Malpractice & Birth Injuries in South Carolina
Birth injuries, also known as birth trauma, are injuries that a brand-new baby sustains during pregnancy or delivery that may have gone wrong. Some injuries will go away during the baby’s first year of life; others are lifelong afflictions that could require significant ongoing medical care. Experts estimate that about seven out of every 1,000 babies born in the United States sustain some type of birth trauma.
If someone you care about suffers from a birth injury that could have been prevented, contact the Louthian Law Firm today toll free at (803) 454-1200. You can also contact us online for a free evaluation of your case. We can help residents of Columbia, Orangeburg, Lexington, Aiken, Sumter, Charleston, Irmo, Myrtle Beach, Richland County, Rock Hill and throughout South Carolina file a birth injury claim.
Common injuries babies could sustain during delivery include:
- brachial plexus injury, especially Erb’s palsy
- cerebral palsy
- other types of brain damage due to oxygen deprivation
- bruising, bleeding and swelling of the baby’s head (caput succedaneum and cephalohematoma)
- bruising, facial paralysis and other injuries from forceps
- broken bones, especially collarbones
- broken blood vessels in the eyes (subconjunctival hemorrhage)
Unfortunately, some birth injuries are the result of malpractice by the medical professionals who care for the mother during her pregnancy and at the birth. If doctors, nurses or other caregivers fail to meet the standards for the type of medical care a mother and baby need, they have committed medical malpractice. This is often a failure to act rather than a deliberate act that harms the patients — for example, failure to detect problems in the baby’s position during delivery, or not interpreting test results correctly. Medical professionals have an obligation to know the signs that indicate a delivery could be complicated, and plan accordingly. Delivery complications that often lead to a birth injury include:
- a baby too big to fit down the mother’s birth canal (fetal macrosomia or cephalopelvic disproportion)
- a baby with one shoulder stuck behind the mother’s pelvis during birth (shoulder dystocia)
- gestational diabetes
- a very long labor
- a baby turned the wrong way during labor (such as a breech birth)
- forceps or vacuum delivery
For more information on birth injuries, please see these informational pages from:
- The Merck Manual Home Edition;
- Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital.
Resources specifically about serious brain and nerve injuries that occur during birth include the:
- United Brachial Plexus Network;
- United Cerebral Palsy; and
- The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
While some birth injuries heal in the first few weeks of a baby’s life, others are permanent disabilities that affect every aspect of a new baby’s future and potential. Children with brachial plexus injuries may require multiple surgeries and years of physical therapy; children with cerebral palsy and other types of brain damage may need special assistance to perform the daily tasks of life. In addition to dramatically affecting the child and his or her family for a lifetime, this can also be a very expensive burden for an average family to carry.
If you believe that medical errors caused or contributed to your child’s birth injuries, you should contact an experienced South Carolina birth injury attorney as soon as possible. You may be entitled to collect financial damages that can compensate you for past and future medical expenses; a permanent disability; an infant’s wrongful death; and the family’s pain and suffering.
At the Louthian Law Firm, we’ve been handling personal injury cases in Columbia, Orangeburg, Lexington, Aiken, Sumter and throughout South Carolina since 1959. We have extensive experience in all areas of personal injury law and we’re committed to putting that experience to work for you, while offering the personal service and understanding that families in crisis need. And because we know you’ve got a lot on your mind, we always offer free consultations to potential clients, with no further obligation on your part. To schedule a free case evaluation, call the Louthian Law Firm today toll free at (803) 454-1200.
If you have a child who has suffered from a birth injury, it is important to speak with an attorney familiar with South Carolina birth injury law. At the Louthian Law Firm, you can rest assured that we will work hard to protect your interests. Contact our South Carolina birth injury lawyers now for a free consultation.
For more information on errors, negligence and mistakes made by medical professionals, please review our Medical Malpractice page.