Committed to Assisting the Most Innocent of All Victims
Fetuses, infants and pregnant women are the most innocent of all injury victims. During the prenatal period, during birth and soon after birth, mothers and their newborns must place their trust completely in the hands of the doctors and nurses responsible for providing medical care.
When birth injuries occur in California, contact the Bakersfield birth injury attorneys of Rodriguez & Associates. We handle these cases with the utmost sensitivity for and care of parents and children.
Birth injuries often happen in the blink of an eye, and not all happen as the result of medical malpractice. Natural births and cesarean procedures are potentially traumatic experiences for a newborn baby. Recognizing the most common injuries and why they happen will help you identify the difference between a tragic accident and a potentially negligent mistake.
Most Common Birth Injuries
Birth injuries include all injuries that affect babies during the delivery process. The most common birth injuries include:
Brachial palsy injuries. The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves near the neck and shoulders that controls hand and arm movements. Babies moving through the birth canal can get stuck in the pelvic area. If an obstetrician or midwife pulls at the baby’s head in the wrong way, a palsy condition may result and inhibit a child’s motor function and sensory perception.
Brain injuries. Hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) and trauma most commonly cause brain injuries during birth. Hypoxia can result in cerebral palsy and other forms of brain damage. Trauma may affect any number of areas in the brain and cause lasting cognitive and physical problems.
Facial paralysis. If a baby’s facial nerves undergo compression during deliver, he or she may experience temporary or permanent nerve damage. While this can happen naturally during the birthing process, physicians can cause or worsen the condition when using medical instruments on a baby’s head.
Cephalohematoma. This condition is caused by bleeding under the skull that may create a raised bump on the head. Most babies will recover from the condition over time. Birth assistive medical instruments may contribute to this type of injury.
Bone fractures. Babies in breech position (not head first) are prone to fracture injuries. As the baby moves through the birth canal, a physician trying to help along the process may pull too hard and break the clavicle or another bone. Most fractures heal quickly after birth and cause few lasting effects.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
Different injuries can often arise from a number of different causes. Some of the most common causes of injuries during the birthing process include:
- Improper use of forceps or a vacuum-like instrument.
- Large and premature babies. The size puts both of these categories of babies at risk.
- A mother’s pelvic proportions. Some women have narrow pelvises which may contribute to the risk of injury.
- Inadequate medical training or improper practice.
- Failing to recognize risk factors for certain conditions such as umbilical cord-related hypoxia.
- Prolonged and difficult labor situations.
- Breech deliveries.
Many injuries can arise naturally or as the result of a physician’s unsafe and improper practice. Identifying the difference between an unavoidable situation and a preventable mistake can help families secure the compensation they need after their babies experience lifelong injuries or death.
Preventing Birthing Injuries
Play an active role in the medical process before your due date. Ask medical professionals about risks, expectations, and how they handle certain situations. If you don’t feel 100% comfortable with the attending physician, voice your concerns and try to reach a compromise. You may have the option of choosing another acting physician during delivery.
Follow all of the recommended guidelines a physician provides, and keep records of your compliance. As long as you do not do anything to actively jeopardize your baby’s health or experience a naturally occurring risk factor, your delivery should go according to plan. If it does not, you may have a case for medical malpractice.
What to Do If You Suspect Malpractice
If you cannot match your child’s injuries with a naturally occurring complication, you may want to explore the possibility of medical malpractice. A preventable injury that seriously impacts a baby’s life is inexcusable. With help from medical experts and qualified support from a birth injury lawyer, you can secure compensation to manage the complexities of living with a disabled child or to start healing after a baby’s senseless death.
Keep all of your medical records and write down as much of the birthing experience as you remember. Discuss your case with a qualified birth injury attorney to determine if pursuing further action makes sense. When you hold unqualified and negligent physicians accountable for preventable injuries, you may also prevent other families from experiencing the same fate.
How Our Lawyers Handle Birth Injury Cases
Our injury attorneys proceed with birth injury cases on the basis that there is no need to speculate on what might have gone wrong during a birth. Rather, we work to determine whether medical care providers followed basic patient safety rules.
Doctors learn baby delivery methods early in medical school. Yet, often, birth injuries occur when doctors get sloppy and careless by not following well-established procedures when birth complications arise. Like anyone else, doctors and nurses need to be held accountable when they deviate from accepted protocol and policies and wind up harming one of the things we hold most dear in life, our babies.
It Is Essential That You Pursue Your Full Compensation Now
Brain injuries, cerebral palsy, shoulder dystocia, hypoxia, microcephaly, and other serious birth injuries can lead to the need for round the clock care for the rest of the victim’s life.
Contact One of Our Birth Injury Attorneys
Rodriguez & Associates is conveniently located in downtown Bakersfield, in the oldest free-standing brick building in the county. Our Bakersfield birth injury lawyers are available for weekend and evening appointments, charge no fee for consultations and speak both English and Spanish. To contact us, please call 661-323-1400 or 800-585-9262 to schedule a free consultation with one of our birth injury attorneys today.