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Iowa Birth Injury Cases: Negligent Medical Care

Many birth injuries that occur in hospitals and birthing centers in Iowa cannot be avoided, even with the most advanced medical care. In other cases, the medical professionals caring for the pregnant mother failed to identify a serious problem during pregnancy, or made errors during the delivery. Birth injuries can leave a child living with severe impairments, or struggling to survive. Some of the more common birth injuries include:

Cerebral Palsy

CP affects children in various ways, depending upon the degree of damage to the brain. The condition is the result of restricted oxygen to the brain. There are several classifications of cerebral palsy. Some of the current classifications related to motor function are as follows:

  • Spastic Cerebral Palsy
    The child will exhibit involuntary movements and spasms that are permanent. Patients often develop arthritis and tendinitis as they reach adult years, and will require medical care and treatment.
  • Extrapyramidal, or Non-Spastic Cerebral Palsy
    Condition presents fluctuating muscle tone, with involuntary movements, often rhythmic, and tremors.
  • Ataxic Cerebral Palsy
    Symptoms include wide, irregular walking gait, and often the child cannot hold or control smaller objects, as fine motor control ability has been impaired.
  • Dyskinetic Cerebral Palsy
    This form of CP presents varying symptoms, including involuntary movements of the arms, legs, and hands, or the trunk muscles.
  • Mixed Cerebral Palsy
    The condition presents a combination of symptoms of the other classifications of CP.

Brain Damage

A child who did not receive adequate oxygen to the brain during delivery can be severely impaired. The area of the brain affected and the degree of oxygen deprivation will create various complications, including mental retardation, physical and cognitive impairments, or in the most tragic cases the death of the child.

Erb’s Palsy

Erb’s palsy comes about when the nerves that send and receive signals to the shoulder, arms, hands, and fingers are stretched, bruised, or ripped during the birth process. The child is left with limited motion or paralysis. In some cases, sensation and mobility can be restored over time, but some injuries cannot be cured and result in permanent disability.

Brachial Plexus Injuries

The brachial plexus is the nerves in the neck and shoulder, extending to arms, hands, and fingers. When the area is damaged during the birth process, sensation and mobility can be lost. The hand curls under, and the child may need physical therapy or surgery in an attempt to restore sensation and motion, which may not be possible.


When nerves are severely stretched or ripped, paralysis can result. The arm, hand, and fingers cannot receive signals that create motion and sensation. If the spinal cord has been damaged through the incorrect use of forceps or vacuum-assisted birth, the result could be paraplegia or quadriplegia.

Head Fractures

In a difficult delivery, the doctor may need to resort to medical tools to extract the baby from the birth canal. It takes a high level of skill to avoid damaging the fragile cranium. Once damaged, the brain can bleed, leading to impairments such as mental retardation, learning disabilities, or physical and cognitive impairments of various types and degrees.

Brain Bleeds

Incorrect use of forceps or vacuum assists for birth can leave a child with an injured brain. Depending upon the area impacted, the ramifications can be very serious. Children that recover may struggle through life with learning disabilities, severe emotional problems, or delayed development, among other impairments.

Shoulder Dystocia

A baby can become stuck in the birth channel, a dangerous situation that must be addressed quickly and correctly for a healthy birth. In some cases, the manipulation required to extract the child out was applied too aggressively or incorrectly, and the baby is left with various physical problems, including injury to the nerves of the shoulder, arm, and hand; or oxygen deprivation resulting in cerebral palsy, mental retardation, or death.

Resources for Birth Injuries in Iowa

Cases of Medical Negligence and Birth Injuries

Parents and children have rights. One of those rights is the ability to pursue compensation in cases in which a birth injury is the result of medical negligence. Medical negligence, in essence, is when a medical professional fails to administer the accepted standard of care. The accepted standard is defined as what a similarly trained medical professional would have done under comparable circumstances.

If your child is living with injuries sustained at birth, you may not know if the situation was the result of medical malpractice. Our legal team at Birth Injury Safety has access to medical experts that can review the facts and help you move forward with legal action when medical negligence resulted in impairments. Call a birth injury attorney now at (214) 974-4121 for assistance and information.

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Birth Injury Safety
Saint Paul Place, Suite 1660A,
750 N. Saint Paul Street, Dallas Texas 75201

Phone: (214) 974-4121
Email: brown@trialfirm.com

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