Birth Injuries in North Carolina
The birth of a child is one of the most exciting times in a parent’s life. Under the best circumstances, you enter the hospital and leave the next day with your newborn infant to begin your new family life together. Unfortunately, sometimes birth does not go as you had hoped. A mistake made during the delivery process could result in a birth injury to your child. Some birth injuries may be minor, but some are more serious and could even cause a lifelong disability. If your child suffered an injury during labor or delivery, you could be owed money for damages.
Common Birth Injuries
Birth injury is a term that often generally includes physical harm to a child during labor as well as trauma that could occur during delivery. Birth injuries occur due to negligence on the part of the doctor or medical professional.
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Brachial palsy
- Head injuries
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Birth asphyxia, also called perinatal asphyxia, occurs when the brain and other organs of the body do not get enough oxygen during birth. The baby may have little or no oxygen due to a difficult birth or a birth that is taking longer than it should. In cases where the baby is in danger, an emergency C-section may be necessary.
Brachial palsy, also known as Erb’s palsy, is an injury to the brachial plexus, the nerves located near the shoulder. These nerves can be damaged when forceps or excessive pressure is utilized to assist in the birth. Some children may recover from minor damage, while other times, the damage results in permanent paralysis.
Injuries to the scalp, head, or face could occur during birth. This happens most frequently with the use of forceps or when vacuum extraction is utilized to assist the birth. Some swelling or bleeding may occur, which could subside after several days or weeks. Areas of bleeding between the skull and brain, called cephalohematoma, can take several months to improve.
Fractures can occur with the use of forceps or simply when the doctor pulls the baby forcefully. Fractures are most common in the extremities. A newborn could suffer a fracture that must be treated immediately after birth. Broken bones or fractures often heal with no long-term impact on the child.
Negligence by the Doctor
Doctors and other medical professionals have a legal obligation to provide a level of care to their patients. They are held to a higher standard than ordinary people because of their level of education, training, and experience in the medical profession. Doctors can and do sometimes make mistakes, when they do, they could be held accountable for their errors. When a newborn is injured due to the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or other medical professionals, the parents may be owed money for damages.
Damages may include medical expenses caused by the injury, money for pain and suffering, and more. In cases where a child is left with a permanent disability, the ongoing and future medical and care expenses could be astronomical. The negligent party should be responsible for paying these costs as well as for limiting the quality of life of the child.
Birth injuries can be devastating for the parents and family. If your child was injured at birth, you may need to file a claim to seek compensation. Contact us today at Arnold & Smith, PLLC, at (704) 370-2828 to schedule a free consultation.
The skilled personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to maximizing the financial recovery and obtaining justice for every personal injury client injured by another party’s negligence. The issues our personal injury clients may be facing include, but are not limited to, slip and fall injuries, wrongful death, product liability, catastrophic injuries, dog bite claims, car and truck accident injuries, motorcycle injuries, traumatic brain injury (TBI), nursing home negligence, spinal cord injury, boating accidents, and defective medical device injury. Our personal injury attorneys understand the devastating impact such an injury can have on a person’s life, and that the effects so often go beyond physical pain and suffering. The personal injury attorneys at Arnold & Smith, PLLC are dedicated to helping clients determine the strength of their claims, and to aggressively pursuing the means necessary to achieve the best possible end result for each client’s particular situation.
Perinatal Asphyxia | Johns Hopkins Medicine
What Is Erb’s Palsy? (webmd.com)
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