Spinal cord injuries are some of the most serious and rare kinds of birth injuries. Though they account for just 5% of all spinal cord damage cases in the US, spinal cord birth injuries can impact a child for the rest of their life. Permanent nerve damage, pain and paralysis are all possible when an infant's spinal cord is injured.
What causes spinal cord injuries during delivery?
Physical trauma during the birthing process can cause spinal cord injuries. An immense amount of pressure is put on a baby's body during the delivery, and if doctors use birthing tools like forceps or vacuum extractors incorrectly, serious damage can be done. Spinal cord injuries can be caused by the improper rotation of the baby's head, hyperextension and traction.
Breech deliveries often sometimes result in spinal cord injuries. If a baby is not positioned correctly in the mother's uterus before the delivery, the child can become breeched. In this case, the baby is birthed feet or buttocks first. It's a dangerous undertaking, as pressure is put on parts of the child's body that aren't meant to handle such compression. This pressure can cause spinal cord damage.
What are the symptoms of spinal cord injury at birth?
Most spinal cord injuries in infants occur in the neck region. About 20 percent of infant spinal cord injuries occur in the back or chest. Less common are spinal cord injuries in the lower back. All of these injuries can have serious, long-term consequences. Upon delivery, infants with spinal cord injuries may show symptoms including: pain, weakness, breathing difficulties, abnormal reflexes, bladder dysfunction, paralysis, intellectual disability, lung and heart problems, and death.
How do I know if my infant's spinal cord injury was caused by negligence?
It can be difficult to know whether a doctor was negligent during the delivery process. That's why we work with expert medical witnesses with experience in the same field as the physician being investigated. They can provide an in-depth look into what went wrong and what, if anything, the doctor might have done differently to prevent the injury.
What kind of compensation can I seek for a spinal cord injury at birth?
Babies with spinal care injuries often require a lifetime of medical care. They may require braces or steroids to heal the damage. In more severe cases, the child may lose muscle function in their arms and legs and require assistance from a breathing machine just to survive. Because the severity of spinal cord injuries vary so widely, it is impossible to speculate on the precise amount of compensation that can be sought.
Many parents seek compensation for medical bills both past and future. Some parents find themselves quitting their jobs to provide full-time care for their child with a spinal cord injury. Lost wages can be included in the compensation that is sought. Pain and suffering, along with the emotional damage caused, can also be included in the settlement.
New Mexico Birth Injury Lawyers
If you believe your child’s birth injury was caused by a medical mistake, contact our attorneys to discuss your situation. You do not owe us any legal fees unless we settle or win your case. Set up a free, no obligation, consultation today at 877-544-5323.
Our attorneys are listed in The Best Lawyers in America ®, and have received an AV rating from Martindale-Hubbell law directory, which is the highest distinction given. Many have been recognized by Super Lawyers ®– lawyers “who have attained a high-degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.”