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Spinal Cord Injuries

Philadelphia, PA Birth Injury Attorney Serving Clients Affected By Birth Injuries

Nobody anticipates that their infant will sustain a serious or life-threatening birth injury in Philadelphia. Yet birth injuries happen more often than you might expect. While some birth injuries heal relatively quickly and do not have extended ramifications, some birth injuries can be particularly dangerous and can lead to lifelong disabilities or even death. During difficult childbirths, one especially harmful type of birth injury is a spinal cord injury.

While it is difficult to know precisely how many spinal cord injuries occur during childbirth each year, it is extremely important to discuss your case with an experienced Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyer. Not all cases of spinal cord injury during childbirth result from a doctor’s negligence, but in many situations these injuries are indeed preventable.

What Causes Spinal Cord Injuries During Childbirth?

There are numerous causes of spinal cord injuries during childbirth, not all of which result from a healthcare provider’s carelessness or failure to provide the property standard of care. In numerous incidents of spinal cord injuries, however, you may be able to seek compensation by filing a spinal cord injury lawsuit. According to a fact sheet from MedScape, spinal cord injuries most often result during difficult deliveries. In vertex deliveries, torsion, or excessive rotation, can lead to a severe spinal cord injury. When there is a breech delivery, excessive traction can result in a spinal cord injury. An article in the Journal of Maternal Fetal Neonatal Medicine indicates that “difficult deliveries with abnormal presentation,” most often breech presentation in which the baby’s head becomes trapped, are the primary causes for these serious injuries.

As the MedScape fact sheet explains, most of these injuries occur either to the upper thoracic region or to the upper and midcervical region of the infant’s spinal cord.

In some cases, an undiagnosed case of spina bifida also can lead to a spinal cord injury. As a fact sheet from the Mayo Clinic explains, spina bifida is part of a particular group of birth defects that are known as neural tube defects. The neural tube, according to the fact sheet, “is the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby’s brain and spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them.” Doctors typically should be able to diagnose spina bifida early on given that neural tube defects tend to occur by 28 weeks into the pregnancy.

How Will I Know if My Baby Sustained a Spinal Cord Injury?

Spinal cord injuries during childbirth are extremely serious. In some cases, the lead to a stillbirth or other fatal neonatal injuries. The MedScape fact sheet lists other obvious signs of a spinal cord injury:

  • Inadequate respiratory function;
  • Weakness and hypotonia (or low muscle tone);
  • Symptoms of another neuromuscular disorder; and/or
  • Spasticity issues that might appear like cerebral palsy.

It is essential that a spinal cord injury be diagnosed as soon as possible through an MRI or CT myelography. However, preventive care is the most significant way of preventing a spinal cord injury.

Discuss Your Case with a Birth Injury Lawyer in Philadelphia

Did your infant sustain a preventable spinal cord injury during delivery? You may be able to file a claim for compensation. You should discuss your case with a Philadelphia spinal cord injury lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Cohen, Placitella & Roth, P.C. to get started on your claim.

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