Brain injuries during birth

Brain injuries during birth

The birth of a new baby is awaited with much anticipation by the parents-to-be.  It should be a happy time, with much joy and celebration But, for some families, their joy and happiness is replaced by anger and sorrow due to permanent, irreversible brain damage suffered by their baby during birth.

Brain injuries are one of the most serious of birth injuries from which a baby can suffer.  This is a devastating diagnosis that will permanently affect a child’s ability to grow and develop normally.

Brain damage that happens during the birthing process can be the result of lack of or decreased oxygen, and decreased blood flow to the infant’s brain.  Other brain injuries that can occur are “cephalohematoma” or bleeding in the baby’s skull and “caput succedaneum” or bleeding of the scalp.

An example of brain trauma that occurs during the delivery process is cerebral palsy or CP.  CP is sometimes caused by oxygen deprivation to the infant’s brain during birth. It can occur if the baby becomes stuck in the birth canal or behind the mother’s pelvis, thereby cutting of his or her oxygen supply.

The effects of CP usually include issues with movement such as trouble with walking, muscle spasms or tightness, and involuntary movement.  Some children with CP also have trouble with their speech, eyesight, and hearing, are prone to seizures, and may experience mild cognitive problems.

Could it have been prevented?

Brain injuries that occur during delivery are rare and are usually the result of negligence on the part of some or all of the medical staff.  If an injury to an infant’s brain has been caused by a birth injury due to medical negligence, the parents may have a valid claim of medical malpractice.

Some error that are typical of these types of cases include:

  • Failure to observe or respond to umbilical cord entrapment
  • Failure to respond to fetal distress
  • Failure to respond appropriately to bleeding
  • Misuse of forceps or a vacuum extractor during delivery
  • Delay in or failure to order a C-section when deemed a medical necessity
  • Inappropriate administration of Pitocin, a drug used to induce labor

Parents of a baby that has been the victim of a birth injury resulting in a brain injury due to negligence on the part of the doctors, nurses, or other medical professionals involved in the delivery process may be eligible to receive compensation for medical and hospital expenses as well as the cost of ongoing treatment to cover the care of their baby. This also applies in cases of negligence that occur during peri- and post-natal care.

Is there anything that you can do?

Greg Yates and Michael Shubeck, brain injury attorneys in South Dakota, have over 30 years of experience providing the best legal services when it comes to handling brain injury cases and can give you expert advice and information regarding your case.

If you feel that your child sustained a birth injury that resulted in brain trauma due to medical negligence, call our office to schedule your free consultation.