Philadelphia + Delaware County Birth Injury (Cerebral + Bell’s Palsy) Attorneys
The birth of a new baby should be a joyous and exciting time for a Philadelphia family. Fortunately in most cases, it is just that. However, not all birth go as planned. In some cases, a bad medical outcome was the product of defects in the gestation process. However, in other instances, the birth of an injured baby or a child with a birth defect is because of mistakes made during the birthing and delivery process.
In approximately 6 out of every 1,000 births, a newborn will suffer a significant injury. A birth injury is an injury to a baby that occurs during the delivery process. Such traumatic injuries may be caused by a physician’s improper use of forceps resulting in a fracture or brain injury, a failure to perform a caesarian section resulting in a damaging oxygen deprivation, a failure to recognize the warning signs of a difficult delivery, improper administration of anesthesia, or other medical errors. The most common birth injuries are Cerebral Palsy and Erbs Palsy. These are disorders that may permanently affect a child’s brain function and movement.
Birth defects, which are problems that arise prior to delivery, may also be the result of a health care provider’s negligence. For example, a physician might for prescribe a drug that causes injury to the baby before it is born. Wrongly prescribed dietary supplements may injure an unborn child, and cause a life-altering birth defect. There may have been a prenatal condition that was not properly diagnosed or treated. An expectant mother might be exposed to chemical hazards in a Philadelphia workplace that results in a birth defect to the child while in utero.
While not all birth injuries or defects are avoidable, those that are caused by another party’s negligence are particularly traumatic and the negligent party should be held accountable. These types of injuries may entitle a child and his or her parents to compensation for their losses. A baby that suffers permanent injury might be awarded damages for future loss of income and lifetime care expenses such as therapy, medical equipment and special attention your child may need. Whether you live in Berks, Bucks, Delaware, Chester counties or in any other county of Pennsylvania, the birth injury and birth defects attorneys of Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias, headquartered in Media, Pennsylvania, can help you protect his or her future.
Why Should Parents of an Injured Baby Seek Damages?
Many parents are hesitant to sue the doctor or hospital where the injury occurred. While there are many reasons why a parent might be hesitant to pursue legal action, there are highly compelling reasons to pursue this type of action.
Foremost is the fact that a child born with Cerebral palsy or Erb’s palsy will need more medical and developmental support than other children. This can include many, many trips to the doctor or specialists’ office to ensure that you child’s medical needs are being met. It can also include significant expenses to support your child’s social and intellectual development. Essentially, a birth injury lawsuit can provide the resources you need to provide your child with the resources he or she needs to reach his or her full potential.
Cerebal Palsy and Erb’s Pals are Common Birth Injuries in Pennsylvania
A birth injury will occur in, roughly, six in 1,000 births. While birth injuries are generally rare, when they do occur two common injuries are Cerebral Palsy and Erb’s Palsy.
Cerebral palsy is a group of disorders that will impact a person’s ability to ambulate. Cerebral palsy can also cause difficulties in a person’s visual, learning, speech, and hearing. Some individuals with Cerebral palsy may also suffer from epileptic seizures.
Erb’s palsy is a type of obstetric brachial plexus disorder that can be inflicted at birth. The injury occurs when damage is inflicted to a baby’s nerves in the upper arm. Damage to these nerves can cause an array of problems. Children impacted by this injury can suffer from an inability to move their impacted shoulder or arm. However, some individuals may retain slight movement in their fingers. In more severe cases, the injury can affect the spinal column itself resulting in paralysis of larger areas of the body.
How do Cerebral Palsy and Erb’s Palsy Injuries Occur?
There are generally, two main ways that a cerebral palsy injury can occur as part of a birth injury legal action. The first is that some action taken by the doctor or another medical professional during the delivery process caused an injury. For instance, excessive or inappropriate use of forceps or a vacuum extraction injury can lead to cerebral palsy. Alternatively, labor that is allowed to last for longer than 18 hours can also increase the odds of this injury. The second main way cerebral palsy injuries occur is through depriving a newborn of oxygen for too long.
Erb’s Palsy is also a birth injury and therefore it also occurs during or slightly after the birthing process. This type of injury is inflicted when a doctor or other medical professional makes one of three mistakes:
- The doctor fails to detect that the baby is entering the birth canal at an awkward angle leading to the head and arm being pulled in opposite directions.
- When a baby is delivered face-first, there is also a higher than likely chance of pressure and pulling on the shoulders. This type of pressure can also cause damage to the nerves.
- A breach birth can also result in the baby’s arms being pulled back as he or she passes through the birth canal leading to nerve damage.
Generally, both cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy are avoidable injuries that occur through medical mistakes at or near to the time of birth.
Our Philadelphia and Delaware County Birth Injury Attorneys Can Help
Our caring Philadelphia birth injuries attorneys represent injured children and their families with understanding and compassion. We will work hard to assess your case, consult with a medical expert, and obtain the certificate of merit necessary in Pennsylvania to proceed with your claim. The Pennsylvania birth injury and birth defect lawyers at Schmidt, Kirifides & Rassias will secure your child’s financial future so that you may concentrate on moving forward with your lives. Our personal injury lawyers will always take the time to answer your questions, discuss your concerns and personally return your phone calls. If you believe that your child was injured as a result of medical negligence, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are here, in nearby Media, Pennsylvania, eager to help restore your family’s well being. Whether you live in Bucks, Berks, Chester, Delaware County or any other Pennsylvania community, please call (484) 679-5239 for your free legal consultation.