A birth injury might occur at any time during the course of a pregnancy. Such an injury might even occur during or after delivery of a baby. Many birth injuries are attributable to medical malpractice when a doctor, nurse or staff member at a hospital breaches the appropriate standard of care and fails to appropriately address developments during the delivery process. Such injuries must be distinguished from birth defects. Birth injuries are typically caused by physical trauma to the baby, mother or each of them. They’re usually caused by a health care provider’s act or failure to act. On the other hand, a birth defect might be the result of a genetic predisposition or reaction to medication. If you or your child suffered what you believe to be a preventable birth injury because of medical negligence in or around Thousand Oaks, contact our California birth injury lawyer here at Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC and we’ll be pleased to arrange for a free consultation and case review.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
There are several different causes of birth injuries. Those might be delayed delivery, oxygen deprivation, medical malpractice or other causes like improper manipulation of the baby during delivery. Here some examples of some of the more common birth injuries:
- Cerebral Palsy: This is a typical oxygen deprivation injury caused by oxygen insufficiency or the lack of oxygen before or during birth. Permanent brain damage can result from cerebral palsy.
- Brachial (Erb’s) Palsy: This occurs when the brachial plexus, a group of nerves supplying the arms and hands during delivery. According to Stanford Medicine, the injury is most common when there is difficulty delivering a baby’s shoulder. Tearing of the nerve is likely to result in permanent injury.
- Collarbone Injuries: The human clavicle (collarbone) connects the shoulder with the upper chest. When there is difficulty delivering a shoulder, the collarbone can break. This results in severe pain and difficulty moving the arm on the fractured side of the baby’s body.
- Facial (Bell’s) Paralysis: Facial nerves can be damages during labor and delivery as a result of pressure on the face. This type of paralysis is most often seen after forceps are used.
- Kernicterus: As per the S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, kernicterus is caused by severe jaundice that can cause a form of cerebral palsy, hearing loss, visual difficulty and intellectual disabilities.
- Injuries to Mothers: These types of injuries can include post-partum hemorrhage, vaginal tears, a ruptured uterus and dangerous preeclampsia.
Proving Medical Malpractice in Birth Injury Cases
Birth injury cases are typically difficult to litigate. California law requires us to prove the following elements of medical negligence:
- Duty of Care: The health care provider owed you or your child a duty of care that other providers of the same discipline would follow under the same or similar circumstances.
- Breach of that Duty: The health care provider failed to follow through with giving you or your child care and treatment that was consistent with the appropriate standard of care.
- Causation: A causal connection between the breach of the duty and an injury to your baby.
- Damages: You are now confronted with bills, losses and other damages as a result of the birth injury.
Health care providers have the knowledge training and resources that are needed to keep a mother and baby safe. Any failure to comply with the standard of care can be catastrophic or even fatal. If you believe that you or your baby were injured as a result of medical malpractice and a birth injury in or around Thousand Oaks, contact us here at Quirk Accident & Injury Lawyers, APC, and we can arrange for a free consultation and case review with our California birth injury lawyer. We can analyze your case for you and advise you on your legal options. For any injuries to you, the mother, you have only one year from the date of discovering your injuries to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. For any injuries to a living child, you have eight years from birth. Contact us as soon as you can, and we’ll be pleased to arrange for that free consultation and case review with you.