When a medical error or a medical professional’s failure to follow proper protocols during labor or delivery leads to a birth injury for you or your child, it can have an impact on your life and family. Attorney Angela Frazier is a Greenville birth injury lawyer who recognizes how devastating the consequences of birth injuries can be. Contact our firm about your birth injury course and let us pursue accountability for the harm or death of your newborn.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
Sometimes these injuries arise because of a baby’s size or positioning within the womb. Other times, they result from a physician or health care provider’s error or misjudgment during pregnancy, labor or delivery.
Birth injuries during pregnancy
Some birth injuries occur because health care providers fail to identify or account for certain health conditions that exist during pregnancy. For example, if a medical professional fails to notice or treat a mother’s infection, preeclampsia or diabetes, this could endanger her life or that of her baby.
Birth injuries during labor and delivery
While most delivery doctors undergo extensive training so that they know what to do when complications arise, medical or communication errors can hinder the process and result in harm to mothers and babies. For example, if a care provider fails to notice and account for fetal distress during delivery, this may lead to serious complications. The same holds true if a physician fails to notice a baby is in the breech position.
Birth injuries are also more common when a doctor delivers an infant through a Cesarean section, rather than vaginally. Unnecessary C-sections are a growing concern across the United States, with research showing that mothers face an 80% higher chance of experiencing complications when delivering a baby via a C-section.
Birth injuries may also occur during labor or delivery if a doctor uses too much force when removing the baby from the birthing canal or uses forceps or a vacuum improperly to try to do the same.
Many factors can contribute to birth injuries — sometimes more than one factor is at play. Our Greenville birth injury lawyer can help you identify all possible variables that may have contributed to your child’s birth injury so the right legal actions can take shape.
What Are Common Types of Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries range from mild to severe and have the potential to affect delivering mothers as well as their infants. It is important to note that birth injuries also differ from birth defects in that they are the direct result of something that transpired during labor or delivery.
Common birth injuries experienced by mothers and babies include the following:
Brachial plexus palsy
Often the result of damage or trauma to an infant’s nerves, brachial plexus palsy, or Erb’s palsy, can cause bruising and swelling around the affected area. It may also hinder a baby’s ability to move or rotate their arms. In some cases, symptoms may subside within a couple of months. However, the nerve damage may be permanent.
Cerebral palsy is a neurologic condition that affects mobility, muscle tone and posture, and it can range broadly in terms of severity. The signs of cerebral palsy are also not always readily apparent and do not always present themselves immediately after labor and delivery. A Greenville birth injury lawyer could help you determine if your child’s cerebral palsy is the direct result of something that occurred during the birthing process.
When a physician applies too much pressure on a baby’s face during delivery, it increases the chances of facial paralysis. Depending on the severity of this condition, it may improve on its own within a matter of weeks. In severe cases, surgery may become necessary to repair torn facial nerves.
Other common birth injuries include cephalohematoma, caput succedaneum, fractures and subconjunctival hemorrhage.
How Do You Prove Negligence in a Birth Injury Case?
Proving liability in a birth injury case often involves working with an experienced birth injury lawyer to gather and present medical records, which might include prenatal care, labor and delivery records.
Expert witnesses, such as obstetricians or neonatologists, may have to testify about whether the medical professionals who delivered your child deviated from the standard of care during the birthing process.
Eyewitness testimonies from parents or other medical staff may also help prove negligence in a birth injury case. Photographs or videos taken during labor and delivery can support claims.
Ultimately, the strength of your birth injury case depends on you and your attorney’s ability to furnish records, expert opinions, eyewitness accounts and any other tangible evidence that shows deviations the medical professionals took from the standard of care.
Request Help From a Greenville Birth Injury Lawyer
When a medical mistake that occurs before, during or after labor and delivery affects you or your child, it may lead to lasting complications as well as physical, emotional and financial repercussions. Call 864.256.3553 to speak with our birth injury attorney in Greenville, Angela Frazier.
Our team at Elliott Frazier — Family, Personal Injury, & Car Accident Attorneys, LLC will do all we can to provide support for your case.