Traumatic Brain Injury Lawyer

Traumatic injuries to a baby will usually occur during a difficult vaginal delivery as a result of the improper use of a vacuum or forceps to help the baby’s head exit the birth canal. These instruments can cause direct injuries to the baby’s head and brain, and in some cases, lead to death. The most common type of traumatic birth injury involves a stretching of the nerves of the brachial plexus, which is known as Erb’s palsy. This injury is usually a result of the baby’s size in relation to the birth canal. Whenever such a cephalo-pelvic disproportion (CPD) is diagnosed or suspected prior to delivery, the obstetrician will usually decide to delivery the baby by cesarean section. However, when a baby of this size is delivered vaginally, the delivery process will be difficult and prolonged, with evidence of a possible shoulder dystocia. Once the head emerges, the obstetrician can cause injury to the nerves in the baby’s neck (brachial plexus) by pulling and turning the head in an attempt to complete the delivery process. If the doctor’s twisting and turning of the head is done with sufficient force, the nerves to the arm can be avulsed, or pulled out of their attachment to the spinal cord. More often, these maneuvers result in a stretching or tearing of the nerves, and, over time, there can be some recovery. It can often take many months after delivery to fully assess the degree of permanent injury. Your child’s brain injury may be the result of medical malpractice or negligence.

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This resource page is provided by Dr. Bruce Fagel for your information. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation.