Assessing the spine of a newborn babyYour baby has suffered a significant disability because of medical negligence. The potential lifelong health issues, emotional issues, and financial issues that your child now faces did not have to happen.

Instead, the spinal cord injury that your child suffered at birth was caused by the doctor or nurse attending your labor and delivery or the hospital where you gave birth. This may leave you with very important questions, and you deserve the answer to each and every one of them. Below are answers to three questions that many parents have after their baby is diagnosed with a spinal cord injury after birth. We invite you to read our answers and to contact us directly for more information about the answers to these questions—or any other questions—that you may have about your child’s injury, recovery, or future. Our experienced birth injury lawyers and staff nurse are here to help you make critical decisions that will impact your child’s life.

How Did This Happen?

Spinal cord injuries can happen during birth and shortly after birth because of a medical provider’s negligence. For example, a baby may suffer a birth injury if:

  • The baby experiences trauma during birth. Difficult birthing positions, such as breech births or face-first births, can put stress on the baby’s spinal cord. This stress, and any resulting injuries, may be avoided if the medical staff is experienced with these types of vaginal births or recognizes the problem and recommends a C-section to avoid a potential spinal cord injury.
     
  • Errors are made with forceps or vacuum extraction deliveries. When too much pressure is applied by the doctor or nurse, the baby’s neck may be hyperextended and a spinal cord injury may result.
     
  • There was a failure to diagnose spina bifida. Spina bifida occurs when the spine doesn’t form properly and the nerves of the spinal cord are left exposed. If this condition goes undiagnosed, then the spinal cord nerves may be unprotected and damaged.

Just one of these things could cause a serious spinal cord injury.

What Will My Child’s Life Be Like?

It is harder to diagnose a spinal cord injury in an infant than it is in an adult. However, some immediate symptoms of a spinal cord injury may include:

  • Being unable to move at all or being unable to move a specific portion of the body.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Abnormal reflexes.
  • Weakness.

Whether or not your child’s injury is permanent will depend on the severity of the injury. An incomplete spinal cord injury that does not sever the spine may heal with medical treatment. Medical treatment may include a brace to immobilize the child and steroid medication.

Complete spinal cord injuries, however, are currently irreversible and will result in paralysis.

Your child may be unable to roll over, crawl, or walk. She may be unable to breathe on her own. She may be unable to feel sensations. She may be unable to participate in activities that her peers enjoy as a child or to hold a job as an adult. She may suffer for the rest of her life because of someone else’s negligence.

How Can I Protect My Child’s Rights?

If your child spinal cord injury was caused by the negligence of a doctor, nurse, or hospital, then your child has the right to make a fair recovery. As your child’s legal guardian, it is up to you to take action. You can get started by contacting an experienced birth injury lawyer. Our legal team will review your case to determine if medical negligence caused your child’s birth injury. If it did, then we will do everything that we can to help you recover. This includes entering settlement negotiations or going to court to get your child a fair settlement of past, current, and future medical costs, lost income, out-of-pocket costs, emotional pain, physical suffering, and other damages.

To learn more, please contact us via this website or by phone at any time to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and please download a free copy of our report: Family First: How to Get the Help You Need After a Birth Injury in Kentucky.
 

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law

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