Types of Birth Injuries in a Medical Negligence Claim | Searcy Denney

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Types of Birth Injuries Overview


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Types of Birth Injuries

For over three decades, Searcy Denney has represented the families of babies injured during birth. We hold obstetricians, nurses and hospitals liable for brain damage, brachial plexus injuries, facial paralysis, nerve damage and other serious harm caused by medical negligence.

Our Florida birth injury attorneys recognize the many challenges your child faces and aggressively pursue the means for you to deal effectively with medical treatments, assistance with daily living, lost wages, and other matters related to caring for your child. Our goal is to help you give your child the best medical care and quality of life possible.

Oxygen Asphyxia

During pregnancy, the placenta transfers oxygen-rich blood into the uterus. From the moment of birth, the baby breathes air to obtain oxygen.

Oxygen asphyxia may occur while in-utero because of low oxygen in the mother’s blood if she has anemia, low blood pressure or another medical condition. An interruption in blood flow, because the placenta was pinched or entrapped during a difficult labor, may also deprive the newborn of sufficient oxygen.

The baby suffocates if the placental oxygen supply is cut off before the newborn is able to draw a breath — for example if the umbilical cord was delivered before the infant or the placenta separated from the uterus too early.

The stress of delivery may cause the baby to defecate (meconium) into the amniotic fluid, which the baby then breathes in, a condition called meconium aspiration syndrome (MAS).

Even a very short period of oxygen asphyxia can cause serious, permanent brain damage.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

During delivery, the newborn’s fragile shoulder is vulnerable to injuries. In particular, the brachial plexus network of nerves transmits signals from the brain to the fingers, hands, forearm and upper arm. Damage to this intricate nerve system may result in brachial plexus injuries, Erb’s palsy or Klumpke’s paralysis.

These conditions manifest as paralysis, weakness, numbness, pain and disfigurement to the affected arm. Rupture of the brachial plexus typically requires substantial medical care and may never fully heal. Avulsion, when the brachial plexus rips off the spinal cord, usually results in a permanent disability.

Facial Paralysis

Damage to the seventh cranial nerve may occur if undue pressure is placed on the infant’s face during passage through the birth canal. Causes of facial nerve palsy include:

  • Improper use of instruments, such as forceps, during the delivery
  • Very large baby, increasing risk of vaginal birth
  • Long, difficult delivery
  • Improper use of epidural anesthesia during C-section or vaginal delivery
  • Negligent use of certain drugs that induce labor and intensify contractions

Facial nerve palsy usually affects one side or part of the face. A baby’s paralyzed or weakened facial muscles often appear most obvious while crying — the eyelid may not fully close, the lower face may look uneven and his or her mouth may not move normally. In severe cases, the entire side of the face is paralyzed.

Learn About Birth Injuries that May Give Rise to a Medical Negligence Claim

If your baby was injured because of medical negligence, you may have the right to compensation. Contact Searcy Denney to schedule a free consultation with our medical malpractice lawyers. Because we take your claim on contingency, you owe us no attorneys’ fees or costs until we recover damages for your baby’s injuries.

Our Fee Promise: No Recovery, You Owe Us Nothing.

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Call us: 800-780-8607free initial consultation

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Toll-free: (800) 780-8607
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Tallahassee, FL 32301-1231
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Phone: (850) 224-7600
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