At Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P., we are sympathetic to the devastation caused by a birth injury, particularly when those injuries were preventable. Based in San Jose and Pacific Grove, our medical malpractice attorneys are experienced helping victims and their families recover compensation from medical professionals whose negligence results in harm to baby or mother. We understand the devastation every family suffers when birth injuries occur and are prepared to vigorously pursue all responsible parties. Contact our medical negligence attorney today to initiate a legal investigation into the cause of a birth injury or to pursue a claim against a negligent doctor.How Does Negligence Affect Birth Injuries?
An infant can sustain an injury during, before, or directly after birth because of the negligent act or failure to act by a doctor or other medical professional. Medical professionals are trained to monitor the progress of pregnancy and labor to identify potential complications and protect the health of mother and fetus. If no complications arise throughout the pregnancy, you would expect that your child will be healthy at birth. Unfortunately, doctor negligence may result in devastating injuries or even death before or during delivery or even after birth. Many serious injuries are not identified until months after childbirth. Because of this, birth injuries can be complicated to link to negligence.
Our attorneys are experienced in the investigation of birth injuries. If there is a causal link between the injury and the negligence of your doctor or another medical professional, we vigorously pursue your claim to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. We work alongside medical experts who help trace injuries back to negligent actions and inactions by obstetricians, perinatologists, anesthesiologists, nurses, and other medical professionals.Common Birth Injuries
Our San Jose, California medical malpractice attorneys are experienced with a wide range of birth injuries, including the following:
- Erb's Palsy
- Cerebral Palsy
- Shoulder injuries
- Hypoxia or anoxia
- Perinatal asphyxia
- Bone fractures
- Postpartum hemorrhaging
- Newborn spinal cord injuries
- Brachial Plexus Injury (BPI)
- Klumpke’s paralysis
- Brain injuries
- Misdiagnosis, delayed diagnosis, or failure to diagnose
- Medication errors
- Anesthesia errors
- Forceps, vacuum, and other medical equipment injuries
- Wrongful death of baby or mother
- Defective medical devices
- Birth injuries caused by Kaiser Permanente negligence
Cerebral palsy is a condition of the brain that hinders muscle control, movement, and motor skills. Babies who are born premature or have a low birth rate have a higher risk of cerebral palsy. This means that mothers carrying multiples or who have a higher risk pregnancy, such as with gestational diabetes or preeclampsia, must be closely monitored.
Cerebral palsy may be caused by a variety of factors during pregnancy or during and after delivery, such as:
- Infections in the mother or baby
- Lack of blood or oxygen to the baby’s brain
- Traumatic injury, such as a forceps injury during delivery
- Breech birth
- Untreated jaundice
- Failure to note Rh blood type incompatibility
The effect of cerebral palsy varies from baby to baby depending on which part of the brain was affected. Some possible problems include developmental delays, inability to crawl or grasp objects, seizures, blindness, hearing loss, or speech problems.
Understanding the long term effects cerebral palsy has on each child can be complicated. Your baby may need an MRI, cranial ultrasound, and other brain scans. Treatment for cerebral palsy may involve extensive therapy, surgery, medication, or assistive devices. You will likely also need to see a variety of experts, such as pediatric neurologists, physical therapists, speech therapists, and developmental experts. Our law firm works alongside all types of experienced experts who help to evaluate both immediate and long-term costs of treatments to maximize your financial recovery.Shoulder Dystocia and Nerve Injuries Caused by Doctor Negligence
Shoulder dystocia is another common type of birth injury which occurs when a baby’s shoulder gets stuck inside the mother’s body during labor and delivery. It may be caused by many factors, such as:
- Large baby (fetal macrosomia), often caused by gestational diabetes or delayed inducement after the due date
- Breech or transverse delivery
- Difficult or prolonged labor
- Pregnancy with multiples
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (baby is too big for mother’s body) or pelvic abnormalities
Shoulder dystocia may occur because a doctor delays or fails to perform a c-section and instead continues a long and difficult labor. Negligent use of medical tools may also cause injuries, such as errors in vacuum extraction or excessive use of force with forceps to pull the baby from the birth canal. In the worst cases, the position can cause the baby to suffer oxygen deprivation, leading to brain damage or even death.Brachial Plexus Palsy Injuries
While shoulder dystocia can have fatal repercussions, more commonly it leads to temporary or permanent nerve damage. Brachial palsy is a condition that occurs when the nerves to the arms and hands, called the brachial plexus, are injured through shoulder dystocia or other pressure, pulling, or stretching during birth. It may lead to symptoms such as numbness, weakness, or paralysis of the arm.
Erb’s Palsy is a type of brachial plexus palsy which affects just the upper nerves. Klumpke’s palsy or paralysis is another type which affects only the hand and forearm. In serious cases of brachial plexus palsy, the nerves are torn and the baby may suffer permanent, total nerve damage. Brachial palsy injuries may be treated with surgery or through physical therapy.Birth Injuries to Mothers
While we typically think of babies when we think of birth injuries, mothers suffer direct harm as well. For example, an obstetrician may neglect to monitor signs of preeclampsia, diabetes, or a large baby during pregnancy. One common delivery injury is due to negligent use of epidurals. When an epidural is placed incorrectly, an anesthesiologist may cause nerve damage, ongoing pain, or even paralysis. Surgical errors may also occur during c-section or episiotomy, such as suturing errors or failure to monitor for blood clots. Negligent care after delivery may result in serious infections, as well.Seek Compassionate Legal Guidance in the Bay Area Today
Do not hesitate to seek help if you believe you or a loved one has birth injuries caused by prenatal or perinatal malpractice. At Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, L.L.P., we have extensive experience supporting injured mothers and their families. Contact us online or call our experienced and compassionate medical malpractice lawyers to discuss your case at (408) 289-1417. We offer free consultations and handle cases in San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Alameda County, San Francisco and Oakland.