Birth Injury Attorneys in New Jersey
Medical malpractice or negligence takes place when a health care provider or facility does not care for a patient in agreement with medical profession accepted standards and, as a result, the patient becomes injured or ill while under such care or if the patient’s condition or illness worsens due to alleged inappropriate care or negligence. Injuries that take place during birth, to the mother or child, are examples of medical malpractice.
Some Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries may lead to life-long and life-altering disorders and may alter the course of your family’s and your child’s life. Sadly, many cases of birth injuries are due to a medical mistake during the pregnancy, labor, or delivery.
Some of the more common birth injuries and disorders that may result from a medical mistake include a failure to recognize that a baby is in distress during pregnancy, labor, or delivery; the baby experiences a lack of oxygen during delivery; excessive force is used during labor to deliver the baby; a Cesarean section is not performed in a timely manner; and when a failure to diagnose a potential problem that presents during labor occurs.
A birth injury is defined as any injury that occurs during the pre-natal phase or the birthing process and may include injuries to the skin or soft tissue, including areas that receive pressure during birth that may bruise, swell, or redden. Although relatively rare, fractures do occur in the arms or legs during a challenging delivery and may lead to the need to be immobilized and set in a cast.
Nerve injuries are typically the result of a forceps delivery. Larger babies may have difficulty fitting through the birth canal may undergo stretched or torn nerves in the arms‚ diaphragm‚ or spinal cord. These injuries may require surgery or may lead to Erb’s Palsy‚ which is permanent.
In these cases, a Cesarean section is likely a preferred option for the birth process. Injuries to the spinal cord are usually permanent and head and brain injuries, including bruising and contusions may occur due to long deliveries. Skull fractures may be caused by the use of forceps.
Very Serious Birth Injuries
More severe brain injuries are due to a lack of oxygen during birth and may cause, for example, cognitive and movement issues‚ blindness, and hearing impairment. These types of injuries typically call for years of long-term care. Serious birth injuries may lead to serious birth defects, including Cerebral Palsy or Erb’s Palsy.
Cerebral Palsy involves damage to the motor control centers and pathways of the brain and may be caused by a lack of oxygen, infection, bleeding of the brain, and other birth injuries, with the most common cause being a lack of oxygen. Cerebral Palsy may require life-long treatment and may cause spasticity and spasms, painfully tight muscles, bone and joint deformities, involuntary muscle movement, learning disabilities or mental retardation, communication and eating dificulties, pain, difficulty walking, and sleep disorders.
Some of the treatments for Cerebral Palsy include physical, occupational, and speech therapy; anti-seizure medications; surgery to correct physical deformities or release tight muscles; and pain medications. Children may require wheelchairs, walkers, braces, and other orthotic devices. Failure to monitor fetal distress and delaying Cesarean Section procedures may cause oxygen deprivation.
Pharmaceutical errors, including medication overdoses, account for approximately 200,000 deaths annually and include infants and children. Oversight and medical negligence may lead to death and other serious illnesses and injuries. For example, mothers are often given medications during labor to speed the birthing process or induce labor. Failure to appropriately administer and monitor medications during birth may lead to uterine rupture, decreased oxygen to the baby, depressed heart rate, brain damage, or death.
Erb’s Palsy/Brachial Plexus injury involves paralysis to the arm, which is typically the result of shoulder dystocia, which occurs when the delivering mother is having a difficult time during delivery because the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck or is unable to pass through the birth canal. Risk factors for shoulder dystocia include a small mother; gestational diabetes, which leads to large babies; the baby being in a breech position; and an overdue baby.
Prevention of brachial plexus injuries may be accomplished by repositioning the mother or baby or by performing a C-section. Should shoulder dystocia be improperly treated, injury to the brachial plexus may take place, which will lead to nerve injuries, a fractured collarbone, and Erb’s palsy (paralysis to the arm).
Risk of Birth Injury
Severe birth injuries impact approximately 28,000 babies annually in the United States alone, according to RightDiagnosis.com. Some factors that may increase birth risks include an exceptionally large baby, a small birth canal, the fetus being in an abnormal position before birth, and a mother with a medical condition.
Prenatal assessment tools enable physicians to recognize risks and take steps to manage them prior to birth. Of course, birth injuries that occur due to negligence and mistakes may lead to short- and long-term adverse effects on the child and harrowing emotional and financial consequences for the family.
If You Suspect Negligence During Your Baby’s Birth
New Jersey residents who suspect medical malpractice during the birth of their child should seek immediate medical attention, should document the claim, and should consult with knowledgeable personal injury attorneys who are able to discuss matters such as statute of limitations, implications for long-term care, financial impacts, and any special requirements.
Parker Waichman’s New Jersey birth injury attorneys have decades of experience representing personal injury victims of birth injuries in New Jersey and continues to offer free, compassionate, and confidential legal consultations to individuals with questions about filing a birth injury lawsuit in New Jersey. Families may bring lawsuits over physical pain, mental anguish, and additional medical bills.
In New Jersey, under Medical Malpractice Law, individuals with valid claims of medical injury may pursue compensation from doctors, hospitals, and other medical personnel or facilities that may have caused an injury. Parker Waichman is fully versed in personal injury law in New Jersey, including the provisions for what damages may be claimed, specifically in birth injury cases.
Filing a Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Lawsuit in New Jersey
If you or someone you know is interested in filing a birth injury medical malpractice lawsuit in New Jersey, contact the personal injury attorneys at Parker Waichman today. For more information call 1-800-YOURLAWYER (1-800-968-7529).
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