Skip to Content
Offices In Colorado Springs, Pueblo, And The Denver Metro Area

Bringing a child into the world should be a joyous occasion, but unfortunately, medical malpractice during childbirth can lead to devastating consequences for both the newborn and their family.

Birth injuries occur when healthcare providers fail to meet the standard of care expected during labor and delivery, resulting in harm to the infant. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the most common birth injuries caused by medical malpractice and explore their implications.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that affects movement and posture, often resulting from damage to the developing brain during childbirth.

Medical malpractice can contribute to cerebral palsy through oxygen deprivation (hypoxia) or brain trauma during delivery. Failure to monitor fetal distress, improper use of delivery instruments such as forceps or vacuum extractors, or delays in performing a necessary cesarean section are common factors leading to cerebral palsy in newborns.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

Brachial plexus injuries occur when the nerves that control the arm and hand are damaged, typically during difficult deliveries where excessive force is applied to the baby's head, neck, or shoulders. This can result in conditions such as Erb's palsy or Klumpke's palsy, causing weakness or paralysis in the affected arm.

Medical negligence, such as improper handling of shoulder dystocia (when the baby's shoulder gets stuck behind the mother's pubic bone), failure to recognize and respond to fetal distress, or incorrect use of delivery tools, can lead to brachial plexus injuries.

Bone Fractures

Fractures to the clavicle or other bones are not uncommon during childbirth, especially in cases of prolonged or difficult deliveries. However, these injuries can sometimes be the result of medical negligence, such as excessive force applied by the obstetrician or improper techniques used during delivery.

While many birth-related bone fractures heal without significant long-term consequences, severe fractures, or those that go undiagnosed and untreated, can lead to complications and lasting impairment.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy occurs when the brain is deprived of oxygen and blood flow, leading to neurological damage. This can happen during labor and delivery due to issues such as umbilical cord compression, placental abruption, or maternal complications like preeclampsia.

Failure to monitor and respond to signs of fetal distress, delays in performing a cesarean section, or inadequate resuscitation efforts after birth can all contribute to HIE. The severity of HIE can range from mild to severe,

Facial Nerve Injuries

Facial nerve injuries can occur during childbirth, particularly if excessive pressure is applied to the baby's face or if forceps are used improperly. These injuries can result in facial paralysis or weakness, affecting the baby's ability to move their facial muscles and potentially causing long-term cosmetic or functional issues.

Proper training in the use of delivery instruments and careful attention to the baby's positioning during birth can help prevent facial nerve injuries.

Intracranial Hemorrhage

Intracranial hemorrhage refers to bleeding within the skull, which can cause brain damage and neurological impairment. This can occur due to trauma during delivery, especially in cases of vacuum or forceps-assisted births, or as a result of hypoxic-ischemic injury.

Prompt recognition of fetal distress, appropriate use of delivery techniques, and timely intervention in cases of maternal complications can help reduce the risk of intracranial hemorrhage.

Does Your Child Suffer from a Birth Injury?

It's crucial for healthcare providers to adhere to the standard of care during childbirth, ensuring the safety and well-being of both mother and baby. When medical negligence occurs, families have the right to seek justice through legal avenues, holding accountable those responsible for the harm caused.

If your child is affected by a birth injury, contact Clawson & Clawson, LLP, to explore your legal options.

Share To: