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Medical negligence may cause birth injuries

The birth of a child can be one of the most exciting events in a parent's life. Sadly, that excitement can quickly turn into anxiety if the baby is injured during the labor and delivery process. While some of these injuries are unavoidable, many birth injuries are caused by negligent physicians. Sometimes, negligent doctors may fail to properly assess their patient's condition or fail to prescribe the right prenatal care. In other cases, the physician may make mistakes during the delivery, by improperly using medical devices or failing to perform a cesarean section when necessary.

Injuries to the baby's head can have serious consequences. Some babies experience caput succedaneum, or the swelling of the tissues in the scalp, while others experience cephalohematoma, or bleeding underneath the cranial bones.

Some common birth injuries occur when the physician improperly uses forceps or other methods of extraction. One common injury is bruising or forceps marks on the baby's face or head. In cases where the physician uses vacuum extraction, the baby may have scalp bruising or lacerations. The forceps may also put pressure on the baby's face, causing facial paralysis to the injured side of the face. If the nerve was torn, the baby may require surgery.

Another serious injury is brachial palsy, which occurs when the doctor has difficulty delivering the baby's shoulder. If the nerve is torn, there may be permanent nerve damage which can limit the baby's arm movements long-term. Clavicle and collarbone fractures are also common during the birthing process.

Birthing injuries can cause long-term complications and have a devastating impact on the family as a whole. If your doctor's negligence caused a birthing injury, you can contact a Maryland attorney to file a medical malpractice suit for damages.

Source: Stanford Children's Health, "Birth Injury," accessed on Sept. 25, 2017

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