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Common birth injuries caused by doctor negligence

On Behalf of | May 13, 2024 | Birth Injuries

Birth injuries can be traumatic for families, especially when they are the result of medical malpractice. When healthcare providers fail to uphold standard care levels, their negligence can lead to severe and sometimes lifelong complications for the newborn.

Below are common types of birth injuries associated with doctor negligence.

Brachial plexus injuries (Erb’s Palsy)

The brachial plexus nerve system controls muscle functions in the chest, shoulder, arms and hands. During childbirth, excessive force on the baby’s head or neck, particularly in a difficult delivery or breech birth, can stretch or tear these nerves. 

This condition, Erb’s Palsy, can result in weakness, loss of muscle function or paralysis in the affected arm. Negligence may involve failing to predict and manage complications in childbirth, thereby leading to this avoidable injury.

Cerebral palsy

Cerebral palsy is associated with abnormal brain development or damage to the developing brain, often caused by oxygen deprivation during labor and delivery. Factors such as failing to detect fetal distress, improper use of various delivery tools such as the forceps or a vacuum or not performing a necessary cesarean section on time can all be forms of negligence that contribute to this condition. Cerebral palsy can impair movement, muscle tone, posture and coordinated motor skills.

Perinatal asphyxia

This condition is a result of the baby not getting enough oxygen. The condition can occur during, before or even after the baby is born. This can result in hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which can cause neurological damage, including developmental delays and cognitive impairments. Medical negligence may involve ignoring signs of fetal distress, delayed delivery or inadequate monitoring of the baby’s oxygen levels during labor and delivery.

Recognizing these injuries and understanding their connections to medical negligence is crucial for affected families seeking clarity and justice for their newborns.


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