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Normal Birth Injuries v. Unusual Ones

Every mother can confirm that giving birth is no easy task. Even so-called “normal” deliveries are chaotic, stressful and physically traumatic. That goes for the baby, too. Labor is a combination of compression, contractions and twisting – an exhausting process that the mother and infant’s bodies are typically built to withstand. But sometimes, accidents happen. And those accidents can unfortunately lead to birth injuries.

No parent can bear the thought of their child entering the world with an injury, especially one that could permanently alter the course of his or her life. The natural impulse is to look for someone (or something) to blame for the newborn’s injuries. That protective instinct is a good one. Indeed, there are cases where doctors or other medical providers acted negligently and caused devastating injuries that result in lifelong disabilities, or even death.

However, it is important to remember that not every birth injury is the result of malpractice. In the days and weeks following childbirth, you will undoubtedly be extra vigilant about examining your baby for everything from diaper rash to developmental difficulties. It can be hard to tell whether your baby is displaying signs of a preventable birth injury or one that just happened naturally.

This Web page is dedicated to informing you of some of the more “normal” types of birth injuries. These are typically injuries that arise during the birthing process and are temporary. But remember that even temporary injuries can be caused by negligence on the part of your healthcare team. You should contact an experienced birth injury attorney to find out if you have a legal claim.

A Closer Look At Hospital Negligence

Hospital negligence is defined as the failure of hospital staff to provide the accepted standard of care, resulting in a patient’s injury or illness. Hospital staff can include nurses, medical technicians or other support professionals, as well as physicians. Some malpractice claims resulting from a hospital injury may involve a physician directly, while others may involve the hospital – the circumstances of your injury determine who could be held liable.

Hospital negligence can take many forms. Some of the most common instances of hospital negligence include the following:

  • Surgical errors;
  • Labor and delivery errors;
  • Medication errors;
  • Anesthesia errors;
  • Failure to respond to patient;
  • Failure to properly monitor patient;
  • Communication errors that result in delayed or incorrect treatment;
  • Improper patient discharge;
  • Failure to provide patients with post-operative directions;
  • Improper supervision of a new staff member, such as a nurse or nurse’s assistant;
  • Misplaced files;
  • Poor sanitation of medical instruments and hospital rooms;
  • Hospital abuse.

Regardless of the cause, the consequences of hospital negligence can be very dangerous. A poorly monitored patient’s condition may quickly worsen, causing long-term damage. Unsanitary conditions can lead to deadly infections. Mistakes in medication can have fatal complications.

Legal Help For Your Hospital Mistake Claim

If you have been injured as a result of hospital negligence, you are entitled to hold the institution accountable. However, hospitals employ their own legal counsel and are used to fighting negligence claims. A medical malpractice attorney with experience in hospital negligence claims can help evaluate the circumstances of your injury or illness and determine whether you have a case.

The medical negligence lawyers of Michigan Injury Lawyers represents victims and their families who have been hurt by hospital negligence. We work with qualified medical experts to carefully assess your injuries and your case to determine the most effective strategy designed with your best interests in mind. We have helped many victims in Michigan recover what was rightfully theirs. We can help you and your family too.

What’s A “Normal” Birth Injury?

It’s true that no injury is truly normal. But the reality is that sometimes birth trauma happens to a baby just by being born. It’s a rocky journey down the birth canal, with lots of squeezing and pressure propelling the infant into the world. That’s the way it should be. The compression is what stimulates the baby’s respiratory, circulatory and central nervous systems to adapt to its new environment.

Sometimes there are factors that can contribute to birth injuries that are out of the doctor’s control, such as:

  • Large size (over 8 lbs., 13 oz.);
  • Prematurity (less than 37 weeks);
  • Pelvic disproportion (when the mother’s pelvic area is not sufficient for a baby to be born vaginally);
  • Long labor;
  • Difficult labor;
  • Abnormal birthing presentation (such as breech).

It’s important to remember that although the medical practitioner may have no direct responsibility for the conditions listed above, he or she might still have been able to perform an action that prevented your baby’s injury from happening. A qualified birth injury lawyer can help you determine if that happened in your case.

Minor Birth Injuries

There is no shortage of serious birth injuries that can cause lasting impacts on a child’s overall health and development, such as brain damage, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy, nerve damage, reduced oxygen, Rh incompatibility, kernicterus, andshoulder dystocia. Other types of birth trauma are more minor and will resolve on their own, even if their initial presentation is scary to the new parents, such as:

  • Bruising on the face or head: The pressure of labor and contractions can cause minor bruising on newborns.
  • Subconjunctival hemhorrage: Broken blood vessels in the eyes may cause a bright red band to form around the iris. This is a common injury and does not damage the eyes. It typically resolves on its own in 7-10 days.
  • Cephalohematoma: A cephalohematoma is an area of bleeding underneath one of the cranial bones. It might appear as a raised lump within hours of birth and could take as long as three months to resolve as the body reabsorbs the blood. The key is to watch out for signs of jaundice, a yellowing of the skin caused by too much bilirubin in the blood. Jaundice can lead to kernicterus, a life-threatening condition.
  • Facial paralysis: Pressure on the baby’s face during delivery can cause damage to the facial nerves, which can cause temporary paralysis. If the nerve if torn, however, surgery may be needed to correct the problem.

Do You Think Your Baby’s Injury Is Unusual? Contact Our Birth Injury Lawyers Today

It’s not easy to know whether your newborn’s birth injuries happened naturally or because a medical provider failed to take appropriate steps during the birthing process. If you have questions about a possible legal claim, let our Michigan birth injury lawyers help you get answers.

Call The Michigan Injury Lawyer at 313-438-4357, or email us for a free evaluation of your claim. If there is no recovery in your case, there is no fee for our services.