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Birth Injuries Explained by Chicago Birth Injury Lawyers

Birth injuries occur due to physical pressure that develops during the birthing process, most often occurring while the baby is passing through the birth canal. Some examples of birth injuries include oxygen deprivation, contracting an infection, excess pressure on the head, and other complications. To put birth injuries in perspective, approximately 1 in every 9,714 people in the U.S. are born with a birth injury.

Our Chicago birth injury lawyers have seen the devastating effects that birth injuries can have on friends and family, and we are here to walk you through the legal process and answer your questions along the way.

Types of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries occur for many different reasons, but there are a handful of birth injuries that are more common than others:

  • Brachial plexus palsy: this refers to a group of injured nerves that help control the arm and hand movement. Typically, this injury occurs after a vaginal delivery with shoulder dystocia.
  • Caput succedaneum: the swelling of the soft tissues in the newborn’s scalp. This injury is often associated with babies who are delivered through a vacuum extraction. This particular injury typically resolves itself without serious complications.
  • Cephalohematoma: Bleeding that occurs beneath the baby’s cranial bone. While these bleeds typically go away within a few months, serious cases may lead to jaundice or may be a sign of other, more serious birth injuries.
  • Clavicle or collarbone fractures: Fractures in these areas are more common in babies who were born breech or with deliveries involved in shoulder dystocia.
  • Facial or nerve paralysis: While this could be the result of temporary nerve bruising, it may also be due to a nerve tear, requiring surgery to fix it.
  • Head trauma: The result of the baby’s passing through the birth canal or forceful contractions. Forceps and vacuum extractors may also cause this type of birth injury.

Causes of Birth Injuries

There is a wide variety of factors that contribute to birth injuries. For example, if the baby is not getting enough oxygen and doesn’t get delivered via C-section soon enough, this could lead to a birth injury. Other examples of birth injury causes include umbilical cord problems, bleeding in the brain, excessive force while the baby is being born, maternal or fetal infections, negligence during pregnancy, labor or delivery, and premature birth. Our Chicago birth injury lawyers know how upsetting birth injuries can be, so we will work with you to help you receive justice.

Birth Injury Examples by Chicago Attorneys

Some birth injuries occur simply because labor itself is a traumatic and extended process. When a mother is pushing her baby through the birth canal, tissues tear and expand, and the baby is literally being moved along by very strong contracting muscles. Sometimes a child can suffer slight bruising just from the natural process of birth alone.

However, the most severe birth injuries, those with life-altering effects, usually are the results of medical malpractice and negligence. These situations include brain damage, nerve damage, vision loss, lacerations and other disabling conditions.

One unfortunately common birth injury is hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This is when oxygen is unable to reach the baby’s brain, thereby causing damage that may never heal. HIE is a common factor in cerebral palsy lawsuits and may be the result of several other medical conditions a doctor or medical team must identify in order to prevent injury. Some problems that can lead to HIE include placental abruption, placenta previa, impaired blood flow, fetal stroke, trauma (sometimes caused by medical equipment such as forceps), or inadequate oxygen in the blood.

Medical equipment like forceps or vacuum extractors might also cause physical injury during labor. This kind of birth assistance equipment can speed along a lengthy delivery or help a child who must exit the birth canal immediately in order to remain healthy, but they can also be the cause of brain hemorrhages, bruising, and even permanent brain damage when used incorrectly.

There are many other factors which can lead to birth injuries, including but not limited to: Misdiagnosis of medical problems (e.g. maternal infections, preeclampsia), delay in diagnosis, improper medication use or administration, delay or failure to order a necessary C-section, and poor monitoring of fetal vital signs.

SHEA LAW GROUP – Our Attorneys Can Help

Birth injuries are sadly common and can be catastrophic, creating permanent and life-altering damage. The expenses and personal suffering that come with them are more than any person can deal with alone. This is why Shea Law Group is here to help.

When facing a birth injury lawsuit you need experienced lawyers who know how to handle hospitals and insurance companies and have access to reliable medical experts. At Shea Law Group, we provide dependable representation, and never charge a fee unless we win your case. Contact us today if you believe your child or a loved one has suffered from a birth injury caused by a doctor or hospital staff’s mistake or negligence. Receive a free initial consultation when you call 1(888) 979-9320.