Birth Injuries: Understanding the Toll on Families
Giving birth to a baby should be a special experience, but when that birth results in injuries to the child, families are often left dealing with a lifetime of serious medical problems and disabilities for that child, as well as the emotional, psychological, and financial strain that comes as a result.
Unfortunately, birth injuries affect about 7 in 1,000 children born in the United States, with a number of different causes and factors. Even more tragic, in many cases these injuries and the harm they do could be prevented if doctors or other medical professionals provide the right care in a timely manner.
At GreeningLaw, P.C., we understand that birth injuries affect entire families. And when these injuries are caused by a medical professional’s negligence or mistakes, the families deserve to be compensated.
Some examples of medical malpractice that can lead to birth-related injuries include:
• Improper use of birthing devices, including forceps, vacuums.
• Failure to control excessive maternal blood loss after delivery.
• Failure to monitor the baby’s oxygen intake before and after delivery.
What are some common birth injuries?
• Cerebral Palsy
• Erb’s Palsy
• Intercranial bleeding
• Broken blood vessels in the eyes
• Infant brain damage
• Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN)
• Bone fractures
• Perinatal Asphyxia
• Facial Paralysis
• Spinal cord injuries
• Caput Succedaneum
• Fetal lacerations
• Shoulder dystocia
Some birth injuries can heal on their own without invasive treatment, while other, more serious injuries may require medical intervention such as a surgery to be corrected.
Sadly, many serious birth injuries are permanent, and the best thing that parents can do is plan for the future with the understanding that their child will most likely require lifelong care.
The long-term physical effects of birth injuries
The most serious injuries that occur in childbirth are ones that cause damage to the brain or spinal cord, and the most common cause of these kinds of injuries is oxygen deprivation due to a long and difficult delivery.
The effects of these kinds of severe injuries can include:
• Partial or full paralysis.
• An inability to walk, speak or feed without assistance.
• Failure to meet developmental milestones.
• The need for lasting care, potentially in a residential medical setting.
Sometimes a partial recovery is possible, but as the child grows they may need assistance with things ranging from education to transportation, as well as modifications to their home environment.
Emotional, psychological, and financial strain on families
Traumatic births often result in psychological effects for mothers. The most common is postpartum depression, which affects up to 30% of women who experience a traumatic birth. For some women, traumatic birth experiences may be so bad that they even decide not to have more children.
Both parents may end up struggling with emotional and psychological issues like anxiety and depression and having a child that requires long-term medical care can often lead to difficulties within a marriage.
It’s also important to keep in mind that parents aren’t the only ones affected. When a baby has special needs due to a birth injury, siblings’ lives may also change. This can include things like increased responsibility and isolation as parents need to spend more time with the injured child, as well as accompanying emotions such as a sense of abandonment, guilt, and even anger toward their sibling and parents.
Bringing a birth injury lawsuit stemming from medical malpractice
Families of children with birth injuries may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit against the doctor or other medical professionals/health care facilities involved in the delivery.
Children with birth injuries (especially severe injuries) often require expensive care, sometimes for the rest of their lives. Assistance with education, surgical procedures, prescription medications, physical therapy and residential medical care are all possibilities that need to be considered.
That’s why it’s critical that any damages stemming from a birth injury malpractice suit need to cover monetary losses as well as a number of intangible losses, including:
• Past and future medical expenses
• Additional healthcare costs (e.g., therapy, counseling, in-home care, home modifications, etc.)
• Lost wages
• Pain and suffering
For a birth injury malpractice claim to be valid, it’s important to prove that the medical provider’s negligence led to the birth injury. Unfortunately, the medical community invests a lot of time and money to conceal their mistakes, and many medical providers have teams of lawyers on hand to defend their practitioners.
That’s why it’s so important to contact an attorney like the ones at GreeningLaw, P.C., who have extensive experience investigating medical negligence and litigating malpractice cases.
We want to help families heal.
Serious birth injuries can leave parents wondering how they’ll be able to provide for their family and give them the best possible life they deserve.
Fortunately, the attorneys at GreeningLaw, P.C. have the skills and experience needed to investigate these kinds of complex cases and consult with independent medical experts to shed light on why this happened and who is responsible.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. We’ll go over the elements of your case, discuss your options and what kind of compensation you can expect, and suggest the best course of action for you and your family.
In addition, we work on a contingency basis, which means you don’t pay for a thing unless you receive compensation for your case.
Call us at 972.934.8900 or visit our contact page today.
We fight the legal battle so you have time for healing and renewal. We will get you through this.