Birth Injury in Ohio: Attorney Discusses Medical Negligence as a Factor
Birth Injury Defined
Many people believe that any injuries a newborn might sustain only occur during the actual birth and must be quite evident; however, signs that something is physically wrong with the child may not be immediate or obvious. It could take days, weeks or even months for a parent to recognize that his or her child is not developing normally. The medical staff’s actions or inactions may cause an injury to the baby or even the mother, for which compensation possibly may be sought.
Medical Negligence Leading to Birth Injuries
Doctors, nurses or other hospital employees sometimes may not perform their duties responsibly. Examples in which medical negligence may have existed include:
- A child who has suffered a brain injury due to a lack of oxygen, and a timely C-section was not performed, labor and delivery was prolonged or there was a severe reduction in the mother or fetus’s blood pressure.
- A child with paralysis of the shoulders, arms or hands because of improper delivery, lack of training in applying shoulder dystocia techniques, not performing a C-section when the situation required it or failing to determine in advance that the fetus was too big for the birth canal.
Early warning signs, such as bruising, head swelling or a difficult delivery, may be an indication that your infant is dealing with an injury. If you are unsure whether or not your child has suffered from an injury due to medical negligence, you may want to consult an attorney who can assess the details of your case.
It may be hard to know if a birth injury is the cause of your child’s current medical issues. What may have seemed to be just a difficult delivery or superficial bruise actually may have had more dire consequences to your child’s physical well-being. Medical negligence during your pregnancy and delivery could have played a role, and an attorney may be able to help.
Examples of Birth Injuries
Babies whose shoulders were hard to deliver could have suffered an injury to the nerves associated with their shoulders, arms or hands. An injury to these nerves, known as the brachial plexus, can result in Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s palsy. These conditions can cause paralysis of the upper body limbs. The paralysis may resolve itself over a period of time or may require physical therapy and even surgery to correct the nerve damage. In extremely severe cases, a baby may lose oxygen, which can cause brain damage and/or lead to death.
If your newborn’s muscle tone appears to be too loose or too stiff, it could be a sign of cerebral palsy. Another sign may be uncontrolled reflexes. In older children, cerebral palsy may be displayed as a lack of muscle coordination. This lifelong disability may be a result of damage to the part of the brain that controls muscles or nerves. Cerebral palsy has been linked to birth injuries, primarily from trauma to the head during labor and delivery or oxygen deprivation.
Jaundice is another condition that could be caused by medical negligence. When this occurs, your baby may develop a yellowish-looking tint to their skin, mucus or eyes. This may be an indication of serious health problems in the liver, gallbladder or pancreas.
When It’s Time to Contact an Ohio Birth Injury Attorney
If you think your child may have been injured due to medical negligence, you may be entitled to compensation through a claim. Contact The Becker Law Firm for more information and a free case evaluation by calling (440) 252-4399.