Common Birth-Related Injuries

Medical malpractice during the birth and delivery of a baby can result in many lifelong complications. Read on for information on common birth-related injuries and how birth injury attorneys can help victims and their families.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that impacts a child’s muscle control. Cases of cerebral palsy can range from mild to severe. This disease can result from poor brain development or complications with nerve cells while the child is still in utero. However, cerebral palsy can also be caused by asphyxiation (loss of oxygen) at the time of birth, brain trauma, untreated infections, or any event during the birthing process that results in ruptured blood vessels.

Erb’s Palsy

The brachial plexus is a network of nerves in the shoulder that carries movement and sensory signals from the spinal cord to the arms and hands. Erb’s palsy is a form of obstetric brachial plexus disorder that is typically caused by shoulder dystocia that occurs in the birth canal.

In simpler terms, Erb’s palsy is caused by a physical injury during newborn delivery or by a traumatic force downward on the upper arm and shoulder, damaging the brachial plexus.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) refers to a reduced supply of oxygen and blood to a newborn child at birth. HIE requires immediate treatment, as damage to the brain or other organs can be permanent or even fatal. When the brain or any organ suffers a reduced supply of oxygen and blood flow for any amount of time, serious complications can result. According to the HIE Help Center, HIE is the fifth leading cause of death worldwide for children under 5 years old.

C-Section Complications

A C-section birth occurs through an incision in the abdominal wall and uterus rather than through the vagina. In terms of risks of personal injury to the baby regarding C-section births, common complications include:

  • Premature birth, occurring due to the incorrect calculation of the baby’s gestational age. Premature births are often associated with low birth weight and subsequent health complications.
  • Respiratory problems. C-section births are more likely to need assistance with breathing and immediate care after birth.
  • Low APGAR scores. According to the American Pregnancy Association, babies born by C-section are 50% more likely to have lower APGAR scores compared to babies born vaginally.
  • Fetal injury. In some cases, a delivering physician may commit medical malpractice by nicking or cutting the baby during the initial C-section incision.

Medical Malpractice Claims in New Jersey

Plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases must be able to prove to the court that the physician in question acted negligently. This is defined as not meeting the expected medical standard of care. The medical standard of care is typically defined as the level and type of care that a reasonably competent doctor with a similar background and in the same community would provide. Personal injury attorneys will work with witnesses and medical experts to try to prove a healthcare professional’s negligence to a court.

Professional Legal Counsel in New Jersey

For years, the attorneys at Ferrara & Gable have been helping victims of medical malpractice and their families in New Jersey fight for compensation for their injuries. Contact Ferrara & Gable today to discuss your case.