When healthcare professionals act or fail to act in such a way that a patient suffers harm, it is medical malpractice. In Pennsylvania it falls under the auspices of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act, or MCARE. Babies at birth are susceptible to injuries during and after delivery that may fall under this umbrella, depending on the circumstances.
They are fragile by nature, and the slightest mistake or neglected precaution may result in lasting consequences. There are some injuries commonly suffered by babies as a result of medical personnel’s carelessness.
1. Erb’s palsy
When the brachial plexus, a nerve connected to the spinal cord, tears, stretches or otherwise suffers harm it causes Erb’s palsy. This weakens muscles in the arm. Many instances of the condition are minor, with some healing on their own. However, there are incidents where symptoms are more severe. It is often caused by the over elongation of babies’ necks as they are born.
2. Cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy refers to brain damage or underdevelopment that negatively impact a person’s motor skills and muscle control. Those with it may have difficulties moving or maintaining balance. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, approximately 85%-90% of cerebral palsy cases are from injuries that occur before or during birth. Examples of medical malpractice that may result in cerebral palsy are improper handling of tools like forceps and vacuum extractors during delivery and not noticing infections or oxygen deprivation in time.
Babies may also suffer damage that causes seizures, hematomas and other issues during birth. Impairments from restricted blood flow and fractures to the skull are also not uncommon.
There are many potential injuries babies may incur at birth. Medical malpractice may play a role in situations where they do.
If you have questions about an injury to your baby or you that occurred at birth, Shelly Law Offices is ready to assist you and evaluate the medical records to see if you have a malpractice case.