Dealing with something as traumatic as a birth injury incident can take a large toll, especially since many conditions that stem from the accidents are lifelong. In some cases, these injuries could have been avoided and are due to a medical professional’s negligence. If you or a loved one feel that the issue of medical malpractice was present during a birth injury incident, a Hudson Valley birth injury lawyer could potentially help to build your case and protect your rights.

A compassionate medical malpractice attorney could work with you to get what you deserve and deal with the repercussions of a birth accident.

Types of Birth Injuries

According to accepted Hudson Valley medical standards, there are three major types of birth injuries: cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and, kernicterus. The first of these, cerebral palsy also known as birth asphyxia, is as a lack of oxygen at the time of birth that results in brain damage. In order to qualify as having brain damage caused by lack of oxygen at birth, the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology has four criteria that the injury must meet, which are:

  • Abnormal Apgar scores at 1, 5, and 10 minutes of life
  • The pH level of the baby’s blood
  • An occurrence of seizures within 48 hours of life
  • Multi-organ dysfunction, such as the brain, heart, or liver

When the child meets these criteria among these categories, then the child’s brain injury is considered to be caused by lack of oxygen at birth. That is one type of birth injury that can result in a condition called spastic quadriplegia, in which the child has a very limited function of their legs and arms. Patients with spastic quadriplegia are almost always wheelchair-bound and have long-term medical needs. A Hudson Valley birth injury lawyer could help an individual pursue compensation that could mitigate the cost of those needs.

Erb’s Palsy

Another type of injury that a child can have is called Erb’s palsy, which is caused by a nerve injury to a part of the neck the brachial plexus. These are nerves that go from the neck down into the arm. When those nerves are compressed or injured during birth, that can result in permanent nerve injury causing the limited function of their arms. Generally, this is caused during the delivery process when a doctor uses a pulling motion on the baby’s head.

Kernicterus

A final type of birth injury case that is handled is called kernicterus, which is a form of brain damage at the base of the baby’s brain that can be caused by excessive levels of bilirubin. Bilirubin is a toxin in the baby’s blood. When the baby is not able to process bilirubin, the bilirubin can actually go up past the brain-blood barrier into the brain and cause permanent brain damage to the baby.

When the baby is born, they will do an assessment of the baby’s blood level or bilirubin level, and if that bilirubin level is too high, they can do a prediction as to the risk of developing hyperbilirubinemia, which is an excessive level of bilirubin in the baby’s blood. If their risk of developing hyperbilirubinemia is high, then there are certain types of treatment and interventions, including phototherapy and blood transfusion, that will eliminate or reduce jaundice so the baby’s risk of developing brain damage is reduced.

How to Know if a Child Has Suffered a Birth Injury?

Parents tend to know fairly immediately whether their child has suffered a form of birth injury. The Apgar scores help with this, as they are an assessment of the child’s well-being right at the moment of birth, and they factor in their muscle tone, the color of their skin, their movements, and their extremities.

A neonatologist or perinatologist will be able to determine these factors as well. If the injury or symptoms do not become apparent until later, the child and their Hudson Valley birth injury lawyer will have 10 years to bring a claim under New York State’s statute of limitations. For more information about birth injuries and how a legal professional could help, contact a seasoned lawyer today.

Contacting a Hudson Valley Birth Injury Attorney

After going through a traumatic experience, such as a birth accident, it is important to seek help immediately from a professional Hudson Valley birth injury lawyer. The most important option when it becomes apparent that something has gone wrong during birth is to get the records reviewed by an obstetrician. This includes not just the child’s records, but also the mother’s records. By doing this, it provides context for the injury itself and how it could have occurred.

An experienced medical malpractice attorney could request not just the child’s records and mother’s records but also the fetal heart monitoring strips to assist in strengthening your case. By having as many records as possible, it would only help to build your case and help you get what you deserve.