The birth of a child is a beautiful and momentous occasion for any family. Unfortunately, some births may not go as planned, and newborns can experience many complications and injuries during delivery. A neurological injury is one of the most devastating injuries a newborn can experience. These types of injuries can have a lifelong impact on the child and their family, and they often require significant medical intervention and ongoing care.
As a Florida attorney specializing in birth injury cases, I’ve seen firsthand how devastating neurological injuries can be for families. In this blog post, I’ll discuss some of the most common types of neurological injuries that can occur during birth, the potential causes of these injuries, and what families can do if they suspect their child has suffered a neurological injury during delivery.
Types Of Neurological Injuries
Neurological injuries can vary in severity and affect different brain areas. Some of the most common types of neurological injuries that can occur during birth include:
- Cerebral palsy: a group of disorders that affect movement, posture, and muscle tone
- Erb’s palsy: a condition that affects the nerves in the shoulder and arm
- Brachial plexus injuries: a type of nerve damage that can cause weakness or paralysis in the arm
- Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE): a brain injury caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain
- Brain damage: any injury to the brain, including bleeding, swelling, or bruising
Causes Of Neurological Injuries
Many factors can contribute to a newborn’s risk of neurological injury during birth. Some of the most common causes include:
- Prolonged labor or delivery: When labor lasts longer than usual, it can increase the risk of complications and injuries.
- Failure to monitor the baby’s oxygen levels: Fetal distress can occur when the baby is not getting enough oxygen, leading to a neurological injury.
- Failure to respond to signs of fetal distress: If medical professionals fail to respond to signs of fetal distress, it can lead to a delay in delivery and an increased risk of injury.
- Improper use of forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery: These tools can help assist with delivery, but if used improperly, they can cause injuries to the baby.
- Delayed or improper delivery of the baby’s head or shoulders: If the baby’s head or shoulders become stuck during delivery, it can increase the risk of injury.
What To Do If You Suspect Your Child Has Suffered A Neurological Injury
If you suspect your child has suffered a neurological injury during birth, seeking medical attention immediately is essential. A doctor can evaluate your child’s condition and determine the appropriate course of treatment. Depending on the severity of the injury, your child may require ongoing medical care, rehabilitation, and therapy.
In addition to seeking medical attention, consulting with an experienced Florida birth injury attorney is important. An attorney can help you understand your legal rights and options, and they can advocate on your behalf to hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions if your child has suffered a neurological injury due to medical malpractice or negligence. In that case, you may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
Neurological injuries can profoundly impact a newborn’s life and the lives of their family members. If you suspect your child has suffered a neurological injury during birth, it’s important to seek medical attention and consult an experienced birth injury attorney. With the proper medical care and legal representation, families can work to ensure that their child receives the support and resources they need to thrive.
About the Author:
Andrew Winston is a partner at the personal injury law firm Winston Law. For over 20 years, he has successfully represented countless people in all personal injury cases, focusing on child injury, legal malpractice, and premises liability. He has been recognized for excellence in representing injured clients by admission to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and named one of America’s Top 100 High-Stakes Litigators. Mr. Winston is AV Preeminent Rated by the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, enjoys a 10.0 rating by AVVO as a Top Personal Injury Attorney, and has been selected as a Florida “SuperLawyer” from 2011-2022– an honor reserved for the top 5% of lawyers in the state – was voted to Florida Trend’s ”Legal Elite,” recognized by Expertise as one of the 20 Best Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys, named one of the Top 100 Lawyers in the Miami area for 2015-2022, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida for 2015-2017 and 2019-2022.