While all forms of medical malpractice can pose a significant danger to a person’s health, birth injuries are often especially devastating. A family may expect to welcome home a new member of their family, but instead, face a tragedy that could have been preventable.

If your child suffered a birth injury at the hands of a negligent medical provider or physician, consider learning about the role of a Hudson Valley birth injury lawyer. Call and schedule an appointment with a caring birth injury attorney to begin discussing your potential legal options.

Understanding a Birth Injury Case

Many birth injury cases revolve around some type of brain injury. When approaching such a case, the role of a Hudson Valley birth injury lawyer may start with looking at imaging studies of the baby’s brain. If the MRI or CAT scan of the baby’s brain shows any evidence of damage, a lawsuit could potentially be filed.

Assuming that an imaging study shows brain damage of the child, the next issue generally is whether there was negligence by the physician, midwife, or nurses and whether that negligence caused harm to the baby. Harm would be determined based upon the criteria of the Apgar scores of the child and the cord pH value, which is a blood test. It would also depend upon whether the infant had seizures following birth and whether there were signs of multi-organ dysfunction.

Types of Birth Injuries

Hudson Valley lawyers frequently see different types of birth injury cases. One common type of birth injury is called HIE or hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy. This occurs when the child lacks oxygen at birth and is also known as fetal hypoxia. If a baby is deprived oxygen for a prolonged period of time before delivery, it could cause profound neurological damage.

Another type of birth injury is called kernicterus. This is typically caused by excessive levels of bilirubin. When bilirubin enters the base of the baby’s brain, it may cause damage to the basal ganglia which is part of the innermost substance of the brain. Often times, elevated levels of bilirubin are brought about by jaundice. If jaundice rises too high, the bilirubin levels in the baby’s blood could become excessive and deposit in the base of their brain causing a toxic form of brain damage.

Erb’s palsy is another common type of birth injury. Erb’s palsy can occur when the child sustains a neurological or nerve injury to their arm due to excessive pulling on the baby’s head at the moment of delivery. In short, the baby’s arm nerves become stretched or sheared.

Common Questions Following a Birth Injury

In many cases, the parents of the child who experienced the birth injury want to know if it was preventable. More specifically, they want to know if what happened to their child occurred due to medical negligence or if it was the result of a genetic condition. An attorney could work to answer their questions by reviewing the child’s cord pH value and Apgar score. Looking to see if there were any post-birth seizures and multi-organ failure could also help a lawyer answer a parent’s questions. If the child has two, three, or four of the factors, there is a reasonable likelihood that the delay in delivering the child was the cause of the neurological injury.

The other factor to look at in cases like this is the timeframe between the mother’s arrival at the hospital and the delivery of the baby. For example, if the mother arrives at a hospital and the doctor quickly diagnose that the baby is in trouble or has signs of fetal distress and they deliver the baby quickly, it may not be a case in which there was any negligence in failing to timely diagnose and treat the fetal distress. If there is a significant period of time between the mother’s arrival at the hospital and the birth of the baby, it could be a sign that there was a delay in recognizing the signs of fetal distress that resulted in long-term brain damage.

Considering the Role of a Birth Injury Attorney in Hudson Valley

When a birth injury occurs, parents and family members may experience many different emotions. They may also wonder about how they could hold a negligent medical provider or physician accountable. If your child suffered a birth injury because of a reckless medical provider, consider how the role of a Hudson Valley birth injury lawyer might positively influence your case. Call today and schedule an appointment for a legal consultation.