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4 Types of Birth Injuries

Childbirth can be an incredibly stressful situation for all involved. Doctors and nurses rush about, the father clutches the hand of his wife, the mother undergoes an experience unlike any other she has had in her life. In the end, a new human is born into the world.

Throughout history, man strives to make childbirth easier and safer for both the mother and child. Today, the advances of modern medicine have done just that--hospital operating rooms are safer and more controlled than ever before, with greater aid offered to more people. Despite these conditions, errors can still occur. Birth injuries still happen today, sometimes as a result of medical malpractice or negligence. Read on to find out four common birth injuries and what you can do about them.

Cerebral Palsy

As defined by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, "cerebral palsy refers a group of neurological disorders that appear in infancy or early childhood and permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination." While cerebral palsy has many other factors and causes, it can potentially be linked to medical malpractice. Medical malpractice cases can include failure to detect and/or properly treat infections during pregnancy and negligence in using instruments during delivery.

Erb's Palsy

Erb's palsy, also associated with brachial plexus injury, is a condition of the arm caused by damage to the nerves between the upper arm ,shoulder and neck. Medical malpractice is also linked to this condition: a doctor may unnecessarily use force or pressure during delivery, which can tear or damage the aforementioned nerves. Resulting symptoms can include limpness of the arm, reduced sensation, or paralysis.

Shoulder Dystocia

In the same vein as Erb's palsy, shoulder dystocia occurs when the child's shoulder becomes lodged in the mother's pelvic bone during birth. Damaged nerves can result--or worse, lack of oxygen. While this occurrence is unpredictable and can happen at any time, doctors must be prepared to handle the situation should it arise. As such, a medical malpractice lawsuit could potentially be filed if it is suspected that a child suffered shoulder dystocia due to unprepared medical staff.

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy

Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy, or HIE, is a neurological injury caused by lack of oxygen during birth. While the brain is generally affected by this affliction, other organs in the body, such as the heart and liver, can be damaged as well. HIE can result from a number of pregnancy and childbirth complications, but doctors are trained to respond to these conditions with distinct protocols. Therefore, medical malpractice may be a potential cause of HIE if the medical staff failed to uphold the appropriate protocol.

At Colley & Colley, we handle each birth injury case with expertise, combining the experience of our East Texas attorneys with the knowledge of our medical professionals to thoroughly investigate the circumstances. Is your child a victim of birth injuries? Find out your options by contacting Colley & Colley today.