Sadly, birth injuries are often some of the most devastating types of injuries because they have the ability to affect a child's entire life. If this has happened in your family, you may be struggling with how to cope with the situation; pondering over what has happened, and then wondering about who may be legally at fault. At our San Diego Injury law firm, we understand this, and our experienced legal team works hard to make sure that our clients get the best possible results in settlements and jury verdicts throughout the state of California. Since 1999, we have been representing the victims of personal injury and handling infant, child, and birth injury cases. This experience equips us to handle even the most complex birth injury case:
- Facial paralysis: When difficult childbirth occurs, a doctor's rough actions or use of forceps or a vacuum pump can damage the nerves in a child's face. The result is facial paralysis that may require surgery to correct.
- Shoulder Dystocia: Shoulder dystocia is a condition in which the baby’s shoulder gets caught during labor, stretching or tearing the nerves and often causing brachial plexus palsy.
- Brachial plexus palsy (Erb's palsy or Klumpke's palsy): Brachial palsy occurs when the group of nerves that supplies the arms and hands is injured during delivery. Tearing of the nerve may result in permanent nerve damage. The child may experience lack of sensation and inability to move the hand or arm, which can be life changing.
- Cerebral palsy: Cerebral palsy occurs when the brain is injured before or during childbirth. Depending on the severity of the injury, children may experience a loss of muscle control that causes a range of impairments, from twitching to an inability to walk or care for themselves.
- Fetal hypoxia: Fetal hypoxia occurs during pregnancy or childbirth when there is inadequate blood flow to the baby. This can lead to a decrease in delivery of oxygen to the baby, which causes brain injury.
Why Birth Injury Occurs
There are many actions — or inactions — by doctors, nurses, or other healthcare providers that lead to serious birth injury. That being said, not every action or inaction by the above listed professionals necessarily constitutes negligence for a legal claim. Labor that is allowed to proceed too long or cesarean sections that are not performed in a timely manner can lead to oxygen deprivation, which then can lead to a foundation of fault by one of these medical professionals. Inadequate monitoring fails to alert doctors to a baby's distress too. Also, improper dispensing of medication can suppress respiration in a way that causes brain damage — or speed up labor in a way that causes other physical injury.