Birth Injury

Washington Medical Malpractice Attorneys

A birth injury is any harm to your child that occurred during labor or delivery. It should not be confused with a birth defect that happens during fetal development. There are two main types of injuries that can occur during the birth or delivery process: injuries resulting from oxygen deprivation and injuries caused by trauma.

Elite Injury Attorneys NetworkIf your child is deprived of oxygen (called hypoxia or asphyxia), this can result in a permanent and life-long disability such as cerebral palsy, depending on how long the oxygen supply was cut off. Another common injury is Erb’s palsy, a condition where the baby’s nerves in the shoulder become injured by excessive force or trauma during a difficult delivery.

If you live in Washington and have delivered a child with a birth injury, consult with Elite Injury Attorneys’ Network, LLC. A lawyer with experience in birth injury lawsuits will review your case, and if it appears to have merit, he will attempt to pair you with a Washington medical malpractice attorney in your area, for no additional fee.

Oxygen Deprivation That May Result in Cerebral Palsy

The birthing process causes a minimal reduction of oxygen to the baby’s brain. Some children may display evidence of asphyxia at birth, known as birth depression. However, there is a reserve supply of oxygen and blood that the child receives through its mother’s placenta, so most babies who are born with a degree of hypoxia can recover easily.

Another factor that can lead to oxygen deprivation and ultimately cerebral palsy is an umbilical cord complication. If the umbilical cord is compressed during labor or wrapped around the baby’s neck during delivery, the doctor must be able to quickly identify and address this condition. If the obstetrician fails to react, such as ordering an emergency Cesarean section, your baby may be deprived of oxygen for a dangerous or deadly amount of time.

Trauma That May Result in Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy is a paralysis of the arm caused by injury to the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves that run from the shoulder to hand. This birth injury most commonly occurs in situations where the baby is delivered feet first (a breech birth). In this case, the shoulder may become stuck behind the mother’s pubic bone and the doctors must use force or extraction tools such as a vacuum or forceps. Excessive force or the improper use of these instruments can injure the baby’s brachial plexus, resulting in paralysis of the arm. This paralysis is often temporary, but in extreme cases it can require surgery to repair the damaged nerves.

If your child was born with an injury such as cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy, you may have a medical malpractice claim. Please fill out our online form and the Elite Injury Attorneys’ Network, LLC will attempt to find you a Washington medical malpractice attorney if your case seems credible.