Goldberg & Osborne
When it comes to a newborn, there is nothing more devastating to expectant parents than a birth injury. An otherwise happy event is suddenly turned into an uncertain time, with parents anxious for the future of their newborn. Unfortunately, seven out of every 1,000 babies born will suffer from a birth injury. In fact, one out of every 9,714 people living in the U.S. have had a birth injury of some type.
There are two types of birth injury—injury to the mother and injury to the baby. Most injuries to the mother, such as tearing of the perineum, are common in childbirth. Other injuries could lead to devastating complications such as blood loss, sepsis or shock; which can threaten the life of the mother.
If your child suffered from a birth injury, contact our Arizona birth injury lawyers today for a free consultation.
Common Maternal Birth Injuries
If the baby has a large head, or delivers breech, it is common for the vaginal wall to tear in the area between the vagina and the anus. This tearing can result in a fissure that causes considerable pain. It is common for obstetricians to perform an episiotomy to prevent these types of tears. The incision must be done correctly and sutured properly to prevent excessive loss of blood, potentially life-threatening infection and rectal issues.
While a caesarean section delivery may be the best choice for both mother and baby, the potential for complications is much higher for this type of delivery. Excessive bleeding and uterine infection can threaten the mother’s life, as well as lead to sterility or the inability to have additional children. Infection that spreads into the fallopian tubes could lead to ectopic pregnancy in the future.
Common Infant Birth Injuries
Most birth injuries, such as bruises or fractures to the collarbone, heal spontaneously over the weeks after birth. Others leave life-long damage.
Brachial Plexus palsy is recognized by total or partial paralysis in the shoulder, arm and hand. This occurs when the baby’s shoulder lodges against the mother’s pelvic bone. This shoulder dystocia requires the obstetrician to exercise special care. If the shoulder isn’t dislodged very carefully, the damage to the nerves that control the movement of the shoulder and arm can be permanent.
If injury does occur, it is apparent immediately. While appropriate measures may prevent permanent impairment, if nerve damage is severe enough, permanent paralysis may occur.
Cerebral palsy is distinguished by dystonias—sustained muscle contractions which cause contortions and abnormal, sometimes repetitive movements. This birth injury may take years to manifest itself. And connecting it to injury during birth may be more difficult, as many factors can cause the brain damage that causes the muscle contractions.
Symptoms appear as the infant first begins to crawl, becoming more apparent as the child tries to walk. For some children, the symptoms are relatively mild—a foot that tends to curl under—for others the spasms are impossible to control. The tongue is usually involved—leading to slurred speech.
Consequences of Birth Injuries
When a child suffers a birth injury, the family may be faced with a future that involves complicated, prolonged, and expensive care for that child. Making this situation even more difficult is the fact that parents are often left in the dark about the causes which contributed to their child’s condition. The injury may be due to one or more medical mistakes during pregnancy, labor or delivery.
Parents are often left with the incorrect impression that their child simply has a condition that could not have been prevented. A careful review of the care provided throughout pregnancy, during delivery and after birth can reveal situations where a doctor may be liable for damages.
A birth injury lawsuit can be an effective measure against unreasonably dangerous or negligent doctors. An Arizona birth injury attorney can help evaluate a claim against a doctor, nurse or hospital.
Most parents have no way of knowing that what has happened to their child wasn’t inevitable, and many do not know where to begin to search for answers. Parents who have a child suffering from a birth injury should call our Arizona birth injury lawyers now at 1-800-THE-EAGLE (1-800-843-3245) or SUBMIT A SHORT AND SIMPLE CASE FORM HERE.
For more information about how the birth injury attorneys at Goldberg & Osborne may be able to help you, email us now.
Our birth injury lawyers serve: Phoenix, Mesa, Tucson, Chandler, Glendale and all of Arizona.