Cleveland Newborn Injury Attorneys
Committed to serving injured infants and families
Before their child is born, parents worry about a lot of things — picking a name, setting up a nursery, learning about childcare, choosing the right car seat, and a multitude of other preparatory actions. Parents do not typically worry about whether a medical professional will cause harm to their child during labor or delivery. But medical mistakes are more common than most people realize. And medical mistakes that cause injury to babies are among the most significant medical mistakes that can be made, as they typically result in a lifetime of harm. At The Eisen Law Firm, our birth injury attorneys are invested in helping children and parents maneuver through a situation they should never face alone. We look to help families as they recover from these tragic experiences.
Birth injury statistics
One in every 9,700 babies born in the United States will suffer from a birth injury. In total, 28,000 babies are injured at birth each year—and these injuries are often completely preventable.
The most common newborn injuries are:
- Brachial plexus palsy (may result in permanent damage to arm muscles)
- Bone fractures
- Facial paralysis
- Cephalohematoma (hemorrhage between the skull and skin)
- Caput succedaneum (fluid accumulation in the skull caused by pressure from the cervix during birth)
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy, or H.I.E. (brain damage due to decreased blood flow and oxygen to the brain)
- Perinatal asphyxia (oxygen deficiency that results in brain damage and, often, injury to other organs)
- Cerebral palsy (permanent movement disorder; frequently the result of birth injuries)
- Intracranial hemorrhage (bleeding inside the skull)
- Subconjunctival hemorrhage (broken blood vessels in the eye)
- Spinal cord injuries
Some of these injuries may not have permanent effects on an infant. However, many of them, such as cerebral palsy, may cause serious, long-lasting injury and require lifelong care.
What causes a newborn injury?
The United States ranks 37th in the World Health Organization Ranking of health systems, but it’s considered to be a leader in medical science and treatment. So, what causes birth injuries in the United States? Often, medical doctors and other professionals make serious mistakes that result in injuries. And these mistakes are not always flukes. They often are the result of systemic problems and poor policies and procedures. Mistakes may include:
- Poor prenatal care: Care of a baby starts long before its birth. Doctors and nurses need to ensure that both mother and baby are in good health, and they must thoughtfully address any risky conditions. For example, health conditions such as placental abnormalities, preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, and maternal infections must all be monitored closely.
- Bad delivery timing: Delivering a child at the wrong time can have grave consequences. If the baby is delivered prematurely, it may develop breathing problems, for example, necessitating a stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). If a baby is delivered too late, the birth may be far more difficult, risking severe injury to both mother and baby.
- Overuse or misuse of Pitocin: Pitocin, a drug given to mothers to jump start labor, has been linked to an increased risk of a NICU stay. Sometimes, doctors and nurses continue to use Pitocin even when it causes contractions that are too frequent or intense, and they know the baby is not tolerating the contractions well.
- Unsafe use of tools during birth: In many birth injury cases, the use of forceps or a vacuum to assist with the delivery of a baby results in injury. Doctors should avoid using such tools unless absolutely necessary for delivery.
- Incorrect monitoring: A baby’s oxygen levels and heart rate must be checked frequently during labor. If they are not, indicators of serious issues may be overlooked. Sometimes a monitor will show problems developing, but doctors or nurses are sluggish in recognizing, reacting to, or dealing with the issue.
Far too many newborn injuries are caused by medical negligence — and these examples are only a few ways doctors and nurses neglect their responsibilities as healthcare professionals.
Did your child suffer an injury at birth? Contact The Eisen Law Firm today and receive a free consultation.
If your child was injured at birth, you should take action. Speak with an experienced birth injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss the legal options for you and your newborn. You may be entitled to significant compensation. To schedule a free consultation with the experienced Ohio birth injury attorneys at The Eisen Law Firm, call (216) 687-0900 or contact us online.