Causes & Types of Birth Injuries

Causes & Types of Birth Injuries

Having a child is one of the world’s greatest joys, but when a child is injured as a result of malpractice committed during pregnancy, labor or delivery, it can be wholly devastating. Bertram & Murphy are experienced Washington, D.C. birth injury attorneys litigating all types of medical malpractice cases in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.

Birth injuries can occur for a variety of reasons, but often these injuries could be avoided had the doctors and medical professionals used due care. If the doctors or midwives had planned and monitored the birth properly, your child would not have been injured.

Common Causes of Birth Injuries:

  • Oxygen deprivation
  • Fetal distress
  • Trauma from pressure, forceps, or vacuum
  • Delayed birth/failure to perform C-section
  • Failure to identify breech position or baby is too large for vaginal delivery
  • Failure to monitor or diagnosis mother’s infections
  • Failure to order proper screenings or tests

The above risk factors are only some of the many things that can go wrong during labor and delivery. Birth injuries can result in overwhelming medical bills for conditions that can last a lifetime. If you believe your child’s injury is related to a doctor or medical professional’s negligence during the birthing process, you should contact Bertram & Murphy for a case evaluation and advice on the next steps. Nothing is more important than the health of your child, and monetary compensation can help ease the burden of medical expenses and specialized care.

Types Of Birth Injuries

Brachial Plexus Injuries:

  • Erb’s Palsy. Also known as brachial plexus palsy, Erb’s Palsy occurs when there is nerve damage to the brachial plexus, which can result in loss of use in some or all of your child’s arm muscles. This nerve damage is often the result of stretching the baby’s neck during delivery, especially in cases of difficult or complex deliveries.
  • Klumpke’s Palsy. Typically caused by shoulder dystocia (when the baby’s shoulder becomes lodged in the mother’s pelvic bone and results in excessive pulling), Klumpke’s Palsy results in numbness and a claw-like appearance of the hands. Medication and surgery may be required.

Facial Paralysis – Facial paralysis occurs when there is too much pressure applied to a baby’s face during labor or delivery, thus causing nerve damage. This type of injury is also common when forceps are used during the delivery process. The injury is most prominent when the baby cries, as the baby’s face is paralyzed on the side where the injury occurred and the eye cannot close.

Cerebral Palsy – Resulting in a lifetime of difficulty and disability, cerebral palsy causes a child varied levels of muscular paralysis. Although doctors and scientists disagree on the exact cause of cerebral palsy, it is generally agreed that cerebral palsy results from birth injuries. Oxygen deprivation, undiagnosed/untreated mother’s infections, delayed delivery, or trauma from extraction during the delivery process can all lead to cerebral palsy.

Brain Damage – A broad category, brain damage in infants can occur when mother’s infections go undiagnosed/untreated, or when there is oxygen deprivation or physical trauma during delivery. Brain damage can result in abnormal physical appearance of the child as well as developmental delays.

Get Help From Experienced and Dedicated Washington DC Birth Injury Attorneys

The medical malpractice attorneys at Bertram & Murphy have the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to understand complicated birth injury cases and seek the full amount of compensation due. In Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas, call our office at 202-335-0185 to discuss your case.

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