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Common Causes of Birth Injuries

types of birth injuries

Birth injuries can have a devastating impact on a baby or young child’s life, especially when serious injuries lead to developmental delays and disabilities. Birth injuries have many possible causes, some of which are attributable to the actions of medical providers involved in the mother’s and baby’s care. When a birth injury is caused by medical malpractice, families deserve to seek financial compensation to help pay for their child’s care.

Common Birth Injuries

A birth injury is a physical injury that occurs to a baby during pregnancy or during or shortly after delivery. Examples of birth injuries include:

  • Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy, or a brain injury caused by a drop in blood or oxygen flow during pregnancy or delivery
  • Cerebral palsy, a condition caused by brain injuries, involving motor skills issues and sometimes hearing or vision problems
  • Periventricular leukomalacia, or damage to brain tissue caused by oxygen deprivation
  • Kernicterus, a brain injury caused by severe and/or untreated jaundice, or the buildup of bilirubin in the bloodstream
  • Erb’s palsy/brachial plexus injury, an injury caused by trauma to the bundle of nerves that run from the spinal cord through the shoulder into the arm, which results in numbness, weakness, or paralysis of the arms, shoulders, and neck
  • Intracranial hemorrhage, also known as a brain bleed
  • Hydrocephalus, or a buildup of fluid in the tissues surrounding the brain, which can impart damage-causing pressure on brain tissues

Read more: My Child Has Cerebral Palsy – Do I Have a Case?

Common Causes of Birth Injuries

Some birth injuries are caused by natural complications that occur during pregnancy or delivery, while others are caused by negligent care rendered by treating providers. Common causes of birth injuries include:

  • Infection and fever
  • Shoulder dystocia, a condition involving a baby’s head and shoulders getting stuck behind the mother’s pelvis or in the birth canal during delivery
  • Prolonged delivery
  • Breech birth, which occurs when the baby is delivered feet first
  • Issues with the umbilical cord, such as prolapse, or the cord getting wrapped around the baby’s head, which can cut off blood flow or oxygen
  • Placental bleeding
  • Uterine rupture
  • Failure to timely order a cesarean section
  • Improper use of delivery-assisting tools, such as vacuum extractors or forceps
  • Premature birth

Medical Malpractice During Delivery

Most birth injuries occur during delivery. While some cases involve natural complications, other birth injuries during delivery are attributable to the negligence of the medical providers attending the delivery. Doctors or other health care professionals may fail to timely or properly react to treatable complications during delivery. Or they may improperly use equipment or procedures during delivery and injure the baby as a result. Examples of medical malpractice during delivery that can lead to birth injuries include:

  • Failure to monitor a fetus’s development and treat problems prior to delivery
  • Failure to diagnose or treat maternal medical conditions that can lead to injury to the baby
  • Failure to identify and plan for high-risk deliveries, such as cases involving a large fetus or high risk of uterine rupture
  • Causing or failing to respond to issues involving the umbilical cord
  • Failure to properly position the baby for delivery
  • Improper use of medications during delivery
  • Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors
  • Applying excessive force on the baby during delivery
  • Failure to timely identify and respond to signs of fetal distress
  • Failure to timely order C-sections, such as when initial use of forceps or vacuum extractors fails

Families should be entitled to compensation when malpractice causes their child’s birth injury. This compensation can help pay for the child’s care and provide some measure of recovery for any long-term or permanent disabilities they may suffer due to the injury.

Read more: What to Consider Before Attempting to File a Claim for Medical Malpractice

Contact a Medical Malpractice Lawyer Near You to Discuss Your Birth Injury Case in New Jersey

Were you or a loved one injured as a result of medical malpractice in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive medical malpractice attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Drazin and Warshaw, P.C. represent clients injured in Lakewood, Toms River, Brick, Edison, Lowell, Woodbridge, Old Bridge, Middletown, Springfield, Summit, Elizabeth and throughout Ocean County, Union County, Middlesex County and Monmouth County, New Jersey. Call (732) 576-8860 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 25 Reckless Place, Red Bank, NJ 07701 as well as offices in Hazlet, Brick, and Westfield.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.

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