What to know about birth injuries: cerebral and erb's palsy


The birth of a child is one of the most exciting and life-changing events a person will ever experience. With all the preparation comes a bit of nerves for most parents at some point. However, most parents never even dream that their child could be afflicted by a delivery mistake that renders the child with a birth injury. Cerebral and Erb's palsy are two potential life-long injuries associated with birth injuries.

Delivery mistakes can happen when the attending physician or hospital staff makes a critical lack of judgment or fails a delivery technique during the birth process. This can put strain on the baby's head and neck, cause restricted airway or other injury that causes the child to have a life-long injury such as Erb's or cerebral palsy. Sometimes cerebral palsy can occur genetically, but often it is due to the attending physician's decision before, during or after birth. Erb's palsy, which occurs in 2/1000 births, is almost always caused due to the attending physician when excessive stress is put on the baby's head and neck during birth causing nerve or spinal cord damage.

Oftentimes these birth injuries could have been avoided by utilizing another birth method such as a cesarean section. Emergency cesarean sections are often preformed when the labor process is excessively long, the birth canal is too small for the baby or other complication. If other physicians agree that a child suffering birth injury should have been delivered by cesarean section instead of traditional birth canal, the doctor or staff could be held accountable. This would be considered negligence and medical malpractice if found to be true.

There is no way to guarantee that a baby will not be injured during birth. However, if it is found that this type of injury could have been avoided somehow, the baby and parents should receive financial reimbursement for this tragedy. Birth injury severity varies, but it will definitely affect the course of the injured child's life. For this reason, financial reparations are appropriate to her the child medically and financially.

Source: injury.findlaw.com, "Birth injuries: cerebral and erb's palsy," Accessed Nov. 16, 2015

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