Medical negligence during prenatal care and childbirth can change a family forever. A medical practitioner’s poor foresight and preparation can trigger an avalanche of emotional and financial stress. Parents experiencing any condition that may result in a planned C-section or a possible difficult delivery should be aware of the following preventable birth defects.
Brachial Plexus Injury
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that control movement from the shoulder down to the fingers. These nerves can be damaged if the doctor is not careful with the baby’s head and shoulders during a difficult delivery, causing paralysis to the arm. The two most common injuries are:
- Erb’s palsy, affecting the upper area of the brachial nerves
- Klumpke’s palsy, affecting the lower portion of the brachial nerves
Caused by lack of oxygen to the brain during the birthing process, Cerebral Palsy results in damage to varying parts of the brain. Consequential impairments include developmental disabilities, mental retardation, and partial or full paralysis of muscle groups. Tremors and muscle stiffness are common symptoms. Cerebral Palsy can result from situations including:
- Undiagnosed infection, including toxoplasmosis and rubella
- Improper prenatal care, including gestational diabetes
- Poorly planned C-sections
- Premature birth delivery and improper post-natal care
A procedure requiring proper training and attention by doctors, brain cooling reduces the temperature in the infant’s brain. This procedure encourages cell repair from hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), a condition caused by oxygen deprivation. In some cases, brain cooling can actually halt damage from HIE. If the doctor is not fully familiar with or prepared for this procedure, unnecessary brain damage may occur.
Intrauterine Growth Retardation
Obstetricians are responsible for monitoring the weight and growth of the fetus throughout pregnancy. A diagnosis of intrauterine growth retardation means the baby’s weight is, for various reasons, at or below the tenth percentile for its gestational age. This condition may require induction for premature delivery. Obstetricians must carefully prepare accordingly to prevent unnecessary stress during labor and delivery that may lead to trauma.
Carey, Danis & Lowe – Medical Malpractice Attorneys
If your child has presented signs of developmental disabilities, he or she may be the victim of medical malpractice. Common disabilities caused by medical negligence or error can include delays in motor, verbal or social skills. These conditions should be taken seriously. Carey, Danis & Lowe represents victims of medical malpractice. We understand the emotional and financial toll that these complications can place on a family. To learn more, contact us today.