Birth Related Injuries

Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a professional health care provider, whether a doctor, nurse, office staff, hospital or hospital worker. During pregnancy, obstetrical doctors (OBGYN) and nurses are trained and obligated to monitor pregnant patients for signs of fetal distress, and to take prompt action when those signs arise. A failure to do so, can cause damage to the baby, and turn what is supposed to be a joyous cause for celebration - a birth - into a tragic day.

Medical negligence at the time of birth can cause a variety of very serious and permanent injuries, including but not limited to:
  • Brain Injury - Brain damage to a newborn can be caused by a variety of ways. The usual causes of brain damage in the newborn are oxygen deprivation, physical injury during the labor and delivery process, and sometimes an untreated infection in the mother. Injury to the brain, whatever the cause, can lead to lifelong physical and/or psychological limitations.
  • Brachial Plexus Injuries - A brachial plexus injury occurs when a newborn experienced arm weakness that cleared up a few days later.  Since then, experts have learned a great deal about the causes and dangers associated with harm to the brachial plexus, yet it still remains one of the most common types of birth injuries today, affecting thousands of infants each year.
  • Cerebral Palsy - Short of death, cerebral palsy ranks as one of the most serious injuries that can occur at birth.  The term cerebral palsy broadly describes a group of chronic disorders that impairs the control of movement after a developing brain suffers damage. There are a variety of causes of cerebral palsy, and occasionally it develops due to mistakes by medical providers at or around the time of birth.
  • Forceps Delivery - Delivering a baby with the use of forceps is sometimes needed during a vaginal childbirth. Forceps are a medical instrument that resemble large spoons that clamp on the baby's head during delivery. The use of forceps exposes the newborn to a number of physical injuries, some of which can be permanent. The risk of injury by forcep deliver is higher than with vaginal delivery.
  • Oxygen Deficiency - That lack of oxygen at birth, or birth asphyxia, occurs when, whatever the cause, the baby's brain (or other organs) do not get adequate oxygen to sustain normal function at or around the time of birth. This can happen without anyone knowing. This oxygen deprivation can cause a variety of problems, including, permanent damage requiring a lifetime of care.
  • Paralysis - There are a variety of birth complications that can cause full or partial paralysis in the newborn, including, but not limited to Erb’s Palsy, Klumpke’s Palsy, and Spinal Cord Damage.
  • Vacuum Extraction Delivery - Like delivering with the use of forceps, when labor is taking too long a doctor many decide to use a vacuum extractor to remove the baby during a vaginal delivery. The vacuum is a device that places a suction cup on the head of the baby to provide additional force when removing the baby. The risks are similar to those with forcep.
  • Shoulder Dystocia - Shoulder dystocia is an injury that occurs when a newborn's head is delivered through the vagina, but the shoulders remain stuck inside the mother's body. When this occurs, both mother and baby are at risk. More often than not, the baby is uninjured during this type of birth, but there can be complications, including injury to the nerves in the shoulder, and upper extremities, and there can even be brain injury.
Walton Law Firm has successfully represented individuals who have been permanently harmed due to negligent medical care. If you have questions about a medical malpractice matter related to a birth injury, please submit your confidential question online, or call Walton Law Firm for a free and private consultation. We can be reached toll free at (866) 607-1325 or locally at (760) 571-5500.

San Diego Injury Law Blog - Medical Malpractice