Every parent hopes that their baby’s birth will go smoothly. Unfortunately, several things can go wrong during the labor and delivery process, including traumatic birth injuries. These injuries are caused by the use of excessive force during delivery, overuse of certain drugs and other complications.
Sometimes, these injuries are unavoidable but other times, they are due to negligence. Also, some injuries heal on their own and don’t have long term consequences. However, others lead to permanent conditions and disabilities. If your baby suffered birth trauma, you may be able to claim compensation from the responsible doctor or the hospital.
Let’s look at some of the most common types of birth trauma.
Traumatic Birth Injuries Caused by Misuse of the Forceps or Vacuum Extractor
Doctors sometimes use forceps and vacuum extractors to help guide the baby out of the birth canal. This may be necessary if labor isn’t progressing naturally. These tools help the process, but they can be risky. They must be positioned correctly and the doctor must be careful not to use too much traction. If the vacuum extractors or forceps are misused, they can damage the baby’s skull or spinal cord. Seizures, cerebral palsy and hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy are just some of the injuries that can result from the misuse of these tools.
Injuries Caused by Shoulder Dystocia
Shoulder dystocia refers to when a baby’s shoulder gets stuck during delivery. If this prevents labor from progressing, doctors may apply excessive force to the baby’s head, causing trauma to the skull and spinal cord. Even if the force isn’t excessive, the baby may suffer injuries to the shoulder and neck. If the nerves are stretched or torn, weakness or paralysis can occur in the arm and it may be permanent. Since vaginal delivery in cases of shoulder dystocia can be risky, a C-section is usually safer. If a doctor takes the less safe approach, your Maryland birth injury lawyer may be able to hold them liable.
Birth Trauma Due to Macrosomia and Cephalopelvic Disproportion
When a baby is large for their gestational age, it’s called fetal macrosomia. It’s often caused by gestational diabetes, maternal obesity, and prolonged pregnancy. Macrosomia often occurs along with cephalopelvic disproportion which is when the mother’s pelvis and the baby’s head don’t match in size. Either or both conditions can make vaginal delivery difficult, so a C-section is often recommended. If a vaginal delivery is attempted, the baby may suffer clavicle fracture, brain bleed or facial nerve injuries.
Birth Trauma Caused by Misuse of Pitocin and Cytotec
Pitocin and Cytotec are used to start contractions. However, they can be dangerous to both the mother and the baby because of how intense the contractions are. If the dosage is incorrect or these drugs are used when they shouldn’t, the baby can be harmed by prolonged pushing and forcing. This is called hyperstimulation and it can lead to cord compression, uterine rupture, and oxygen deprivation. This type of injury can cause long-term injuries.
Traumatic Birth Injuries Caused by Abnormal Fetal Presentation
If the baby’s head is not in the correct position for a head-first birth, vaginal delivery can be dangerous. If the baby is in a breech position, their buttocks or legs are set to be delivered first. If a vaginal delivery is attempted, the risk of spinal cord fractures, brain bleeds, and other complications is higher. Babies can also be positioned to present face-first or shoulder first. These presentations can also lead to traumatic injuries and C-sections are highly recommended.
Contact Pinder Plotkin LLC to Discuss Your Traumatic Birth Injuries
If your child sustained an injury at birth because of a doctor’s negligence, you deserve to receive compensation. However, it could be a difficult process and you won’t be able to handle it on your own. You need to seek help from a birth injury law firm in Maryland.
With representation from the attorneys at Pinder Plotkin LLC, you may be able to claim damages for a range of losses and expenses. These include medical costs, expenses relating to physical therapy or rehab, and the cost of assistive care. You can also be compensated for both parents’ loss of income as well as pain and suffering.
The money you get will help you to get your child the medical care they need now and in the future, if necessary. Call us today to schedule a consultation and discuss your case with one of our lawyers. Your first consultation is free, and we won’t charge you until we get you the money you deserve.