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Oakland Personal Injury Lawyers > Blog > Birth Injury > Physician Mistakes Can Lead To Serious Birth Injuries

Physician Mistakes Can Lead To Serious Birth Injuries


When you have been eagerly awaiting the arrival of your newborn for so many months, it is devastating to learn that your infant may have suffered birth injuries. Stanford Children’s Health reports that trauma may be more likely when the baby is large, is not ideally situated in the birth canal, or is premature. However, there can be other factors at stake that are related to decision-making and care by medical professionals. In tragic situations, a health care provider’s negligent acts could be the reason your baby is born with birth injuries.

The nature of the harm and long-term implications of birth injuries are closely related to the type of physician mistake, and the losses for families can be considerable in severe cases. Therefore, it is important to consult with a skilled Oakland birth injuries lawyer if you have concerns about your infant. Understanding the link between doctor error and harm to the fetus is also critical.

Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE) 

When the infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen around the time of delivery, HIE is one of many medical complications that can result. There are multiple reasons oxygenated blood is not making it to the baby’s brain, and some of the complications are preventable. HIE may be linked to:

  • Undiagnosed preeclampsia;
  • Failure to identify problems with fetal heart rate;
  • Errors in ordering a timely C-section;
  • Not catching umbilical cord issues; and/or
  • Other mistakes. 

Erb’s Palsy 

The brachial plexus is a group of nerves near the shoulder area that connects the spinal cord of the neck to nerves in the arm. These nerves can sustain severe damage when a physician does not use proper care in applying forceps, a vacuum extractor, or other birth assistive devices. The resulting medical condition is termed Erb’s Palsy, and it leads to weakness or inability to use muscles in the hand, arm, or shoulder.

Cerebral Palsy 

This medical condition affects the infant’s motor skills and is associated with brain damage that occurs due to birth injuries. Cerebral palsy is a complication that results from HIE, but it can also be caused by placental abruption or uterine rupture. While both of these are health issues of the mother, the presence of either should be an indication that C-section is best to preserve the fetus’ well-being.

Trauma-Related Birth Injuries 

For the fetus, a normal delivery process is intense and disruptive. When the mother undergoes a difficult labor, delivery becomes even more violent and extreme. A physician may need to use pressure to assist the infant down the birth canal, and too much force can cause bruising, broken bones, brain contusions, and related trauma. The risk of traumatic injuries also increases through use of forceps or vacuum extractor.

Contact an Oakland Birth Injuries Attorney to Learn More 

If your baby suffers from birth injuries, our team at Venardi Zurada, LLP can assist with your legal options. These cases are based upon complicated medical malpractice principles, and our lawyers have the experience to protect your interests. Please contact our firm today to set up a free case review at our offices in Oakland or Walnut Creek, CA.



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