Law Blog


Taking A Look at Birth Injuries

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A birth injury in Philadelphia is never an experience you want to encounter. Oftentimes, birth injuries are serious enough that they affect the newborn for their rest of their lives, rather senselessly, considering most birth injuries are preventable. There are both natural birth injuries occurring during travel through the birth canal, as well as those caused by man and inadequate medical care.

What is a Birth Injury?

A birth injury is an injury caused to a newborn at birth. Often, excessive use of force and a lack of communication amongst the medical staff are to blame for birth injuries, however, sometimes trouble during the travel down the birth canal may cause an infant to sustain injuries. A mother’s choices during pregnancy may also affect the development of a birth injury in a newborn.

Types of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can affect any of a baby’s organs, limbs, or body parts, and several different types of common injuries are reported every year. Common types of birth injuries include:

– Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral Palsy is probably the most common birth injury diagnosed each year. This condition is a lifelong disease with no treatment, and affects the child’s movement and motor functioning. Damage to the brain is also prominent in Cerebral Palsy cases.

– Erb’s Palsy: Erb’s Palsy occurs in one of every 1,000 births in the U.S. The condition affects the bronchial plexus, affecting a baby’s spinal cord, causing nerve damage to various areas of the body.

– Spina Bifida: Spina Bifida occurs when the embryonic neural tube, the tissues that is responsible for creating the baby’s brain and spinal tube, doesn’t develop. The malformations associated with the condition occur in the lower region of the spine in most cases.

– Cephalohematoma: This condition occurs when forceps are used too forcefully, and causes bleeding in the brain.

Risk Factors for Birth Injuries

Women with difficult pregnancies, who are over the age of 40 during pregnancy, and who use drugs or alcohol during pregnancy are at an increased risk of a natural birth injury. Babies born breech by vaginal delivery are at an increased risk of injury, as are babies who are at a large birth weight. Babies delivered by force, or with forceps, are also at an increased risk of a birth injury.

Do You Need an Attorney?

If your baby was injured due to negligent medical staff, and the injuries could have been prevented, you may have a lawsuit. Although a lawsuit doesn’t change what’s happened to your baby, it does reduce the risk of the same happening to another family in the future. Additionally, filing a lawsuit can recover compensation for damages, pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages, and more. Attorneys offer free, no obligation consultations for anyone who thinks they may have a birth injury lawsuit. Speaking with an attorney for this free consultation helps you better understand the right steps to take after this petrifying incident.