You Won’t Believe the 6 Most Common Birth Injuries in Louisiana – Facts from a Medical Malpractice AttorneyDecember 11th, 2015
Although negligence is not responsible for all birth injuries, diligent medical care can prevent the majority of them. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains just how prevalent birth injuries are in America. They lead to lifelong consequences, including disfigurement and the need for ongoing care.
If your child was the victim of a preventable birth injury, then you may have valid grounds for a claim against the liable party. If the incident happened in Louisiana, then contact the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm at (504) 586-5200. A New Orleans birth injury lawyer can evaluate your case and offer legal advice.
Until then, read on to learn the six most common birth injuries in Louisiana:
1. Brachial Palsy Injuries
The brachial plexus is a cluster of nerves that is responsible for the movement of the hands and arms. If the brachial plexus suffers an injury, then the child may develop Klumpke’s palsy or Erb’s palsy. This injury is common during delivery, especially for large babies. It often occurs when the infant’s shoulders get stuck inside the mother’s pelvic bone. If your physician pulls incorrectly or with too much force, then it can seriously damage the brachial plexus and cause lifelong complications.
2. Brain Injuries
Unfortunately, brain injuries are all too common among American births. Oxygen deprivation occurs frequently and can cause an array of terrible problems.
The most severe consequence is a brain injury. Chronic seizures and cerebral palsy are only two examples of the medical disorders that a brain injury can cause.
Oxygen deprivation occurs when physicians do not monitor infants correctly during and after birth, failing to notice problems such as a prolapsed umbilical cord in time, or leaving the baby inside the birth canal for too long. Even mild oxygen deprivation has severe consequences, such as intellectual shortcomings or physical disabilities.
3. Facial Paralysis
A natural birth compresses the infant’s face, but if there is too much pressure, the nerves can suffer temporary damage and, in extreme cases, permanent facial paralysis. This injury is extremely common among deliveries that require the physician use a vacuum extraction or forceps to pull out the baby. Symptoms include no movement on one side of the face, and there is often an inability to close one eye.
Cephalohematoma is another serious birth injury. It involves bleeding beneath the cranium, often underneath a cranial bone, and only becomes noticeable several hours after delivery.
The infant will develop a raised bump on the top of his or her head. Cephalohematoma is common in deliveries that require birth-assisting tools, and fortunately, it heals within two or three months. However, it often causes other complications while it heals, such as anemia, meningitis, jaundice and hypotension.
To survive delivery, an infant’s bones are extremely soft and pliable. This makes them vulnerable to fractures, the most common of which is a clavicle fracture from pulling too hard on a baby that is in a breech position. This also occurs when physicians pull the shoulder forcefully during difficult deliveries.
6. Caput Succedaneum
This condition causes extreme swelling of the head, affecting the soft tissues in the baby’s scalp. This injury occurs while infants are moving through the birth canal, and most of the time, it is the result of using a vacuum extraction tool improperly. Fortunately, the swelling resides within a few days of birth.
While some birth injuries may heal and disappear, others cause terrible problems for the child, often for the rest of his or her life. In addition to worrying about the child’s health, parents often face steep health-care bills to treat birth injuries.
If you were a victim of medical malpractice in Louisiana, then a birth injury lawyer may be able to help. Call the The Bowling Christiansen Law Firm at (504) 586-5200 to discuss your potential case.