Being born is a traumatic process. The baby is squeezed through an opening that is barely large enough to get through, often forcing all of the baby's bones to stretch and collapse inward just long enough to get through the birth canal. If the baby has to be assisted through, additional, more-severe trauma may occur. If your baby is diagnosed with any disorder, healthcare problems, or severe injuries, you may want to consult a birth injury lawyer at a law firm like Snyder & Wenner, P.C. The following highlights some of the more common injuries covered under birth-injury law.
Permanent Skull Damage
There are a number of devices used to grab the baby's head and pull the baby from the birth canal. Some of these devices use suction, which can cause the baby's skull to be cone-shaped for some time after birth. While it generally does not cause most babies harm, and their heads usually return to a normal round shape, for some babies it can cause permanent skull damage. This is especially true if the baby's head was very large, the baby was really heavy, and/or the suction device had to apply a lot of suction to assist the baby out of the canal.
Brain damage can result from the baby not getting enough oxygen during birth. While you cannot sue the doctor for any natural causes of anoxia, such as a tightened umbilical cord around the baby's neck, you can sue for bad judgment calls that prolonged the baby's lack of oxygen. This includes leaving the baby stuck in the birth canal with a compressed umbilical cord when an emergency C-section could have made all the difference. There are a few other causes of brain damage in newborns, but you will need to discuss these with your lawyer to determine if they apply to your case.
Injuries to the Spine or Connective Tissues
Newborns are such delicate things, but they are designed to withstand the initial trauma of being pulled from the warm, watery, dark, quiet of the womb into a loud, bright, noisy and (initially) very cold world. However, during that process, if any one of the birthing staff twists the baby around a little too hard, or pulls on an arm or leg such that it becomes dislocated and causes the baby intense pain, you can sue for that. If you have your baby's back examined by a chiropractor (which you can do after a couple of weeks), and the chiropractor notices that there are some out-of-the-ordinary spinal injuries, you can sue for that too.