Birth Injuries Every Move Matters

Orlando Birth Injury Attorney

Get Unique Insight from a Birth Injury Lawyer Who Is Also a Medical Doctor

Injuries that occur to a mother or baby during birth may last a lifetime. 

Many birth injuries are simply known complications of the natural process of labor and delivery; however, in some circumstances, the obstetrical team may not recognize fetal distress in a timely manner or promptly arrange for a cesarean section to perform an emergency delivery.

The result of nursing or obstetrical negligence can lead to catastrophic injury to a child, including hypoxic brain damage, mental incapacitation, physical impairment, and cerebral palsy. The mental and physical disabilities to a newborn may be permanent and financially burdensome.

If you or your child has suffered a birth injury at the hands of a negligent doctor, you have the right to seek compensation. Our birth injury attorney in Orlando will review your case for free and help you understand your rights when you call (407) 305-6088 or contact us online.

Common Types of Birth Injuries

A birth injury refers to any physical damage or harm that occurs to a newborn during labor, delivery, or shortly after birth. These injuries can happen due to various factors, including the size or position of the baby, the duration of labor, medical complications, or the use of medical instruments during delivery.

Common types of birth injuries include:

  • Cerebral Palsy: It's a group of disorders affecting movement and muscle coordination. Cerebral palsy can be caused by brain damage before, during, or shortly after birth due to oxygen deprivation, infections, strokes, or trauma.
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries: These affect the network of nerves controlling the arm and hand, often resulting in conditions like Erb's palsy or Klumpke's palsy. It can happen when there's excessive stretching or pressure on the baby's shoulder or neck during birth.
  • Hypoxic-ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE): This is a type of brain injury caused by oxygen deprivation and reduced blood flow to the brain before, during, or after birth. It can lead to long-term neurological issues if not promptly treated.
  • Shoulder Dystocia: This occurs when a baby's shoulder gets stuck behind the mother's pelvic bone during delivery. It can lead to complications like brachial plexus injuries or fractures.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Injuries to the spinal cord during birth can cause various degrees of paralysis or impairment depending on the severity and location of the damage.
  • Caput Succedaneum or Cephalohematoma: These are conditions where there's swelling or bleeding in the baby's scalp, often caused by pressure exerted during delivery. Caput succedaneum involves swelling of soft tissues, while cephalohematoma is bleeding below the skull's periosteum.
  • Facial Nerve Injuries: Damage to the facial nerve during birth can lead to facial paralysis, known as Bell's palsy. This condition causes weakness or paralysis on one side of the face.
  • Fractures: Bone fractures, most commonly collarbone (clavicle) fractures, can occur during difficult deliveries, especially if excessive force is applied or if the baby is in an awkward position during birth.
  • Intracranial Hemorrhage: Bleeding inside the baby's skull can happen due to trauma during delivery. Severe cases can lead to brain damage.
  • Perinatal Asphyxia: Oxygen deprivation during birth can lead to perinatal asphyxia, causing brain damage or other serious complications if not promptly treated.

These injuries can range from mild to severe and may necessitate immediate medical attention and ongoing care. Prompt diagnosis and treatment are crucial to managing and minimizing the long-term effects of birth injuries.

Common Causes of Birth Injuries

Improper Use of Forceps and Vacuums

The improper use of forceps and vacuum extractors is one of the most common causes of preventable birth injuries. Forceps and vacuum extractors are medical instruments used to help guide a baby through the birth canal during delivery. If these instruments are used improperly, they can cause serious injury to both the mother and the baby, such as lacerations, skull fractures, or nerve damage.

Failure to Monitor Fetal Heart Rate

During labor and delivery, it is important for doctors to closely monitor the baby's heart rate in order to detect any signs of distress that may indicate a potential complication with the baby's health. If these signs are not detected early enough, it can have catastrophic consequences for the baby.

Delay in Performing an Emergency C-Section

In some cases, labor can become too difficult or dangerous for a vaginal delivery and an emergency C-section must be performed in order to safely deliver the baby. If this procedure is delayed due to negligence on the part of medical staff, it can lead to a number of serious complications and injuries.

Failure to Diagnose Pregnancy Complications

It is important for doctors to monitor pregnant women closely throughout their pregnancies in order to detect any potential issues, such as preeclampsia or gestational diabetes. If these conditions are not diagnosed early enough, they can lead to serious injury or even death for both mother and baby. 

Improperly Administering Medications

Doctors often administer medication during labor in order to ease pain or reduce stress on the mother's body during childbirth; however, if these medications are administered incorrectly, it can lead to serious complications for both mother and baby, such as respiratory distress or low blood pressure levels. 

Excessive Pulling During Delivery 

While gentle pulling may be necessary at times in order to assist with delivering a healthy baby, excess force can put undue strain on both mother and child, which can result in serious injury, such as broken bones or nerve damage. This is a common cause of brachial plexus injury and Erb's palsy.

Who is Liable for a Birth Injury?

Determining liability for a birth injury can be complex and depends on the circumstances surrounding the injury. Several parties could potentially be held liable:

  • Healthcare Providers: Obstetricians, nurses, midwives, and other medical professionals involved in the childbirth process may be held liable if their actions or decisions result in a birth injury. For instance, if there's a failure to recognize fetal distress or improper use of delivery instruments leading to injury, the healthcare providers involved could be held accountable.
  • Hospitals or Healthcare Facilities: Hospitals or birthing centers can also be held liable for birth injuries, especially if there are issues related to inadequate staffing, faulty equipment, or policies that contribute to the injury.
  • Pharmaceutical Companies: If a birth injury is linked to a medication or drug prescribed during pregnancy that was later found to be defective or had undisclosed risks, pharmaceutical companies might be held liable.
  • Other Parties: Sometimes, liability can extend to other parties, such as manufacturers of medical devices or equipment used during delivery. If a product was faulty or malfunctioned and caused the birth injury, the manufacturer might be held responsible.

Proving liability often involves thorough investigation, medical expertise, and legal evaluation. It's essential to demonstrate that the injury was a direct result of negligence, malpractice, or a defective product, and that it caused harm to the newborn or the mother.

Cases involving birth injuries are often complex, requiring the expertise of legal professionals specializing in medical malpractice or personal injury law. They assess the circumstances, collect evidence, consult medical experts, and pursue legal action on behalf of the affected parties to seek compensation for medical expenses, ongoing care, pain and suffering, and other related damages.

Expensive Lifetime Care

Most parents are emotionally and financially overwhelmed by the birth of a child with significant, permanent injuries. Birth injuries can result in an extraordinary financial burden to the victims and their families. The loss of wages and costs of a lifetime of care for a permanently disabled child may be devastating. 

The pain and suffering experienced by these individuals can seem unbearable and insurmountable. Therefore, many families rightfully seek qualified legal representation to file a valid claim for compensation.

A qualified birth injury lawyer in Orlando can assist you in determining whether reasonable medical care was provided during your child’s delivery. If the injury was caused by negligence, the offending health care provider could be held accountable.

Filing a birth injury lawsuit could help you recover compensation for:

  • Specialty residential care
  • Long-term need for medications
  • Necessary therapies
  • Continuing education
  • Funeral expenses

As an example of the economic impact, the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) reported in 2003 that the average lifetime cost of caring for a child with cerebral palsy was $921,000. This figure does not include out-of-pocket expenses such as:

  • Hospital confinement or residential care
  • Adaptive equipment
  • Leg braces, walker, or wheelchair
  • Medication
  • Housing modifications such as wheelchair access

Learn More in a Free Consultation

If you are in the Central Florida or Orlando, Florida area and your child was injured during delivery or has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy as the result of suspected medical negligence, don't wait to discuss your options with an Orlando birth injury lawyer at the Law Offices of Michael Barszcz, M.D., J.D.

Mr. Barszcz is a medical doctor and experienced civil trial attorney who represents injured children and their families. His experience as a former defense attorney for hospitals, physicians, and insurance companies provides a unique insight into the evaluation of all medical claims.

 Has your child suffered a serious birth injury as a result of medical negligence? Contact Mr. Barszcz to discuss your case free of charge. Call (407) 305-6088 or contact our firm online to get started.

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