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Birth injuries: What to do when a mistake harms your child

There are a number of different birth injuries that can be attributed to mistakes made before, during or after delivery. In many cases, the injuries that babies suffer occur during the birthing process.

When a baby is born, he or she should be in a downward-facing position and oriented to come out through the birth canal head first. If the child is not oriented in this way, there is a higher risk of an injury occurring.

Potential injuries include head molding, swelling, scalp scratches, hemorrhages and bleeding outside the skull bones. Depending on the angle of the child, there is a risk of brachial palsy. This happens when the brachial plexus, the nerve traveling through the shoulder and arm, is damaged.

What should you do if your child suffers a birth injury?

If your child suffers a birth injury, there are usually a few options. If the injury is not significant, the likelihood is that the medical team can provide options for treatment and help your child recover. Sometimes, they will do this free of charge, especially if they are to blame for the injury.

In other cases, the medical providers may not take responsibility. This is when it's a good idea to talk to another medical specialist to find out if the injury was caused as a normal part of a delivery or as a result of medical negligence. If the medical specialist is willing to support the fact that this was a medical error leading to injury, you may have a strong piece of evidence for a court case.

Certain head injuries are not life-threatening, like head molding, which is typical during the birthing process. Other injuries, like a subgaleal hemorrhage, may result from using a vacuum extractor too forcefully. This could end up being life-threatening if the child does not receive appropriate treatment for the injury.

After you discover that your child was hurt, make it known to the medical team, so you can begin discussing options for treatment. Your attorney can take on the case to help you get the money you need to support your child's ongoing medical expenses and the financial impact this injury has had on your life. With the right evidence and support for your case, you should be in a position to seek fair compensation to help your child recover and live with a high quality of life.

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