source must be provided to NICS within 10 days of filing the petition. Call Our Injury Law Team 24 Hours a Day / 7 Days a Week It can be difficult to prove that a child suffered a birth injury due to negligent actions by medical staff. Some Florida parents may believe that their child was a victim of neurological damage due to malpractice and may wish to contact an attorney to help them determine what action to take. Abrahamson & Uiterwyk has the experience to provide legal guidance. Call today at 1-800-753-5203 for our free initial consultation and case evaluation.

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