Articles Posted in negligence

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Premature Babies, Brain Injuries and Cerebral Palsy

Birth injuries can uncover a medical mistake that was likely the cause of a preventable traumatic experience to a mom, an unborn fetus, or a newborn. This is especially true in early deliveries that could have been prevented with closer obstetric care and caution. Your baby may have been premature if born too early, before 37 weeks of pregnancy, while an expected, healthy pregnancy should last approximately 40 weeks.

  • Researchers from the Society for Neurosciencesay more than 60,000 babies are born early, weighing less than 3.3 pounds each year.

erb's and klumpke's palsy in infants

How Erb’s Palsy Injuries Can Occur During Labor and Delivery?

Most babies are born without any complications; however, a small percentage of newborns have medical issues that may have been caused at birth, including injuries to nerves and joints. This is especially true in breech deliveries, or forced inductions when an infant’s brachial plexus becomes injured. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves located near the shoulder. The nerves connect the physical function of the body to the spinal cord and brain. The brachial plexus is located on both sides of the infant’s body. Therefore, it can be injured when force is used to assist in the baby’s birth by a doctor who may haphazardly use forceps, a vacuum, or their hands to pull an infant who may be stuck in the birth canal during labor. When this occurs, the baby’s neck and shoulders become stretched, and damage to the brachial plexus is likely – but still avoidable.

Babies who suffer from this injury could have lifelong disabilities and cause an irreversible condition called Erb’s palsy. Erb’s palsy is also known by other names such as Erb–Duchenne palsy, shoulder dystocia, or radial nerve palsy. These are all forms of damage to the brachial plexus nerves. As a result, the arm muscles on one side of the body cannot move properly, causing the arm and shoulder to droop. In addition, as children age, they may have ongoing tingling in the hand or arm, making it challenging to participate in sports and efficiently perform simple activities such as eating, grooming, writing, and playing musical instruments.

how to avoid birth injuries

Your Doctor Should Be Doing All They Can to Avoid a Birth Injury to Your Baby

In many instances, birth trauma can be avoided if doctors recognize and foresee medical risk factors using regular prenatal visits, ultrasounds, exams, medications, and tests. But negligent actions on the part of the physician, nurse, or even a health care technician an occur and may be caused by:

  • misdiagnosis of fetal conditions

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Is Premature Infant Death Preventable?

As many as 1 million deaths are the cause of preterm birth complications each year, making it the leading cause of death among children under five years of age in the United States. One of the most common causes of neonatal death is premature birth, as are low birth weight and congenital disabilities. Unfortunately, medical providers can contribute to premature birth injuries and infant deaths due to malpractice and negligence, especially in the case of a physician failing to diagnose and treat prenatal problems, misdiagnosing the distress symptoms of either mom or the fetus, and failing to prevent an unnecessary premature birth. And some untreated problems in pregnancy, such as preeclampsia, problems with the placenta, umbilical cord, and amniotic sac (bag of waters), and asphyxia, are sometimes caused by a woman’s doctor not doing their job.

During the moments before and after a premature baby is born, specific attention and medical care are needed to ensure the infant will not suffer. Both prompt and correct support must create outcomes for a quality life for your child. During these steps, if a physician or medical professional failure occurs, irreversible and heartbreaking outcomes do happen. These injuries suffered at birth can be severely life-altering for both the child and the mother and may even lead to neonatal death.

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