Despite that fact that it has been occurring regularly since time immemorial, childbirth is still a complex process during which many things can go wrong. In fact, doctors practicing in obstetrics and gynecology are among the medical professionals most frequently sued for medical malpractice.
While there are many types of birth injuries that can occur, including broken bones and other traumas, some of the more serious yet common birth injuries result from nerve damage due to excessive force applied to a baby’s fragile joints as well as brain damage from oxygen deprivation. These types of injuries can have lifelong consequences including serious physical and cognitive disabilities.
- Cerebral palsy is a frequent result when oxygen deprivation during childbirth causes damage to the portion of the child’s brain linked to motor function. This can lead to permanent movement and coordination problems, including rigidity and spasticity, involuntary movement and speech and ambulatory difficulties. While cognitive impairment is not a symptom of cerebral palsy, many children who suffer from this condition have cognitive issues as well.
- Another common birth injury occurs when improper manipulation of a child’s arms causes injury to a cluster of nerves in the shoulder called the brachial plexus. Erb’s palsy and other brachial plexus injuries can cause motor and sensory deficiencies in the arms ranging from weakness to total paralysis.
While it is important for parents to understand that an injury during birth is not always indicative of medical malpractice, it may be worth an inquiry. Doctors and hospitals very rarely admit fault, even if they know that they acted negligently. Therefore, it is important to investigate the matter with the help of an attorney to ensure justice for your child if malpractice did indeed occur.