Every mother hopes that the birth of their child will be free from any serious, or even minor, complications. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Many problems can arise during pregnancy and childbirth. When your doctor fails to diagnose or treat complications, your infant could suffer an injury. One of the most significant injuries a newborn could experience is a spinal cord injury.
The attorneys and staff at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice have over four decades of representing children who were injured during birth. When your trusted obstetrician makes a grave and avoidable mistake that damages your child’s spinal cord, you have the right to pursue monetary compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Call our Maryland attorney for spinal cord damage during birth at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free consultation.
Common Causes of Infant Spinal Cord Injuries in Maryland
A common cause for injuries to an infant’s spinal cord during childbirth is blunt force trauma. Often, this trauma is the direct result of conduct by the mother’s obstetrician. More specifically, when a delivery presents difficulties, such as breech birth or shoulder dystocia, a doctor will physically maneuver the infant or assist guiding the child through the birth canal.
When applying pressure with surgical instruments, such as forceps, a careless doctor could twist or injure the child’s neck. Additionally, if a doctor uses excessive force to reposition an infant, it subjects the small spinal cord to an unreasonable amount of pressure or twists it in such a way that nerves are damaged or detached.
Vacuum extractors are used in certain situations to literally suck a child out of the womb. When administered incorrectly, this medical device could damage the baby’s brain or spinal cord.
How Can a Spinal Cord Injury Affect a Baby in Maryland?
Spinal cord injuries are serious; some children never fully recover. Depending on the severity of the damage to the spinal cord, the child could be permanently paralyzed, requiring a lifetime of medical care. In other situations, your child might suffer significant learning disabilities that will negatively impact their entire life. Unfortunately, in some rare cases, a spinal cord injury could be severe enough to result in the death of your child.
Even if the damage is not severe enough to paralyze an infant, there are still long-term medical consequences that your child could be facing. Spinal cord injuries might result in the loss of sensation of touch or subject your child to stinging and sudden pain in their extremities. Some children experience a weakness in their muscles, or their movement is limited. Another common effect is abnormal muscular reflexes or spasms, often resulting in bladder and bowel problems.
Injuries to the child’s spinal cord vary depending on the condition of the baby and the actions of the treating physician. For instance, the spinal cord might be bruised, partially torn, or, in extreme cases, completely transected. These types of injuries could lead to life-altering complications.
In some cases, an existing medical condition places the infant at a significant risk of a permanent spinal cord injury. Spina bifida is a condition where the infant’s vertebrae are not completely fused together, exposing parts of the nerves that travel through the spinal cord. If an obstetrician fails to diagnose this condition before the delivery, the baby’s nerves are more likely to be damaged during childbirth.
Your obstetrician is supposed to monitor your pregnancy and the development of your fetus. A problematic delivery is typically foreseeable, especially if it is caused by situations such as an abnormally large baby, an unusually small mother, or if the infant is positioned incorrectly. When your condition, or that of your child, is not appropriately diagnosed, mistakes could occur, or hasty actions could be taken that damage your child’s spinal cord.
When delivering a child where there are significant complications that could endanger either the child or the mother, the treating physician is required to make decisions and act to protect the health of each. In situations where forceps present an unreasonable risk, a doctor should not use them and should opt for an alternative delivery method, such as an emergency c-section. If your child suffered a spinal cord injury due to a doctor’s negligent conduct or decision, their actions could constitute medical malpractice.
Suing a Doctor for Malpractice Causing Your Infant’s Spinal Cord Damage
When negligence plays a part in your child’s spinal cord injury, you are entitled to seek compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. Our Maryland attorneys will thoroughly examine the circumstances surrounding the delivery, the actions taken, and the decisions made.
While your child will be facing the physical pain and mental anguish of living with a spinal cord injury, the financial burden will be on you. Medical expenses, physical therapy, home healthcare equipment, and special education will quickly drain your resources. Additionally, you might have to provide for your child their entire life. While no amount of money will heal your child, financial compensation could lessen your burden and give you a sense of justice. Our Maryland medical malpractice attorneys are dedicated to holding negligent doctors accountable for their preventable errors.
While a spinal cord injury could be unavoidable, many are preventable and are caused by the negligent conduct or decisions of the doctor or medical team. When a spinal injury occurs, it might be possible to hold the doctor, staff, or medical facility accountable through a medical malpractice lawsuit.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Spinal Cord Damage During Birth for a Free Consultation
The birth of a child is supposed to begin a lifetime of great memories. If your child suffered a spinal cord injury during delivery, then those anticipated memories are not going to be the same. When the injury is the fault of your doctor, you deserve to be compensated for the emotional pain and financial burdens that accompany an infant spinal cord injury. Contact our Maryland birth injury attorney for spinal cord damage caused during childbirth to review your legal options. To schedule a free consultation, call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291.