Colorado Birth Injury Cases
As a parent you know that some of the most serious and debilitating injuries that can happen to a child are birth injuries. These injuries can occur before, during or upon the birth of the baby and are in some cases the result of medical negligence. Although some birth injuries may occur from circumstances beyond one's control, injuries do happen because of the mistakes, delays and miscalculations of the physician or hospital staff by:
- Unusual delays in performing a C-Section
- Excessive force during the delivery or mistakes in the use of forceps
- Miscalculations made with regard to the size of the baby
If your baby has suffered a serious birth injury, such as Erb's palsy, or sadly did not survive due to the negligent and careless actions of the medical staff you have the right to file a claim for compensation. A Denver accident attorney may be able to help you during this trying time in filing a birth injury claim. Call a lawyer at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn for a free initial consultation.
Types of Birth Injuries
This condition is typically a result of dystocia (a difficult childbirth). There is a network of nerves in the neck/shoulder area called the brachial plexus. Especially when it comes to large babies, there can be difficulty exiting through the birth canal. Sometimes when doctors attempt to pull the child out, they can injure these nerves and cause Erb's palsy.
This is a condition that affects the motor functions and physical development of an individual. Many people with cerebral palsy incurred this condition at birth. The word "cerebral" refers to the infant's brain while "palsy" alludes to a type of paralysis. There are different types and degrees of this condition. If cerebral palsy begins at birth, it could be the result of hypoxia (lack of oxygen to the brain).
Undoubtedly one of the most common types of birth injury is fetal fracture. When dystocia occurs, obstetricians and assisting physicians must follow strict protocol to prevent or limit injury. Some fractures heal quickly, but other more severe fractures can require additional surgery and heal incorrectly if not treated.
In the most severe cases, shoulder dystocia can lead to the death of the infant. This type of difficult childbirth specifically refers to the shoulder. When an infant's shoulder cannot pass through the birth canal, doctors must use procedures like the McRoberts maneuver or the Woods' screw maneuver to get the child out without injury.
This refers to a lack of oxygen to the infant's brain. This can occur for a number of different reasons, such as umbilical cord strangulation or maternal smoking. Without adequate oxygen to the brain, the infant can be born with serious developmental disorders or in the worst-case scenarios the infant may not survive.
Cerebral Palsy Birth Injuries
Cerebral palsy is a condition that commonly develops in utero (in the womb). While some children are born with cerebral palsy from unknown causes, others develop it because of trauma before or during labor. This motor condition is sometimes brought on when doctors fail to exercise the quality of care necessary either prior to or during the process of delivery. Primarily this happens when doctors fail to respond appropriately in traumatic birth situations. If your child was diagnosed with cerebral palsy due to a birth injury, a Denver personal injury attorney at Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn can provide you with the necessary representation.
What Causes Cerebral Palsy at Birth?
There are a variety of factors that can directly cause or contribute to cerebral palsy. When a woman is having a difficult labor, a doctor is responsible for identifying what is wrong and supplying a remedy if at all possible so that the infant and mother are not injured. Listed below are some indicators that doctors should look for during a birth. Failure to identify any of these can result in trauma and a cerebral palsy diagnosis:
- Infections that the mother may have during her pregnancy
- Troublesome fetal heart rate
- Prolapsed umbilical cord or umbilical cord strangulation
- Identifying situations in which a cesarean section is necessary
- Size of the baby (too large for birth? too small for safe delivery? etc.)
There is negligence of omission and negligence of commission. Doctors can fail to perform necessary procedures, and they can also make terrible mistakes during delivery. Cerebral palsy can also be the result of serious injuries caused by ventouse (vacuum) and forceps mistakes.
Three Types of Cerebral Palsy
There are three major types of cerebral palsy: spastic, athetoid and ataxic. The most common type is spastic cerebral palsy. With this condition, an individual will typically suffer from stiffening or tightness in the muscles, making it difficult to move freely. Ataxic cerebral palsy characterizes about ten percent of cerebral palsy patients. This particular condition is caused by cerebellum damage. Athetoid cerebral palsy is comprised of hypertonia and hypotonia, making it difficult for the individual to remain in the same position, walk or sit.
There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but there are treatments that can aid individuals living with this condition. Ongoing therapy, medication and even surgery can be effective methods for managing spastic, athetoid or ataxic cerebral palsy. The complexity and enduring nature of this condition can present financial challenges to families raising children with cerebral palsy. If the condition was the result of medical negligence and a birth injury, you may be able to file a claim to recover compensation that could pay for ongoing treatment, care and additional costs.
Erb's Palsy: Explanation of the Condition
While the birth of a child is meant to be a joyous and celebrated occasion, it is unfortunately often complicated—leaving the health of both mother and child at risk. One of the most common and painful birth injuries is known as Erb's palsy and refers to the paralysis of the child's arm caused by nerve damage. While there are many different situations from which this injury can occur, one of the main causes is known as shoulder dystocia.
In some situations, this is a temporary situation that can resolve itself over time, however, this is not always the case. In fact, in many situations rehabilitative treatment must be used in an attempt to help the child on its way to recovery and in some extreme situations, surgery might even be deemed necessary. Three of the most common treatments that are utilized to treat this condition include:
- Nerve Transfers: This is usually only done to children who are under nine months of age and the transfer usually is taken from the opposite leg. Scarring is not uncommon but it is usually very faint.
- Subscapularis Release: Unlike nerve transfers, this is a treatment that does not have a limit on the age of the patient. Simply speaking, this is a procedure in which a small "Z" shape is cut into one of the muscles so that the patient has improved stretching ability in the arm.
- Latissimus Dorsi Tendon Transfers: This is a tricky procedure in which the Latissimus Dorsi is cut horizontally in half. This allows for the muscle to be pulled and then attached to a spot outside of the bicep.
Consult with a Denver Personal Injury Attorney Today!
If you have a child that has recently suffered a preventable birth injury, it is in your best interests to get the involvement of an experienced Denver accident lawyer that you can fully trust. While some birth injuries are completely unavoidable, it is important to realize that there are important risk factors that are well known—if your practitioner did not take steps to help avoid this injury, they could be deemed negligent and responsible for the injury.
At Anderson, Hemmat & McQuinn we know how emotionally and financial tolling it can be to have a child suffer an injury of this nature and we are firmly committed to providing our clients with the high-quality level of legal assistance that they can fully count on. Should you choose to work with us, you will be able to trust that we will stop at nothing in our efforts to help you.
Strong Representation from Our Denver Accident Lawyers
Proving medical negligence can be difficult and complex which is why it is important to seek the advice you need from a law firm knowledgeable in this area. Birth injuries can range from skin problems to fractures and damage to the brain. Such injuries can have a profound long term effect on the baby and could possibly mean lifelong medical treatment. With our years of experience working with birth injury claims our goal is to seek justice for those injured and to fight to obtain the maximum compensation possible for the care and comfort of your child throughout their lifetime. Birth injuries can be devastating for both the parent and their baby; Contact a Denver birth injury attorney to push through your birth injury claim for the compensation you deserve.
Free Birth Injury Consultation
Don't put off meeting with one of our experienced birth injury attorneys regarding your personal injury case. Contact our Colorado birth injury accident attorneys at (303) 782-9999. We can tell you right away if you have a solid case and we can get right to work helping you succeed in your birth injury lawsuit.