Unfortunately, a baby and mother can suffer birth injuries at any point during a pregnancy, labor, or after giving birth. Birth injuries are some of the most devastating and could require medical attention for the rest of the child’s life.
Birth injuries are preventable, though, and medical professionals can be held liable for the damages their negligence caused. There are many important steps during a pregnancy that require doctors to monitor the mother and baby for complications thoroughly. If a doctor fails to notice a condition or uses their delivery tools negligently, they can cause long-lasting and permanent injuries.
If your child has suffered a birth injury, our Tennessee birth injury attorneys can help you determine how the injury was caused and recover damages from those responsible. For a free case consultation, contact Howe Law today at (844) 876-4357.
The Difference Between a Birth Injury and a Birth Defect in Tennessee
Although childbirth has become a safer prospect thanks to modern medicine, there are still many things that can go wrong during the birth of a child. Some people might confuse birth injuries with congenital disabilities.
Congenital disabilities are abnormalities impacting a baby’s bodily functions or systems. Unlike birth injuries, congenital disabilities are usually caused by the genetic makeup of the child’s parents or by complications during the pregnancy. While both are unfortunate, birth injuries are not natural but are caused by the negligence of a medical provider involved in the labor and delivery of a child. Our Tennessee birth injury attorneys can help you determine if your healthcare provider caused your child’s birth injuries during delivery.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries in Tennessee
Unfortunately, there are many ways medical providers can negligently cause birth injuries. An OB-GYN doctor is responsible for monitoring the mother and child before, during, and after delivery and can be held liable if they fail to provide the medical care other OB-GYN doctors would have provided under the circumstances. The following are some situations in which birth injuries could occur in Tennessee:
- Failure to plan for high-risk deliveries
- Inadequate monitoring of the fetus’ condition before birth
- Improper administration of drugs, like anesthesia and epidurals, to the mother during labor
- Inadequate testing for potential before birth
- Errors in electing to perform a cesarean section (C-section)
- Improper use of forceps and vacuum instruments during birth
If you believe any of your medical providers contributed to causing your baby’s birth injuries, our Tennessee birth injury attorneys can help you hold them accountable for their negligence.
Common Types of Tennessee Birth Injuries
There are many types of birth injuries that a medical provider can cause. Many of these cases result in injuries that require long-term and sometimes permanent treatment. Few injuries can cause more pain and suffering than a child’s birth injuries. Our Tennessee birth injury lawyers can help you recover compensation if your child suffered any of the following birth injuries.
Brachial Plexus Injury
A brachial plexus injury, also known as Erb’s palsy, is a common birth injury caused by medical malpractice. Brachial plexus nerves run along a person’s arm and other body areas. Brachial plexus injuries occur when excessive force is placed on a baby’s head, neck, or shoulders during delivery, damaging the brachial plexus nerves connected to the spinal cord. This can cause paralysis, a loss of sensation in the baby’s hands, arms, and shoulders, and other limitations in the child’s motor functions. In the most severe cases, brachial plexus injuries can cause permanent disabilities.
Cerebral palsy is another common form of birth injury caused by the negligence of a medical professional. Many different accidents can cause cerebral palsy during pregnancy and labor. For instance, a baby might develop cerebral palsy from lack of oxygen, or perhaps the baby’s doctor failed to notice an infection in the mother or child before it caused serious damage.
Most children who have cerebral palsy have the condition permanently. Involuntary motions and uncontrollable reflexes characterize cerebral palsy. Children who have cerebral palsy deserve to be compensated for their injuries if they were caused by medical malpractice.
Asphyxia occurs when a baby is deprived of oxygen for an extended period of time. Serious injuries can result when a baby is without oxygen for too long. This usually happens when delivery is negligently delayed. In many cases, lack of oxygen will cause permanent brain damage to a baby, significantly impacting them for the rest of their lives. Asphyxia can lead to extreme physical and mental disabilities for which a child and parent should be compensated.
Broken bones are another common type of birth injury caused during delivery. Fractures tend to occur during challenging pregnancies, like a breech birth or when a child is facing feet-first in the birth canal. OB-GYN doctors regularly use forceps and vacuum tools during delivery which can easily cause fractures if these tools are improperly used. While broken bones are a serious injury for an adult, they can be life-threatening for a newborn baby and potentially cause long-term physical impairments.
Delivery rooms are intended to be sterile environments before and during childbirth to prevent infections to the child and mother. For this reason, medical professionals are also required to sterilize thoroughly before performing a delivery. However, infections can still occur even when all reasonable precautions are taken. Healthcare providers are responsible for monitoring a mother and baby for potential infections so they can be addressed early on. If a doctor fails to plan or inspect for infections, they could be held liable for the birth injuries they caused.
Spinal Cord Damage
Careless mistakes by doctors and nurses can also cause spinal cord damage during birth. Doctors can damage the spine if they do not react to complications during the pregnancy or fail to account for the baby’s positioning during delivery. Our Tennessee birth injury lawyers can help you gather the evidence you need to prove that your healthcare providers caused your baby’s birth injuries.
Our Tennessee Birth Injury Attorneys Can Help
If you or your child suffered a birth injury because of the negligence of a medical provider, our dedicated Tennessee birth injury lawyers can help you recover the compensation you and your child deserve. Contact Howe Law at (844) 876-4357 for a free review your case.