We usually think of the happiness surrounding childbirth without considering the traumatic experience the newborn baby goes through. Vaginal birth is stressful for both the mother and the baby, especially considering the physical pressure on the infant’s head.
Head injuries during childbirth are among the leading causes of long-term disability and death for newborns. The natural process of delivery can injure the child, but the devastation is worse when the direct cause of the injury is the negligent conduct of your doctor or another member of the medical staff. If your child has suffered an injury from a crushed skull or died from complications of a skull fracture, contact the experienced Maryland attorneys at the Law Offices of Randolph Rice to evaluate your medical malpractice claim. Call (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.
Infant Skull Injuries in Maryland Hospitals
Vaginal deliveries are traumatic events. Pushing the newborn infant through the birth canal places extreme pressure on the baby’s body. Most infants are delivered head-first, placing the bulk of the stress on the head as it is pushed and compressed to pass through the mother’s pelvic bone.
An infant’s head is built for this type of compression. A newborn’s skull is made up of five major bones connected by seams of fibrous material called sutures. This construction is flexible and soft, allowing the infant’s head the ability to navigate the birth canal. However, while it makes delivery possible, it also makes the infant’s skull vulnerable to injury.
Many times, infant skull fractures go undiagnosed because the plates have not yet firmed up. These soft, flexible bones will make some fractures difficult for a physician to notice.
The most significant complication of failing to diagnose a skull fracture in an infant is brain damage. Additionally, broken bones can cause intracranial bleeding, or a bone shard can damage brain tissue. If your infant suffered brain damage due to an undiagnosed skull fracture at birth, contact our Maryland medical malpractice attorney.
Medical Malpractice for Crushed Skull Injuries in Maryland
One of the leading causes of crushed and fractured skulls is the improper use of medical instruments to assist with a prolonged or difficult birth. If your physician negligently employed obstetric forceps or improperly used a vacuum extractor and caused a traumatic brain injury, they may have committed medical malpractice.
Your doctor may opt to use obstetric forceps to assist the birth if you are having problems during delivery. Forceps resemble large tongs with curved ends. Your physician should use the forceps to gently grip the baby’s head, guiding it through the birth canal. However, if your doctor negligently applies too much pressure or twists the head too forcibly, the forceps can fracture or crush the skull, potentially causing brain damage, long-term disabilities, or paralysis.
A pregnancy can present complications where the use of obstetric forceps is inappropriate. For example, if your child is in a breech position with either the feet or buttocks in the downward position, the use of forceps could be irresponsible and unreasonably dangerous. If your doctor injured your child by improperly using forceps on an infant in the breech position, call our Maryland attorney for infant crushed skull injuries.
Instead of forceps, your doctor may opt to use a vacuum extractor if your delivery presents problematic challenges. As no metal instruments grasp or clamp down on an infant’s head, vacuum extraction is considered a safer alternative to forceps. However, if improperly used, a vacuum extractor can still cause catastrophic injuries.
To use this device, your physician will place the mouth of the vacuum extractor against the infant’s head, and the suction will help them pull the infant out of the birth canal. If your doctor negligently misplaced the mouth of the vacuum extractor or applied too much suction, your infant’s skull may be fractured or the sutures connecting the bone plates could be damaged.
Complications of Traumatic Infant Skull Injuries Caused by Maryland Physicians
If your child suffers a traumatic injury to the brain due to your doctor’s negligent conduct, long-term severe neurological damage can occur. Children with severe head injuries early in life can suffer from seizures, permanent disorders like cerebral palsy, and susceptibility to brain infections like meningitis. Isolated damage to the brain can result in paralysis, impaired nervous systems, or specific disabilities in the organs or muscles, such as infant apraxia. Your child could be facing years of additional medical care and physical therapy. Additionally, you may be required to provide home nursing care, you may need to purchase expensive medical equipment, or you may have a substantial loss of income from caring for your injured child.
Call Our Maryland Attorney for Crushed Skull Injuries During Childbirth
If you suspect your child suffered a crushed or fractured skull during childbirth as a result of negligent conduct by your doctor or another medical professional, contact our Maryland medical malpractice lawyer. Neurological disabilities can require years of expensive physical therapy and home healthcare costs. Our experienced, knowledgeable attorneys will fight to see that you are justly compensated if your child’s injury was directly caused by medical malpractice. Call the Law Offices of Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free case consultation.