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What are the Most Common Types of Birth Injuries?

photo of a new born infant asleep in the blanket in delivery room

You have waited nine months for the birth of your baby. This day should be the happiest day of your life. Unfortunately, one medical error could turn this joyful occasion into heartache. In the blink of an eye, a tragic birth injury can jeopardize your baby’s entire future and turn your whole life upside down.

Such an injury can occur at any stage during pregnancy, labor, delivery, or postpartum. In the delivery room, if a medical professional makes a medical mistake, the results can be disastrous.

Failure to diagnose a prenatal condition, failure to monitor, or the misuse of forceps can all cause devastating injuries to an unborn child. However, some birth injuries are more common than others. Below are a few of the most common types of birth injuries seen in delivery wards across the country.

The Most Common Types of Birth Injuries

  • Cerebral Palsy. When a doctor or nurse fails to recognize the signs of fetal distress, the baby may become deprived of oxygen. This can result in significant damage to the baby’s brain. Brain damage in utero can result in cerebral palsy. Two out of every one thousand babies receive a diagnosis of cerebral palsy every year.
  • Brachial Plexus Nerve Injuries. The brachial plexus is a group of nerves located in the shoulder and the neck. Improper use of forceps or mistakes during delivery can cause significant damage to the brachial plexus. Damage to the brachial plexus can cause paralysis in the affected arm.
  • When jaundice is not properly diagnosed and treated, a rare kind of brain damage can occur. Kernicterus is serious and can cause lifelong seizures and permanent brain damage.
  • Facial Paralysis. The muscles and nerves in a baby’s face are delicate. If a medical professional fails to recognize abnormal fetal presentation or uses forceps improperly, the baby may suffer damage to the facial nerves. Babies with facial paralysis may develop difficulty nursing, blinking, or speaking.
  • Persistent Pulmonary Hypertension. After delivery, babies need to breathe to make the transition to life outside of the womb. Unfortunately, maternal infections, meconium aspiration, or failure to detect asphyxia can lead to pulmonary hypertension in the newborn.

Seeking Damages After a Serious Birth Injury

If your baby suffers an injury during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, you and your family may need to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to seek damages. Your baby may need a lifetime of care and treatment. Parents may suddenly find that they are unable to provide the level of care their baby needs. As such, parents should speak to an experienced and skilled San Francisco birth injury lawyer immediately.

Medical negligence or malpractice does not cause every injury suffered during birth. In order to file a medical malpractice lawsuit, your lawyer must establish the following:

  • The doctor owed you and your baby a duty of care
  • The doctor or medical professional breached that duty of care
  • This breach caused harm to you or your baby
  • The harm suffered resulted in damages

Contact Our San Francisco Birth Injury Lawyers Today

At Mitchell Leeds, LLP, our San Francisco birth injury lawyers have handled many cases involving these common types of birth injuries. We know that injured babies may need a lifetime of care, and so we are ready to do what it takes to help. Parents are going to need someone by their side if they hope to win the compensation needed to care for their injured children. Let our attorneys help guide your family through this tough time. To learn more about our services or to schedule a free initial consultation, call us at 415-769-3400 or fill out our confidential contact form.



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Birth Injuries
"In over 25 years of practice on the defense side of malpractice cases, Jeff Mitchell is the attorney I fear most. He takes very good cases. Jeff has the medicine and the applicable literature down cold. He is without a doubt the best cross-examiner I have ever seen. I have paid his clients a lot of money over the years."
- John M.

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