The dream of having a child and a family can quickly turn into a nightmare if your baby is permanently paralyzed due to an unforeseen complication during childbirth. A traumatic injury to your newborn’s spinal cord or brain could cause paralysis, and if the injury was the direct result of your doctor’s negligent actions, your child may be a victim of medical malpractice.
If your infant suffered permanent paralysis because your doctor or their medical team acted negligently during childbirth, contact our experienced Maryland medical malpractice attorneys at Rice, Murtha & Psoras. We have the knowledge and compassion to respectfully represent your interests during this difficult time. Call (410) 694-7291 today to schedule a free consultation.
Negligent Causes of Nerve Damage in Maryland Infants
Despite medical advancements, childbirth still presents several inherent risks that can result in traumatic birth injuries, including severe nerve damage that causes permanent paralysis. In many instances, the doctor’s negligent conduct or unjustifiable errors are the direct cause of an infant’s nerve damage. If your child suffered a traumatic birth injury, contact our Maryland attorney.
Traumatic Brain, Spinal, or Nerve Injury
Infants can suffer spinal cord injuries or brain damage due to trauma during the delivery. This injury could come in the form of a bruise or a complete bisection of the nerves surrounding the spine. These injuries could be caused by a stressful, difficult birth or by your doctor’s careless actions or inactions in the delivery room. Your physician should diagnose complications that would lead to a difficult delivery, professionally attending to them to ensure your child does not suffer any preventable nerve damage or brain injury. If your doctor fails to do so, a brain or spinal injury could paralyze your child.
Misdiagnosis and Failed Diagnosis
Failing to diagnose certain conditions can also increase the risk of damage to your child’s spinal cord. Spina bifida is a condition in which your child’s vertebrae is malformed and does not entirely enclose the nerves of the spinal cord. The exposed nerves are susceptible to damage, potentially paralyzing your child. Without treatment, this serious condition could have worse consequences. Failing to diagnose and treat spina bifida could constitute medical malpractice.
Facial Nerve Injury
The “seventh cranial nerve” is known as the “facial nerve.” During delivery, this nerve can become damaged or compressed, resulting in facial paralysis. While this is generally not a permanent condition, severe damage could cause the affected muscles to become permanently paralyzed, leading to partial blindness or requiring years of expensive infant occupational therapy. Your doctor could negligently injure your child’s brain by applying excess force when using forceps or by mismanaging a difficult birth.
Facial paralysis can be a complication of a high-risk pregnancy. Your doctor’s failure to evaluate the potential risks or communicate with you about them could lead to infant nerve or brain damage that causes permanent facial paralysis. Risks that would be negligent not to address would include risk factors like an unusually large baby, a mother’s small pelvis, a patient’s history of difficult deliveries, or any undetected or untreated infections. If your child suffered a birth injury or suffers from facial paralysis, contact a Maryland permanent paralysis attorney to determine if you and your child were victims of medical malpractice.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
Infant paralysis is also a common complication of a brachial plexus injury. The brachial plexus is the network of nerves running from your infant’s spinal cord to the chest, shoulder, arm, and hand. If the brachial plexus is damaged during childbirth, the injury can lead to Erb’s palsy, a condition paralyzing your child’s shoulder and upper arm.
Your doctor could injure the brachial plexus nerves by negligently delivering your baby at an awkward angle that involves twisting the head in one direction while pulling the neck in the opposite direction. Additionally, excessive force on the shoulder can also damage these nerves.
Types of Nerve Damage
Nerve damage is classified by type and severity. The following are some types of nerve damage and their likely effects:
If your child suffers axonotmesis, the chances of a partial recovery are good. With this type of damage, the nerve remains partially intact. The nerve will attempt to heal itself, but your child is still likely to experience some long-lasting issues.
A complete division of the nerve is called neurotmesis. Without surgical intervention, the chances of recovery are poor, and the severed nerve will need to be reattached to allow it to heal.
Ruptures occur when the nerve is stretched to the point of tearing apart. This type of injury often requires surgery to repair, usually involving a nerve graft taken from another healthy nerve to reinforce the damaged nerve.
The most severe type of nerve damage is an avulsion. In this type of injury, your child’s nerves are torn entirely away from the spinal cord. The affected nerve will not heal on its own and cannot be reattached to the spinal cord. Complete, irreversible paralysis is likely to result if your child suffers this level of nerve damage.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Permanent Paralysis from Childbirth Complications for a Free Consultation
If your doctor’s negligent conduct led to your child suffering severe nerve damage resulting in permanent paralysis, call our Maryland attorney for permanent paralysis from childbirth complications. Your child will need continuing medical care that could strain your family’s resources. The knowledgeable lawyers at Rice, Murtha & Psoras will work with you during this agonizing time. Call (410) 694-7291 today to schedule a free consultation.