Legal Options After a Birth Injury Causes Infant Brain Damage
The birth of a new baby is an exciting, if not unnerving, experience to go through. Every parent hopes that their baby will be born healthy. Sadly, many parents are devastated to learn that their baby suffered a birth injury before, during, or shortly after delivery. The devastation is compounded when a baby’s injury is preventable.
Brain damage during pregnancy, labor, or delivery is almost always caused by reduced oxygen to the baby’s brain. The causes of infant brain damage are nearly countless, so determining exactly what happened can be a long, complex process. If your baby suffered brain damage due to a birth injury, contact a medical malpractice lawyer experienced in infant injuries and deaths for help taking the next steps.
Oxygen Deprivation During Labor and Delivery
When a baby transitions from life inside the womb to the outside world, he or she takes his or her first breath of air. Any delay or disruption in the birth process can lead to oxygen deprivation. Brain tissue that does not receive enough oxygen begins to die within a few minutes. Consequently, brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation is often permanent.
Reduced oxygen during birth may be caused by:
- Placental abruption and other placenta-related problems
- Umbilical cord problems, including the cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck
- High blood pressure before or during birth (preeclampsia)
- Shoulder dystocia
- Delayed cesarean section (c-section)
- Blocked airway
- Prolonged labor
Lack of oxygen can lead to conditions such as Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, hypoxia, and asphyxia. Babies who suffer brain damage during birth often experience developmental delays. They may have trouble eating, sleeping, or walking. Some suffer from seizures, vision loss, cerebral palsy, or behavioral disorders. Sadly, some infants are unable to survive the effects of oxygen deprivation and pass away.
Holding Negligent Medical Providers Responsible
If your baby was harmed by oxygen deprivation at birth due to negligent medical care, you may be able to bring a claim against the at-fault party. Some medical malpractice claims are brought against individual doctors, while others are brought against the facility at which the baby was born. Parents may be entitled to financial compensation for damages, including:
Their child’s medical needs
Rehabilitation expenses, including physical therapy
Lost earning capacity suffered by the child
Medical devices such as mobility aids
Special education needs
Wheelchair ramps or other home modifications needed to accommodate the child
Pain and suffering
The parents’ lost wages from missed work
Contact a Cook County Birth Injury Lawyer
Our Orland Park medical malpractice attorneys know that a doctor’s mistake or oversight can alter the course of a child’s life forever. We provide skilled legal counsel and representation to parents of injured and deceased children. Call us at 708-888-2160 for a free, confidential consultation.