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Birth Injuries

When a newborn child suffers an injury during child birth, the lives of both the baby and parents are forever changed.

One of the most tragic events a new parent can face is being told their child has suffered an injury, often before the child has taken his or her first breath. The tragedy of this news becomes even more devastating when the parents learn that their child’s injury was caused by medical malpractice that could and should have been avoided.

During the birthing process, newborns can suffer injury to their brain due to a deprivation of oxygen, or a traumatic physical injury that can interfere with proper function of the child’s spine, shoulder or arm. Some birth injuries may not be diagnosed for months or even years after birth. When such a condition is diagnosed, parents are often led to believe that their child’s injury was genetic when, in fact, many of these birth injuries could have and should have been prevented.

A birth injury can occur at many different times throughout the birthing process. Birth injuries can vary from being very minor to catastrophic and can even result in death. Parents of an injured child face the daunting prospect of years of astronomical medical expenses, and emotional stresses which accompany the process of raising a child with a significant disability. Also, a disabled child will often suffer the impact of profound physical and neurologic injuries for the remainder of his or her natural life.

Most parents have no way of knowing what happened to their child and many do not know where to even begin to search for answers. We’re here to help. We have the expertise to successfully prosecute these claims, and we rely upon the best expert witnesses to secure significant awards for our clients and their children.

Two of the most common types of birth injury are cerebral palsy and Erbs palsy (also known as brachial plexus).

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is damage to a child’s brain during pregnancy or the labor-and-delivery process, and it is often the result of avoidable medical errors. That damage can interfere with the normal communication between a child’s brain and body. A child with cerebral palsy may suffer lifelong consequences that negatively impact many of his or her sensory and physical processes, including speech, hearing, sight and the ability to walk and talk normally, etc. Cerebral palsy is often caused by a physician’s failure to properly manage the birth process, which in turn results in a lack of oxygen to a baby’s brain, causing brain tissue to be destroyed.

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Erbs Palsy or Shoulder Dystocia

Erbs palsy is a condition caused by injury to a child’s brachial plexus – the large system of nerves that runs down the spinal column to muscles in the shoulders and arms.  A child is especially vulnerable to this type of injury during the labor and delivery process, and physicians are expected to utilize well-known and accepted techniques to protect newborns from these injuries. When a newborn suffers this injury as a result of a physician’s failure to take advantage of these techniques, he or she has deviated from applicable standards of medical care, and can be held responsible for the resulting injury which can cause total or partial paralysis of a child’s shoulder and arm, and other profound physical consequences.

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Children who suffer birth injuries face serious consequences, including the need for lifelong medical interventions, surgeries, home health care, physical and occupational therapy, etc. The costs associated with this medical care can be daunting. If your child has suffered a birth injury, or if you have a question that has not been answered appropriately by your medical providers, call Porter Nordby Howe LLP now at 888-477-7731, or e-mail us at info@pnhlawyers.com.

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