Fact Sheet About Birth Injury
According to a 2003 study published in the medical journal Paediatric and Perinatal Epidemiology, birth injuries are unfortunately common, occurring in approximately 29 of every 1000 births. Some additional findings of the study include:
- Male infants tend to sustain birth injuries at a higher rate than females.
- Infants with a relatively high birth weight are at an increased risk of sustaining birth injuries.
- Newborns or Pacific Islander or Asian descent are more likely to sustain birth injuries.
- The three most common types of birth injuries include injuries to the scalp, injuries to the skeleton, and fractured clavicles.
- Instrument deliveries result in a higher rate of birth injuries than non-instrument deliveries.
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Every year, a significant number of people born in Norristown and the surrounding areas are injured by the negligence of medical professionals during the delivery process. In some cases, these injuries can require significant medical attention and may even result in long-term complications or disabilities.
Common Types of Birth Injuries
The delivery process can be extremely hard on both newborns and mothers, even when everything goes as planned. Modern medicine has made the process much safer than it was even a generation ago, but medical negligence continues to cause serious injury in a significant number of births. While birth injuries can occur in a variety of ways, some injuries tend to be much more common than others. Some of these are detailed below:
Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus consists of the nerves that travel from the spine into the shoulders, arms, and hands. These nerves can be injured during delivery, particularly when excessive force is applied when trying to remove a newborn from the birth canal. Brachial plexus injuries can range from mild to severe and can involve symptoms ranging from muscle weakness to immobility.
Perinatal asphyxia occurs when a newborn does not receive enough oxygen during the birthing process. Often, this condition is a result of the negligence of the medical team assisting with delivery. In can causes serious complications, including neurological damage.
Cerebral palsy, or CP, is a permanent condition that occurs when the brain damage is sustained during or shortly after childbirth. Symptoms can include poor coordination, muscle weakness or stiffness, difficulty swallowing or speaking, and cognitive problems.
Newborns have extremely fragile bones, and when physicians use excessive force during delivery serious fractures can occur. While some fractures are self-resolving, they can be extremely painful and may require surgery or immobilization to treat.
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Investigating Birth Injuries Requires Resources
The modern delivery process is a medically complicated event that often involves the use of specialized medical instruments and procedures. In addition, physicians are expected to monitor the vital signs and physical conditions of both expectant mothers and infants during the process of childbirth, and a failure to recognize or diagnose a condition could result in legal liability. In many cases, it is important to conduct a thorough investigation of the way in which birth injury occurred in order to determine who, if anyone, could be held accountable for the injury. This kind of investigation could require obtaining and reviewing thousands of pages of medical records, which can often be complicated and difficult for people without medical training to understand.
Often, it is necessary to consult with medical experts who are familiar with the delivery process to determine how the medical professionals involved may have deviated from the accepted standard of care. If your case goes to trial, this could involve using an expert witness to establish this standard and explain it to the judge or jury hearing your case.
With the amount of births that happen in Norristown and the surrounding areas each year, it is statistically a near-certainty that birth injuries will occur. At the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, PC, our experienced birth injury lawyers understand how difficult a birth injury can be both for victims and their families. Our attorneys understand how to successfully gather and present evidence that supports your case and have the financial resources required to litigate complicated birth injury cases that involve claims of professional negligence.
Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. offers a FREE CONSULTATION.Contact us today to discuss how we can help
2001 Market St Suite 2900
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: (215) 567-3500
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