Life for a child with a birth injury can prove difficult—physically, mentally, and emotionally. What makes birth injuries even more devastating is that they are entirely preventable, and occur when medical professionals do not perform their jobs as they should.
Below, our Philadelphia personal injury attorneys explain what life may be like for children with birth injuries.
Birth injuries happen when damage occurs as a result of physical pressure or other factors during the birthing process. Such damage often occurs as a result of:
The two main types of birth injuries are those related to physical damage and those related to oxygen deprivation.
Erb’s palsy is a birth injury commonly caused by physical damage. Often, these birth injuries occur when a medical professional pulls or twists an infant too hard during the birthing process and damages the child’s brachial plexus nerves—sometimes permanently.
Once a medical professional recognizes shoulder dystocia, they should take certain precautions to release the stuck shoulder. Such measures may include:
The failure to recognize shoulder dystocia or Erb’s palsy or to take the appropriate actions to mitigate the situation may be considered medical malpractice.
Cerebral palsy is a common birth injury caused by oxygen deprivation and brain damage. When an infant does not receive enough oxygen during the birthing process, their brain cells may begin to die and cause permanent brain damage. One example of such brain damage is the development of cerebral palsy.
In addition to oxygen deprivation, the following are common causes of cerebral palsy:
It’s up to a woman’s doctors to identify the warning signs of cerebral palsy and prevent it from happening.
Mothers, as well as babies, can suffer from birth injuries. Birth trauma is one such injury that can cause catastrophic damage to the mother and the baby. Common causes of birth trauma include, but are not limited to, the following:
The best way to prevent birth trauma is for medical professionals to take adequate precautionary measures including performing ultrasounds, stress tests, and more to check on the status of the mother and the baby before a problem arises.
Some birth injuries may heal on their own with proper treatment. It is more likely that the birth injuries that have the potential to heal are the ones caused by physical damage rather than the ones caused by oxygen deprivation. This is because birth injuries caused by oxygen deprivation often leads to brain damage, which can be nearly impossible to resolve.
Cerebral palsy, for example, has no cure and others, like hypoxic brain damage, often cause impairments that are irreversible.
So, what will a child who has a permanent birth injury experience in life?
Children who suffer from permanent birth injuries will likely face many difficulties in life, including challenges in their home life, school life, and social life.
A family with a child who has a permanent birth injury will need to make certain adjustments to their home life to ensure their child is safe and comfortable. Such adjustments include:
While the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) ensures that students with a disability are provided with free public education that is tailored to their individual needs, some birth injuries may be so severe that the child has to be homeschooled.
This can be difficult for families in a tighter financial situation who cannot afford to hire a tutor or to stay home from work and homeschool the child on their own.
Children with permanent birth injuries may find it difficult to communicate with others. In particular, children who have suffered brain damage from their birth injury may be unable to communicate their wants and needs to adults and children. This can make it difficult for the child to make friends or participate in activities with other children. It can also make it difficult for the child to care for themselves. Sometimes, those with permanent birth injuries require life-long, live-in care which can amount to hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of dollars—in addition to feelings of isolation.
All of these difficulties can cause emotional and financial turmoil for a family. If your child suffered a birth injury, you should not have to pay for all of the treatment they will need out of your own pocket.
At The Beasley Firm, LLC, our seasoned birth injury attorneys can help you identify any and all liable parties and recover the compensation you need for your child’s treatment. The damages that you may be able to recover include:
If your child suffered a birth injury due to a medical professional’s negligence, our team is here to help. At The Beasley Firm, LLC, we have the experience and resources needed to take on large hospitals and insurance companies—and win. In fact, our firm has secured several record-breaking verdicts.
Our renowned team has nearly six decades of experience helping families just like yours recover compensation.
Contact The Beasley Firm, LLC to schedule a free consultation.
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