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Common Types of Birth Injuries
Giving birth to a child is one of the most joyous experiences in life. That joy can be tempered by the realization that your child has suffered a birth injury. Some birth injuries are minor problems that correct themselves in a short span of time. Others result in lifelong disabilities and require years of therapy and medical treatments. While some birth injuries are natural, some are the result of medical negligence or error. It is the doctor’s responsibility to take a complete maternal history and check for risk factors that may indicate a particularly challenging delivery. It is his or her responsibility to monitor conditions during labor and the birth process, and take immediate action to protect the child’s safety.
Contact us if your child has any of the following birth injuries and you believemedical malpractice was the cause:
- Erb’s Palsy. Erb’s palsy is caused by shoulder dystocia, when the baby’s shoulders are too large for the birth canal and the baby becomes lodged behind the mother’s pelvic bone. Doctors who follow proper medical procedures in this situation can deliver a healthy baby. However, doctors who are unprepared may exert excessive force on the baby’s head as they attempt maneuvers to extract the baby. Stretching or tearing nerves in the shoulder will cause serious, often permanent injury to the infant. A child born under these circumstances may suffer from Erb’s palsy. Children with Erb’s palsy suffer from temporary or permanent paralysis or loss of mobility of the arm, hand or fingers. They may need years or physical therapy and medical treatment.
- Klumpke’s Palsy. Another injury caused by shoulder dystocia, Klumpke’s palsy causes paralysis of the forearm, hand and wrist. The risk during delivery is greatest when the mother is small or when the infant is of large weight. The injury may result when an infant is pulled from the birth canal by an extended arm above the head.
- Cerebral Palsy. During delivery, the doctor needs to monitor the baby’s condition at all time. A lack of oxygen during labor and delivery for the infant can cause cerebral palsy, a neurological disorder that affects muscle movement and the brain. Cerebral palsy takes various forms but often includes difficulty speaking, muscle spasms, a lack of motor control and impaired gross and fine motor skills. Children with cerebral palsy will likely need lifelong medical care.
- Torticollis. Torticollis, which can be caused by trauma during birth, is a condition in which the head and neck tilt to one side. Without extensive therapy, torticollis can result in an asymmetrical face. This injury can occur during childbirth when trauma damages muscles in the neck.
If your child suffers from any of these conditions and you feel that medical neglect or error is responsible, The Abelson Law Firm may be able to help you obtain the financial compensation you will require to care for your child. The Abelson Law Firm has substantial experience handling birth injury cases. Attorney Michael A. Abelson has the highest “AV” rating from Martindale-Hubbell and has received the Lawyer of the Year award from the Trial Lawyers Association of Washington, DC. He has also been included in “The Cream of the Legal Establishment” by Washingtonian magazine. Contact us online or by phone at 202-331-0600 or toll free 1-888-797-4242 for a free consultation.