212-LAWYERS or (212) 344-1000

Birth Injuries: HIE Puts Infants at Risk During Childbirth

Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy (HIE) occurs when a newborn baby’s oxygen and blood flow to the brain are reduced resulting in brain injuries. 

It develops from the prenatal to the postnatal period. But it often occurs during labor, when infants are under extreme stress due to uterine contractions.

Generally, a child who suffers from HIE will most likely go on to have cerebral palsy and other life-long disabilities. In the United States, it occurs in 1 to 3 for every 1000 births. And the percentage of infants diagnosed with cerebral palsy ranges from 15% to 28%. 

Black Woman’s Death During Childbirth Brings Up Medical Racism

The death of Sha-asia Washington on July 3 at Woodhull Hospital in Brooklyn has brought the rising medical racism in New York in the spotlight. Washington, 26, died of medical malpractice after giving birth to her daughter Khloe, becoming one of the many black women who have died of complications during delivery. Washinton’s death has given rise to an urgency to tackle the prevalent racial prejudices in NYC hospitals. 

Maryland Woman Won the Largest Medical Malpractice Verdict in History

A woman in Prince George’s County, Maryland, won the largest medical malpractice verdict in US history when a Baltimore judge awarded her $205 million in July 2019. 

Erica Byrom sued the John Hopkins Bayview Medical Centre after complications during the birth of her daughter, which resulted in a serious brain injury to the now 5-year-old girl. The jury awarded her $229 million, but state cap reduced the awarded amount to $205 million soon after.

Birth Injuries and Erb’s Palsy

What is Erb’s Palsy?

Erb’s palsy, also known as brachial plexus palsy, is a condition whereby your baby cannot use one or both of their arms, shoulders, or hands adequately. The condition presents through the affected limbs being weak, lacking feeling, or completely paralyzed. It is caused by the collection of nerves around your baby’s shoulder being damaged during a difficult delivery. 

Unlike cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy results from direct damage to these nerves as opposed to damage to your child’s brain. Because this injury occurs around the time of birth, it is considered a birth injury.

OB-GYN Ordered to Pay $3,000,000 in Birth Injury Lawsuit

In September 2017, a Superior Court jury issued a $3 million dollar verdict against a Dover OB-GYN who was accused of causing permanent nerve damage and paralysis to a newborn’s right arm by forcefully pulling the baby out by his head during delivery. 

Though the incident happened in 2008, the baby’s mother did not file a medical malpractice lawsuit until 2014 in New Castle County Superior Court, Delaware. According to court documents, Peter Wong – the OB-GYN involved in the delivery – pulled too hard on the baby’s head and neck while trying to dislodge the baby’s stuck shoulder. Monica Broughton, the child’s mother, stated that Peter Wong did not disclose the risks associated with the procedure to her beforehand.

During the trial, Peter Wong argued that he had not been medically negligent and that the baby’s injuries were as a result of the maternal forces of labor. 

Birth Injuries and Birth Trauma

Pregnancy and childbirth are two extremely complex medical conditions which require the care of experienced doctors. The reason for this is that there is much that can go wrong during pregnancy and childbirth, leading to birth injuries – some of which can be so severe that they are then classified as birth traumas.

Birth Injuries and Cerebral Palsy

What Is Cerebral Palsy?

Cerebral Palsy is a neurological condition which commonly presents through disordered movement, muscle tone, and posture. It is caused by damage affecting your child’s developing brain before and/or during birth – this is why it is considered a birth injury.

What separates cerebral palsy from other birth injuries is that its effect on functional abilities varies significantly. This means that the medical costs associated with the condition will also vary, and the emotional strain on you and your family will be affected as well. For example, some individuals with cerebral palsy may have an average intellectual capacity whereas other individuals may not.

Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice

Birth Injuries and Medical Malpractice

Before a medical malpractice case can be brought forward, an understanding of birth injury is required. Additionally, several criteria need to be met in order to classify as a birth injury. If these criteria cannot be met, then a case of medical malpractice cannot be made.

What Is Birth Injury?

A birth injury is a physical injury that your baby and/or the mother received before, during, or just after the birthing process.

Cause of disease linked to childhood seizures identified

Statistically, not too many new parents in New York will have an infant with infantile epileptic encephalopathy (EIEE), an early childhood seizure disorder. But when children do have it, it can contribute to intellectual and developmental delays and issues with physical movements related to cognitive processing. Even when children with EIEE are on medication, frequent and debilitating seizures may still occur as much as 50 times a day. Researchers have now identified the genetic cause of this neurological disorder.