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Determining the cause of a birth injury

Bringing new life into the world is a miraculous event. Parents, whether it is their first child or not, enter the child birthing process with much joy and hope in their hearts and minds. A mother and father likely do not want to contemplate any unexpected complications during the labor and delivery process. Even more so, parents do not anticipate that their new bundle of joy will suffer due to a birth injury caused by a negligent doctor.

When a parent discovers that their newborn is suffered because of a birth injury, it is likely that they will have a multitude of questions. How did this happen? Could this have been prevented? Will this impact my baby forever? How will we pay for our baby's current and future medical expenses? Can someone be held accountable for these injuries?

They type of birth injury suffered could help determine the cause of the birth trauma. For example, cerebral palsy is a neurological disorder that could be caused by the lack of oxygen to the baby's brain due to an obstructed delivery, the use of forceps or vacuum extractor or anesthesia errors. Another common birth injury is Erb's palsy, which is caused by the stretching or the tearing of the nerves from the baby's neck to the arm. Lastly, shoulder dystocia could occur when an infant's head is delivered but the shoulders get stuck.

When these or any other birth injuries occur, it is important to investigate. An investigation could determine what steps the doctor, surgeon, nurse and any other medical professional took while assisting with the delivery. Moreover, this helps determine what steps these medical professional failed to take. In cases where negligence was the cause of a birth injury, it is likely that the parents could hold the liable medical professional accountable with a medical malpracticee claim. This action could help the parents recover compensation, helping them cover medical expenses arising from the injury.

Source:, "Birth Injuries: Causes and Investigation," accessed Sept. 11, 2016

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