METRO DETROIT BIRTH INJURY LAWYER
The birth of a child is one of, if not the, greatest experience in the lives of those who choose to become parents. Unfortunately, injuries to the baby as a result of a Michigan healthcare professional’s malpractice occur and the results can be crippling for not just the injured child, but the parents as well. If your child has been injured as result of a doctor, hospital or other healthcare provider’s negligence, you deserve compensation.
While there is nothing that can fully compensate a family who has suffered a birth injury, a medical malpractice suit can try and provide money damages for past, present and future medical expenses, pain and suffering, emotional distress, and lost earnings capacity.
Some common examples of birth injuries are:
- Shoulder Dystocia – This occurs when, after delivery of the head, the anterior shoulder of the infant gets stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone. When this happens, the remainder of the baby does not follow the head easily. The major concern with shoulder dystocia is damage to the upper brachial plexus nerves, which supply the sensory and motor components of the shoulder, arm and hands. Excessive tension or pulling by a doctor can cause permanent injury, and may open the doctor up to liability.
- Erb’s Palsy – This is a paralysis of the arm caused by an injury to the main nerves in the baby’s upper arm, specifically the severing of the C5-C6 nerves. This forms part of the brachial plexus. This is a common injury as a result of shoulder dystocia, and depending on the nature of the damage, can result in permanent nerve injury. The risk of Erb’s palsy can be reduced with proper fetal monitoring, and a timely C-section.
- Klumpke’s Palsy – This is similar to Erb’s palsy, but involves an injury to the lower roots of the brachial plexus. The result is paralysis to the muscles in the infant’s forearm and hand.
- Brain Damage – An infant being born with brain damage does not necessarily mean that negligence occurred. However, one of the most important aspects of childbirth is paying proper attention to the fetal monitoring strip, which tells the hospital staff whether the child is getting sufficient blood flow or oxygen. A lack of oxygen at birth, or cerebral hypoxia, can cause lifelong brain injuries.
- Cerebral Palsy – This is commonly caused when babies do not receive adequate oxygen at birth, and results in poor coordination, stiff muscles, weak muscles, problems with speech or other senses, and sometimes seizures. Again, doctors are responsible for making sure the baby is getting sufficient blood flow and oxygen, and if necessary performing an emergency C-section.
- Maternal Injuries – Birth injures are not exclusive to the baby, but can result in injuries to the mother as well. Doctor’s are responsible for also monitoring the condition of the mother, and can be found negligent if their failure to properly do so results in injury.
- Cesarean (C-Section) Injuries – While a C-section is medically necessary in many instances, doctors must exercise proper judgment when performing them to protect both the lives of both the infant and the mother. Performing a C-section too early or too late can result in permanent injury or death.
- Kernicterus – Kernicterus, also known as Hyperbilirubinemia, is a rare brain damage condition that occurs due to high levels of bilirubin. Bilirubin is the yellow pigment seen on babies, and comes from the body’s attempt to dispose of red blood cells. While a doctor would not be the cause of Kerniciterus, he or she may be liable in a medical malpractice action for failing to monitor the high levels of bilirubin and treat the condition before it escalates.
- Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension of the Newborn (PPHN) – PPHN is a life threatening condition and occurs when a baby does not change from fetal to normal newborn blood circulation. Blood is forced away from the lungs due to high blood pressure in the arteries that go to the lungs, and the infant has a difficult time breathing. In many instances, PPHN is the result of medical negligence. For example, if the physician fails to treat maternal infections, fails to detect and prevent infant asphyxia, or performs an unnecessary C-section, he or she may be liable.
If your baby suffered a birth related injury as a result of a physician or hospital’s negligence, you can count on the Metro Detroit Injury Lawyers to act as zealous advocates for your family. While we can't turn back the clock and avoid the injury, we can hold those responsible for their negligence and provide meaningful compensation to your family. Contact the experienced attorneys at Metro Detroit Injury Lawyers today at 248-430-8929 for a free evaluation of your birth injury case.