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Birth Injuries

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Injury Attorneys | Restoring LivesTM

The day your child is born should be a joyful day. However, for many parents, their child’s birth results in life-long injuries that could have been prevented. These tragic results may occur due to the incompetence or negligence of the medical doctors you trust to have you and your child’s best interest in mind. Birth injuries are more common than we may think, but they are preventable.

Types of Birth Injuries

A birth injury may result from any number of scenarios stemming from conditions or events during pregnancy, labor, and/or delivery. Common examples of medical negligence leading to birth injuries include the following:

WKW is well equipped to properly evaluate and pursue your birth injury case. In addition to being named one of Indiana’s Super Lawyers for ten consecutive years, partner Bruce Kehoe was also one of only three attorneys in the United States to be featured in Parenting magazine’s 2013 Top Birth Injury Advocates special section nationwide.

Causes of Birth Injury

Birth injuries are any type of harm, which could have been prevented, that is done to an infant near or during the time of birth. Babies can end up with a wide range of permanent damage from birth injuries—from mild to life-altering. Causes of birth injury can vary, but some present a definite cause with an evident person to blame. Examples of birth injury causes include:

  • Fetal oxygen deprivation
  • Delayed birth
  • Trauma from impact during delivery
  • Premature birth
  • Nerve injury or damage
  • Head and brain injuries including skull fracture
  • Cerebral palsy

More often than not, birth injury is due to medical negligence.

Birth Defect vs Birth Injury

Birth defects happen while the baby is still in the womb, while birth injuries take place during labor or delivery. Birth defects are common, and according to the CDC, nearly 120,000 babies are affected by birth defects every year. A birth defect is a health condition that affects an infant based on the child’s DNA or an outside factor that affected the baby while in utero. Genetic birth defects include Down syndrome, a heart murmur or heart condition, spina bifida, or cleft palate. Outside factors that can cause birth defects include smoking, drinking alcohol, or taking a harmful medication during pregnancy. It is considered medical negligence if there is proof a pregnant woman was prescribed harmful medications by her physician.

Conditions Caused by Birth Injuries

A difficult delivery can pose serious complications to an infant. Several conditions can be caused by birth injuries – some may be temporary or less serious, and some can be extremely debilitating. One of the most common injuries at birth are head injuries. Head injuries can include:

  • Head molding
  • Swelling of the scalp or brain
  • Bleeding outside of the skull
  • Hemorrhaging
  • Fracture

Aside from the head, nerve endings and bones can also be damaged during labor and delivery. Typically, nerve injuries affect the muscle near the injured nerve. Nerve injuries include:

  • Facial nerve injury – creates lopsided effect due to pressure
  • Brachial plexus – can cause paralysis in arms or hands
  • Spinal cord – injuries can be caused by over-stretching fetus during delivery

Bone injuries may also be present. It is not uncommon for fractures to occur during delivery. Bone injuries include fracture of the collarbone, fracture of upper arm bones, and fractures of multiple bones.

Birth Injury Statistics

Of every 1,000 infants born in the United States, 6 to 8 of those infants are born with a birth injury. This means that approximately 1 in every 9,714 people in the United States are born with a birth injury. Based on this information, 28,000 children per year are born with a birth injury, which is 2,333 per month, 538 per week, 76 per day, and 3 per hour.

Birth Injury: Negligence and Medical Malpractice

Birth-related medical malpractice occurs when a physician, hospital, or medical staff acts negligently causing an injury to the infant or mother during pregnancy or delivery. When an injury occurs to a baby or to the mother during labor, in many instances the harm was avoidable and the doctor did not use good judgement. It is crucial that the doctor, physician, or medical staff member use the appropriate treatment option or proper skill to avoid injury to their patient(s).

Medical negligence will need to be proven in order to have a case for Birth Injury Medical Malpractice. Birth-related medical malpractice can most commonly be identified by one or more of three cases:

  • Wrongful birth: Claims for wrongful birth can be based on negligence to complete genetic testing or failure to detect impairments during early pregnancy
  • Wrongful pregnancy: Claim can be based on parents trying to avoid pregnancy but conceiving at fault of negligence by the medical staff
  • Mother or Infant Birth Injury: This includes any injury to the infant, injury to the mother, and emotional injury to parent(s)

Filing a Birth Injury Malpractice Lawsuit

Birth injury lawyers file cases and work with families to get them an appropriate compensation to cover any expenses. If you or your baby has suffered from a birth injury of any sort, you may be entitled to compensation. Doctors, physicians and medical staff make mistakes, but they should be held to their expected medical standard of treatment to the patient. Birth-related injury medical malpractice suits are sometimes difficult to prove, and you will likely need medical records, medical bills related to the injury or illness, and all correspondence with medical staff and insurance. At Wilson Kehoe Winingham, our lawyers are beyond experienced to properly evaluate and pursue your birth injury case.

Contact a Birth Injury Attorney Today

Mothers who have suffered injury during birth, and parents of babies who have suffered brain injury, spinal cord injury, or any other birth injury as a result of birth trauma are urged to contact the Indianapolis Birth Injury Attorneys of Wilson Kehoe Winingham. The Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyers at WKW can help you get the compensation you deserve. Call 317.920.6400 or fill out an online contact form for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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