Cleveland And Akron Birth Injury Attorney
Nothing can be more exciting for a family than welcoming a new baby into the world. But when a newborn is needlessly injured during childbirth due to the preventable negligence of doctors, nurses or other medical professionals, everything can change in an instant. What was supposed to be a time of joy can quickly transform into a time of fear and peril.
Injuries caused by medical negligence near the time of birth can result in death or permanent disability. Catastrophic birth injuries can financially ruin a family due to the overwhelming cost of providing complex and expensive medical care for the remainder of the child’s lifetime. Common serious birth injuries that can lead to permanent and severe consequences for your newborn and your family include but are not limited to the following:
- Asphyxia/Oxygen Deprivation: Asphyxia means lack of oxygen and blood flow to the brain. Birth asphyxia happens when a baby’s brain and other organs do not get enough oxygen and nutrients before, during or right after birth. The amount of harm depends on how long your baby goes without enough oxygen, how low the level of oxygen is and how quickly the right treatment is given. Asphyxia can cause cerebral palsy. One of the most common types of brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation is called hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, also known as HIE. When it occurs, it often leads to severe developmental and/or cognitive delays. HIE must be diagnosed within six hours of birth and requires immediate medical attention.
- Skull Fractures and Head Injuries: When forceps or vacuum extraction is improperly used during delivery, it can cause skull fractures, bleeding in the brain or swelling of the brain. This, in turn, can have permanent and devastating consequences for the newborn and can lead to neurological damage, including seizure disorder, cerebral palsy, HIE, and other serious physical and developmental impairments that can last a lifetime.
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy (CP) refers to a group of disorders that affect muscle movement and coordination. Vision, hearing, speech, breathing and sensation can also be affected in many cases. The symptoms of CP range from mild to severe and vary from person to person. Cerebral palsy can be caused by asphyxia (oxygen deprivation), brain injury or head trauma sustained during birth due to medical negligence. Other forms of medical negligence that can result in CP include delayed delivery, improper use of forceps or a vacuum extractor, failure to recognize fetal distress or perform a cesarean section when fetal distress is present, and the failure to treat seizures, among others. Infants born with CP can oftentimes require a lifetime of expensive medical and rehabilitation care by numerous specialists. This can take a financial and emotional toll on families.
- Brachial Plexus Injury and Erb’s Palsy: During childbirth, an infant’s shoulder can get lodged in the mother’s pelvis. This is known as shoulder dystocia. It is an obstetric emergency. Failure to use proper care to deliver a baby with shoulder dystocia can stretch the brachial plexus, which is the network of nerves that send signals from your spinal cord to your shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched, compressed or torn away from the spinal cord. A baby born with brachial plexus injuries can sustain Erb’s palsy, Klumpke’s palsy and other severe disabilities. Erb’s palsy occurs when the brachial plexus nerves in the upper arm are damaged. Erb’s palsy will range in severity depending on how the injury happened and can result in full or partial paralysis of the affected arm, as well as loss of sensory and/or motor function in the affected arm. Klumpke’s palsy affects the lower portion of the brachial plexus nerves and causes paralysis in the forearm and the hand.
- Untreated Infections: Untreated infections, such as hepatitis B, herpes simplex, HIV, toxoplasmosis, group beta streptococcus, urinary tract infections and others can result in serious and permanent injuries to your newborn, or even death.
- Maternal Injuries and Death: Apart from injuries to the newborn, mothers can also be seriously injured or even die due to medical negligence occurring before, during or right after the birth. A variety of medical errors can lead to serious injuries that affect a mother’s health for many years or even permanently. Some of the more common causes of serious maternal injuries due to medical negligence include uterine rupture, infections, the failure to recognize or treat blood clots (also known as a pulmonary embolism), the failure to recognize or adequately treat excessive bleeding or hemorrhage, and the failure to recognize or treat pre-eclampsia.
If you or your baby was seriously injured before, during or immediately after birth and suffered a catastrophic birth injury or wrongful death due to the medical negligence of doctors, nurses or other medical providers, it is your right to hold them accountable. The lifetime cost of caring for your child’s birth injuries can be astronomical and can take a significant toll on your family: physically, mentally, financially and otherwise. You or your child may need ongoing surgeries, nursing care, medical care, medications, medical equipment, physical, occupational and speech therapy, in-home personal attendants and home modifications, among other life care needs.
The Keefe Law Firm, LLC, and Ohio Super Lawyer Stephen T. Keefe, Jr., are committed to fighting hard for your family and child, aggressively protecting your rights, and pursuing full and fair compensation when your child is permanently injured due to medical negligence. Monetary compensation can help provide for your child’s well-being, cover the past and future costs of medical and rehabilitation care, and ensure that your child is safe in the years to come.
We provide strong representation to clients throughout Cleveland, Akron, Lakewood, Columbus, Elyria, Lorain, Youngstown, Canton, Toledo, Dayton and the entire state of Ohio. Many birth injuries to both mother and baby can be avoided if appropriate care is given. If your newborn is seriously injured at birth and you believe that the negligence of a doctor or hospital caused the injury, call us today at 216-815-3574 or email us so we can promptly schedule a free initial consultation to evaluate your claims. We are here to help.