Mechanical and Assisted Birth Trauma

Assisted birth trauma such as a newborn head injury could be the result of mechanical forces applied during labor and delivery, like traction or forceps or vacuums during birth. If a healthcare professional was negligent in the application of force or use of birthing tools, an Ohio medical malpractice attorney in Cleveland may help parents prove negligence and recover compensation for their damages.

Traction and Assisted Birth Trauma

If excessive traction (often caused by the doctor pulling too quickly or forcefully) is required to deliver the child, it can also result in birth injuries and trauma.

The most common type of traction injury occurs to the brachial plexus, a bundle of nerves that controls movement of the child’s:

  • arm;
  • shoulder;
  • hand; and
  • fingers.

When excessive traction is used to free the baby from the birth canal, usually because the shoulder is trapped behind the mother’s pelvic bone, it can injure, stretch or tear this delicate area of nerves and lead to temporary or even permanent paralysis.

Depending on the severity of the brachial plexus injury, the baby may or may not fully recover. If the nerves are stretched, it is possible to regain full movement of the arm and hand. If the nerves are torn or ripped, however, a nerve graft may be required and full recovery may not be possible. Medical costs and other damages may be recoverable if a doctor’s negligent actions were to blame for the injuries or excessive mechanical forces were used. An Ohio medical malpractice attorney in Cleveland can help parents establish their damages and liability for injuries.

Forceps and Vacuum Extractions and Assisted Birth Trauma

Forceps and vacuums are often used to remove babies from the womb who are:

  • breeched;
  • stuck; or
  • otherwise unable to be delivered on their own.

While their use may cause minor injury, if not used correctly they can result in serious newborn head injuries and trauma to the child.

Some possible newborn head injuries caused by the use of forceps and vacuums include:

  • facial paralysis;
  • caput succadeaneum, a swelling of the baby’s scalp tissues;
  • facial and cranial nerve damage;
  • subaponeurotic hemorrhage, in which blood accumulates beneath the skull; and
  • fractures and broken bones.

With some injuries, including bruising, cuts, lacerations, and broken bones, the child may be able to fully recover and suffer no long-term consequences. With others, such as nerve damage or paralysis, the effects may be permanent and may warrant help from an Ohio medical malpractice attorney in Cleveland to address long-term costs and damages.

Risk Factors for Assisted Birth Trauma

There are some factors that may make a newborn more susceptible to assisted birth trauma such as newborn head injuries and neck injuries.

Some of these include:

  • the baby is larger than average;
  • forceps or vacuums are used;
  • the baby is in a breeched position;
  • there is excessive traction or force used during delivery;
  • the labor is particularly prolonged or difficult; and
  • the mother’s pelvis is small.

Attending physicians are responsible for recognizing these risk factors and responding to them appropriately before and during the child’s delivery. If birth trauma or injury is suffered, it could be considered medical malpractice and the child’s parents may have grounds for a legal claim with help from an Ohio medical malpractice attorney in Cleveland.

Filing a Malpractice Claim with Help from an Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorney in Cleveland

Parents whose child has suffered because of mechanical birth trauma like newborn head injuries or problems with the neck or shoulder related to medical negligence may call Mellino Robenalt LLC at 440-333-3800 or 216-241-1901 to set up a consultation with an Ohio medical malpractice attorney in Cleveland. Victims could be due compensation for any medical bills, lost income, pain, suffering and other damages associated with the assisted birth trauma.

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