Birth Injuries: Determining Who Is at Fault

Being a parent is one of the most rewarding things that anyone could ever experience, but there’s no doubt that raising a child can be a taxing endeavor. Even so, parents often welcome the challenge and raise perfectly healthy children. Unfortunately, this chance can sometimes be taken away from an individual due to the negligent actions of a doctor. Medical mistakes can cause serious injuries in children, so parents should be aware of these dangers and know how to recognize them.

Proving Negligence

Not all birth injuries are necessarily caused by the delivering doctors and for it to be proven, it must be shown that the doctor provided less than the typical standard of care given his position as a physician. Sadly, this can be very difficult, and this is especially true for a grieving parent who may be stretched to the extreme from taking care of their injured child.

As the website of Howell & Christmas, LLC points out, pursuing the truth behind a birth injury is extremely important not only for peace of mind but also because of financial reasons. Often, because of their birth injuries, medical care will be necessary for the entire life of the infant and proving negligence can, at least, help relieve the family from the financial burden of the child’s medical expenses.

Types of Injuries Doctors can Cause

There are a host of things that can go wrong during childbirth. While not all complications are due to medical negligence, there are a few injuries, which if they occur, could very well be linked to an error on the part of doctors or other medical staff.

Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral palsy is a term used to denote a group of neurological disorders. This condition can cause major issues with a child’s posture, muscle tone and ability to move freely. In the context of medical negligence, cerebral palsy can be caused by doctors failing to recognize a prolapsed umbilical cord, delaying an essential cesarean section and failing to treat infections in the mother.

Shoulder Dystocia: Shoulder dystocia denotes an occurrence of a child’s shoulder becoming stuck behind the pubic bone of their mother during birth. The child may end up with broken bones if the doctor doesn’t recognize the potential for this issue or doesn’t use proper techniques to respond.

Brachial Plexy Injury: The brachial plexus are nerves that stem from a person’s spine out to their arms, shoulders and hands. An injury to these nerves can cause numbness, lack of muscle control or even paralyzed arms.

Recognizing Birth Injuries

Newborns are unable to speak for themselves, so it’s vital that parents be able to recognize possible birth injuries. Broken bones, deformities or bruising, for instance, are sure signs of birth injuries. Unfortunately, there are other symptoms that may be less noticeable. In fact, some of these symptoms aren’t even caught by parents until well after they’ve left the hospital.

Other potential signs include excessive sleepiness or crying. Since all babies sleep and cry, these symptoms are especially hard to pick up on sometimes. Unresponsiveness and poor muscle control are also signs that an injury may have taken place during birth. One of the most dreaded symptoms of these injuries, however, is stunted development. If any of these symptoms are suspected, a parent should immediately seek medical attention for their child.

The worst thing that can happen to a parent is having their child injured, but it’s especially disheartening if one of these injuries is caused by trusted medical professionals. Luckily, most physicians take their jobs very seriously and avoid anything that could be potentially damaging to a newborn. For those who aren’t, however, there are consequences that they should face. This is the only way to ensure that medical mistakes will start to decline.


As a mom, Bethany Gillis knows firsthand the heartache of having her infant hospitalized for an extended period of time upon birth. Using information from the website of Howell & Christmas, LLC, she contributes this information so that parents who are going through such a difficult time as a birth injury of their child can better recognize the cause of the problem and seek help when necessary.

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