Recent research has discovered that over 250,000 Americans die annually due to medical mistakes while previous studies claim malpractice results in closer to 450,000 fatalities per year. A major reason for that is because while death certificates may state the cause of death they don’t usually mention whether human error was a factor. Even at the lower number, medical errors are the third leading cause of death nationwide, and yet up to 90% of jury trials are won in favor of the physician due to weak evidence. However, if your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical neglect, a competent Michigan medical malpractice attorney may be needed to help get you the financial means needed for ongoing treatment. Of course, you need to know some of the most common birth injuries due to medical malpractice to decide if it’s even worth the effort.
Brachial Palsy Injuries
Birth injuries along the upper part of the infant’s body are all too common. And when a bundle of nerve in the upper spine is nicked or pinched, damage to the shoulders, neck, arms, and hands can occur. In the case of aggressive delivery, Erb’s palsy can occur. Though this is usually a type of mild-to-moderate nerve damage, it can require ongoing physical therapy and pain medication.
Fractures or Paralysis
Any number of issues can occur during birth and lead to aggressive delivery practices. Handling the infant in a rough or harsh manner can, in turn, result in an occasional serious birth injury such a paralysis or fractures. Forceps, vacuum, or excessive pressure on the baby’s face or upper extremities can lead to pinching nerve clusters that result in temporary or ongoing paralysis. And the same mistakes can fracture soft bones, especially at the clavicle. Bone fractures are more common and signs include the infant’s inability to move the limb.
Hypoxia is a serious and potentially fatal medical condition where the bodily tissues are starved of oxygen. When it occurs during childbirth, the infant can suffer severe injuries including brain damage and organ failure. Hypoxia most often occurs when the medical team fails to monitor the fetal heart rate or react to problems regarding the placenta.
Brain injuries during birth are far too common. Cerebral palsy is an irreversible type of brain damage that can result in a lifetime of potentially serious challenges, including physical disability, sensory loss, and behavioral or learning issues. CP used to be associated primarily with oxygen deprivation during birth, but it can also be caused by aggressive delivery with forceps or vacuums, or the failure to diagnose or treat specific infections.
Undiagnosed or Untreated Infections
Newborns are especially susceptible to communicable diseases and infections. There are countless opportunities to develop those in a hospital, but they can also be caught and treated quickly and easily. However, if the medical staff doesn’t take proper measures to ensure the infant and mother’s safety, serious or even fatal consequences may result. If you’re reasonably concerned a birth injury is the result of medical negligence, give us a call to be connected to a competent and caring Michigan birth injury attorney.