Statistics show that six out of every 1,000 babies born in the U.S. each year suffers a traumatic injury. One of the most common birth injuries is brain damage, which can lead to development delays, cerebral palsyor death. Although unavoidable natural causes may be to blame in many of these cases, the troubling fact is that many of these brain injuries were the result of medical errors by doctors, nurses and other hospital staff.
If your child has suffered a brain injury at birth, you need to consult with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer who can evaluate the potential contributing factors and parties who may be responsible for causing your ordeal. At Michigan Injury Lawyers, our birth injury lawyers can use their experience, vast network of medical experts and their negotiation and advocacy skills to make sure your losses are compensated and your child’s future is protected. If there is no recovery in your case, there is no fee for our services.
Types of Brain Injuries at Birth
Permanent brain damage often is caused by a lack of oxygen to the infant’s brain during delivery. This can result from bleeding or a twisted umbilical cord. Obstetrician errors that can lead to oxygen deprivation and brain damage include:
- Excessive force being applied to the infant’s head through the use of forceps or extractors, which can cause tears and bleeding in the infant’s head;
- Failure to respond to umbilical cord twisting or compression;
- Not acting quickly enough when the placenta has prematurely separated from the uterus;
- Failure to observe physical signs of fetal distress or to react to fetal monitors; and
- Waiting too long or forgoing a cesarean section in a timely manner.
When a partial reduction in normal oxygen flow occurs, it is called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy. A total lack of oxygen is known as anoxic encephalopathy. The degree of oxygen deprivation may determine the severity of the infant’s brain injury.
Among the conditions commonly associated with brain injury at birth are:
- Cerebral palsy: This is a condition in which the infant is unable to control or use the body’s muscles. It is a lifelong condition. Some of the early signs of cerebral palsy include muscle stiffness or spasticity, uncontrolled body movements, weakness, problems with balance and coordination and speech or swallowing defects.
- Mental retardation: This condition causes development delays in the infant, including difficulty learning social and self-care skills, language problems, memory difficulties, lack of problem-solving abilities. The signs could include delays in learning how to sit up, crawl or walk.
- Kernicterus: When a subdural hemorrhage occurs, or bleeding between the outer and inner layers of the brain, it can place added pressure on the brain’s surface and lead to high levels of bilirubin in the blood. In turn, the infant may develop a condition called kernicterus, which can lead to brain damage as well as other complications, including movement disorders and deafness. Symptoms can include yellow skin, lack of alertness, excessive fatigue and high-pitched crying.
Nothing can be more traumatic for a family than a child suffering a brain injury at birth. While no amount of financial compensation can compensate for the emotional losses suffered, a settlement or verdict may cover medical expenses and defray the costs of lifetime care.
Call Michigan Injury Lawyers at 313-438-4357, or fill out a free consultation form for an evaluation of your claim. If there is no recovery in your case, there is no fee for our services.