Oklahoma Birth Injury Lawyers
Oklahoma Birth Injuries: Information and Assistance for Parents
A child that has been injured during birth can suffer various levels of disability: cognitive, physical, or both. In some cases, the injury is the result of the failure to provide the accepted standard of care.
Some of the most common types of birth injuries include various levels of cerebral palsy:
- Mild: The child’s daily activities are not limited by the condition.
- Moderate: The child needs the assistance of braces, various medications, and a range of adaptive technologies for all daily activities.
- Severe: The child will need a wheelchair, and extensive assistance in all normal life activities.
When the brain cannot get enough oxygen, brain cells die. The areas impacted by the lack of oxygen can vary, and impact both physical and cognitive abilities. A child can be left with mental retardation, severe learning disabilities, and other problems if the medical professionals attending birth fail to correctly monitor the fetus, or fail to act quickly if the baby is in distress.
Erb’s palsy is one type of brachial plexus injury (injury affecting the network of nerves near the neck that provide sensation and signal motion to the arm, hand, fingers, and shoulder). When this area has been damaged due to stretching of the neck area during birth, it may be resolvable through physical therapy, or may prove permanent, leaving the child with partial or full paralysis of the arm.
When the baby’s shoulders become stuck in the birth canal, it is a danger for both mother and child. A shoulder dystocia can leave a child with injuries to the nerves of the shoulder, arms and hand, leading to paralysis or shaking. More serious damage can be done if oxygen flow to the brain is restricted, resulting in permanent brain damage or the tragic loss of life.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is the nerve network, located near the neck, which sends and receives signals for sensation and motion to the shoulder, arms, hands, and fingers. When these nerves are stretched, ripped, or bruised, the baby could be left with a paralyzed arm, whether full or partial.
A very difficult birth may lead to a skull fracture. When the baby is lodged in the birth canal, the medical professionals attending the birth employ assistive tools to free the child. If these tools are used too aggressively or incorrectly, it can cause a skull fracture with severe consequences, such as bleeding in the brain, seizure, stroke, brain damage, cognitive impairments, or death.
Spinal Cord Injuries
Physical damage to the spinal cord of an infant during delivery may have long-term consequences for the child. Forceps and vacuum extraction, if used incorrectly, can result in a child with an injured spinal cord and resultant paralysis.
Certain infections can be passed from mother to child if not treated during pregnancy. Group B strep infection is common. The physician must test for this infection prior to delivery. A failure to do may make it possible for the baby to acquire this dangerous infection.
Brain bleeds (infant intracranial hemorrhages) are a serious health risk for a newborn. If improper delivery techniques, such as twisting or pulling the infant’s head, resulted in the damage to the brain, the child may acquire mental impairments, learning disabilities, or cerebral palsy.
Resources in Oklahoma
Parents with a child injured at birth face many challenges, and need support. There are many resources available, including:
- Ability Connection Oklahoma
- Brain Injury Alliance of Oklahoma
- JD McCarty Center
- Integris Pediatric Neurology Clinic
Legal Help for Birth Injury Cases in Oklahoma
At Birth Injury Safety, we represent injured children, and help families pursue compensation in birth injury medical malpractice cases. We serve throughout the state of Oklahoma, and are available to assist parents who are facing this situation and need legal representation. If the birth injury is the result of medical negligence, a legal action should be filed. The financial compensation sought through a lawsuit should provide the best possible quality of life for the child. Connect with our firm at once if you need help in a birth injury case. Contact us at (214) 974-4121.