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What You Should Know About Birth Injuries and Brain Damage

Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran

Giving birth may be as old as time, but it is nonetheless still a very physically traumatic experience on a mother and her baby. While advances in medicine have made giving birth significantly safer, there are still possible child birth injury risks associated with labor. Medical professionals make mistakes. You have a right to expect a certain standard of care. Brain damage can occur as a result of medical negligence during childbirth. Birth injury attorneys can file a birth injury lawsuit on your child’s behalf, get you access to any medical records necessary, and help get your child the financial compensation, including for pain and suffering, they deserve.

Infants who are at risk

Babies whose mothers are at an increased risk for a difficult labor, due to age, or the baby’s size, or if the baby is in a breech position are also at a higher risk for running into complications. Oxygen deprivation and other birth traumas can even cause brain injury.

Periods of labor that go on for longer than they should, especially when a doctor begins to detect signs of fetal distress, can cause a deprivation of oxygen to the baby’s brain. If a doctor delays his or her decision to perform a C-section, or if a midwife delays calling an ambulance, these are negligent actions that put the baby at risk. Lawyers specializing in medical malpractice at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help determine if these important steps were not taken for your baby.

Infants are also at risk if they are in the breech position during birth. The breech position is when the infant’s buttocks and/or feet are facing the birth canal. Babies are more likely to be in a breech position if:

  • they are part of a multi-baby birth
  • they are pre-term
  • the mother has had prior pregnancies
  • the mother has placenta previa, or the placenta is covering the cervix
  • there is too little or too much amniotic fluid in the uterus
  • the uterus is oddly shaped
  • fibroids are present in the uterus

Attempts can be made in the weeks leading up to the birth to try to turn the baby around in the birth canal, so they are in the proper position. If the caregiver finds it impossible to place the baby in the proper position, a C-section should be scheduled. If a healthcare provider fails to monitor a baby in the breech position in the weeks leading up to birth, they are negligent.
Other potential issues during birth are when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck, or if the placenta separates from the uterine wall too early. Large babies also run the risk of getting stuck in the birth canal, which can increase the risk of losing oxygen for too long.
Mothers with certain kinds of infections, such as herpes, syphilis, or rubella can cause brain damage to an infant.

Mechanical injuries

If a baby is stuck in the birth canal, they may have to be manually extracted using forceps or a vacuum. Forceps are like a large pair of tongs or clamps. Doctors place them on either side of the infant’s head to help assist the baby through the birth canal. A vacuum works by using suction on the baby’s head to pull the baby through the birth canal.
Both forceps and vacuums can cause injuries to the baby, resulting in brain damage. If too much force is used, the vacuum is applied to the wrong area of the head, or if the instruments are used at the wrong time, the consequences can be severe. If the baby’s head hits the mother’s pelvic bone too hard or too often during delivery, or if there is a lot of twisting and turning of the baby, this can also result in brain damage.

Complications from brain damage

Brain damage can result in a host of issues in infants, and some of them might not be fully diagnosed or recognized until they are older. Although the statute of limitations in Michigan states you have two years from the injury in the state of Michigan to file a malpractice claim, the law of discovery may be considered if the symptoms did not appear until later. Complications can include:

  • Cerebral Palsy
  • developmental delays
  • seizures
  • inability to regulate emotions
  • facial or skull distortions
  • learning disabilities
  • behavioral issues

If your child was diagnosed with brain damage due to birth injury, contact a medical attorney as soon as he or she is diagnosed.

Contact us

If you suspect your baby is the victim of brain damage from a birth injury, or has suffered a birth injury due to doctor or hospital negligence, Eileen Kroll is an experienced birth injury lawyer and registered nurse. She has years of experience with birth injury cases. Her medical training will help her present a strong case in court and get your child the compensation he or she deserves. Call us today at 866-MICH-LAW for a no obligation consultation. We never charge a fee unless a recovery is made.

Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.

Tim is a writer and editor who earned his Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from the University of Maryland and calls Washington, D.C., home after spending most of his adult life in the country's capital. Although Tim spent most of his post-college years in the restaurant industry, he became interested in writing about legal matters after he recently moved to Colombia. Today, Tim writes professionally about medical malpractice, drug policies, and workplace injuries. Tim is focused on curating his freelancing career and plans to work remotely for as long he can.



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