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Birth Injuries and Your Baby


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Protecting your baby comes first for parents and doing everything in your power to prevent birth injuries is a top priority for all mothers and fathers. Read about what you can do to protect your newborn from birth injury and the next step if it does occur.

Published in: Health & Medicine
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Birth Injuries and Your Baby

  1. 1. + BIRTH INJURIES & YOUR BABY A look at injuries during labor and delivery.
  2. 2. + Coping With Birth Injuries Birth injuries can result in the suffering of a child that will last a lifetime, as well as the suffering of that baby’s family. In order to provide a child with the semblance of a normal life, families will often face overwhelming medical bills. The most tragic thing about birth injuries caused by medical malpractice and negligence is that they could have been prevented with the proper medical care.
  3. 3. + Common Birth Injuries Some common birth injuries include:  Cerebral Palsy  Shoulder dystocia  Brachial Plexus Injury  Hypoxia (or oxygen deprivation) The National Healthcare Quality Report tells us that there are 6 to 8 birth injuries for every 1,000 babies born.
  4. 4. + Cerebral Palsy (CP)  The Center for Disease Control defines Cerebral Palsy as a group of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move and maintain balance and posture.  CP can be caused by lack of oxygen during childbirth.  There are four main types of CP - Spastic, Ataxic, Dyskinetic and Mixed  There is no cure for CP.  The main indicator that a child has CP is a delay in reaching motor or movement milestones.
  5. 5. + Brachial Plexus Injury  Erb’s Palsy is a form of brachial plexus injury, meaning injury to a group of nerves around the neck, often leading to weakness in the shoulder or limbs. The nerves control arm, wrist, shoulder and finger movement.  One or two of every 1,000 babies have this condition.  10% of babies with Brachial Plexus Injury will require some form of intensive medical treatment including, nerve transplant surgery, botox injection, shoulder joint operations as well as physical and occupational therapy.
  6. 6. + Shoulder Dystocia  Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby’s shoulders become stuck in the birth canal during a vaginal delivery.  Some instances of shoulder dystocia can be detected prior to delivery.  Injuries to mothers include postpartum hemorrhage and fourth- degree lacerations.  Injuries to the body include brachial plexus injuries and lack of oxygen causing brain damage.
  7. 7. + Hypoxia  Hypoxia is a low level of oxygen, especially dangerous to the brain of a baby.  Hypoxia can occur during labor and delivery.  Oxygen deprivation to the brain can result in brain tissue damage.  One of the biggest dangers of hypoxia is the development of CP.
  8. 8. + When Negligence is the Cause of Birth Injuries As you can see, many of the injuries that can occur during birth can be interrelated. In some cases, negligence is the cause of such injuries. Negligence and malpractice may involve:  Oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery  Prescription drugs (such as SSRIs) given to the mother before or during pregnancy  Failure to use proper delivery techniques  Failure to perform a C-section in a timely manner  Improper use of delivery instruments (such as forceps and vacuum).
  9. 9. + The True Costs of Birth Injuries  The most obvious consequence of a birth injury is the suffering of the child and the family. There can be serious lifelong ramifications of birth injuries that affect the child’s quality of life. There are also likely to be major, ongoing medical expenses incurred in treating the birth injury.  Medical, home nursing and rehabilitation expenses for a child born with cerebral palsy cost millions of dollars.  That figure does not include other expenses, lost wages or psychological effects on the child and parent.
  10. 10. + If Your Baby’s Injuries Were The Result of Medical Malpractice or Negligence… Please contact Wapner, Newman, Wigrizer, Brecher & Miller today to schedule a free initial consultation with our experienced birth injury lawyers in Philadelphia. Here are some of the actual results that we have achieved for our clients.
  11. 11. + $7 Million Settlement in Birth Trauma Case Marc Brecher successfully obtained a $7 million settlement on behalf of a child who suffered brain damage due to lack of oxygen while her mother was in labor. Brecher’s Complaint alleged the attending obstetrician failed to properly interpret the fetal heart rate monitor tracing strips, which demonstrated that the baby was in fetal distress during the last two and half hours of labor.
  12. 12. + $5 Million Settlement for Child Injured at Birth due to Improper Use of Forceps Marc Brecher obtained a $5,000,000 settlement for a child who suffered intraventricular and subarachnoid hemorrhage due to the inappropriate use of forceps at the time of delivery. During the delivery, the attending physician used forceps on the baby’s head without appropriately locking the forcep blades.
  13. 13. + $5.8 Million Settlement in Obstetrical Malpractice Case Marc Brecher settled an obstetrical malpractice claim filed on behalf of a baby who suffered irreversible brain damage at birth. The baby was “twin B.” Shortly after twin A was delivered vaginally, it became apparent that twin B was suffering fetal distress. Instead of ordering an emergency Caesarean section, which would have resulted in delivery within 5 to 10 minutes, the obstetrician opted to wait for a spontaneous vaginal delivery, which took an additional 35 minutes and caused the second twin to suffer brain damage.
  14. 14. + $5 Million Settlement for a Child Who Suffered Birth Asphyxia Marc Brecher represented a young child whose mother had a rather uneventful pregnancy until she went into labor. When she arrived at the hospital, the fetal heart rate monitor tracings were not reassuring. Nevertheless, the obstetricians monitoring the labor permitted the mother to labor for another 8 hours before the baby was delivered by an emergency Caesarean section. When the baby was born he was severely asphyxiated. The baby went on to suffer seizures and massive brain damage. The child is now a spastic quadriplegic being cared for at home by his parents. Brecher’s experts argued that the baby should have been delivered within a half hour after his mother presented to the hospital and that the brain damage occurred over the course of the following 7 ½ hours before the baby was finally delivered.