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Michigan injury lawyer

Muskegon Birth Injury Attorneys

Labor and delivery work out well for most people, but in some instances a baby can be injured during the labor and delivery process. Often when a child is injured at birth, doctors and hospital-staff do not tell parents how or why the injury occurred. That is where the Buchanan Firm can help the Muskegon community. Most people call us for help because they were not getting straight answers from a hospital, such as Mercy Health after their child was injured at birth. Our team understands wanting to know whether your baby’s injury was caused by a preventable mistake (i.e., birth injury or medical malpractice) or by one of life’s natural results. We successfully answer that question for many parents, and will answer it for you, too.

At Buchanan Firm, we not only believe in giving straight answers, but we also believe childbirth education can simplify birth and help expectant parents navigate the maze of modern obstetrics to have a safe, healthy birth. We want every expectant parent to have tools to help increase the odds of a safe birth and lower the risk of medical errors.

What are Common Causes of Birth Injury?

Though there are many possible causes of birth injury, the following are some more common identifiable causes or contributing factors:

  • The baby is large
  • The size or shape of the mom’s pelvis make it difficult for vaginal birth
  • Labor is too long, causing distress to the baby
  • The mom is overweight
  • The baby is not head-first in the birth canal
  • The baby is born prematurely or too early
  • Use of vacuum or forceps
  • The baby is not delivered fast enough – delay in performing a caesarean section
  • Improper use of labor stimulating medicine (i.e., Pitocin and Cytotec)
  • Improper interpretation of fetal monitor strips (the monitor of the baby’s heart while in the womb)
  • Excessive or improper use of force during delivery
  • A nurse or nurse midwife not timely seeking assistance from a physician
  • Not appropriately responding to abnormal bleeding
  • Not responding to umbilical cord entrapment
  • Not properly intubating a newborn requiring oxygen
  • Improperly resuscitating the baby
  • Not recognizing or treating newborn conditions (i.e., high or low blood sugar, blood loss, jaundice, and bilirubin levels)

What are Common Signs of Birth Injury?

Birth injuries sometimes are identifiable immediately after delivery with typical signs that signal possible injuries, including the following:

  • Skin color turning pale or blue
  • Slow breathing with a slow heart rate or a need for resuscitation
  • Lethargy or sluggishness
  • Hypertonic (muscle tone that is too tight or rigid) or hypotonic (floppy, such as having little or no control of the neck muscles)
  • Unusual movements in body parts such as in the face, legs, arms, and other parts; and
  • Abnormal reflexes as in a failure to respond to noise or an inability to comprehend objects
  • Low APGAR scores

Parents should be aware that different babies have different signs of possible birth injuries; thus, a careful examination is critical to determine the correct diagnosis. The Buchanan Firm team encourages parents to be educated on the possible signs of injuries, and to ask several questions to care providers after the delivery of a baby. For example, parents should understand the APGAR scoring system for babies. APGAR score is a test given one minute after a baby is born, and five minutes later.  Sometimes, if there are concerns about the baby’s condition or the score at five minutes is low, the test may be scored for a third time at ten minutes after birth. Five factors are used to evaluate the baby’s condition and each factor is scored on a scale of 0 to 2, with 2 being the best score:

A: Appearance (skin color)
P: Pulse
G: Grimace (reflex)
A: Activity (muscle tone)
R: Respiration

A perfect Apgar score is 10.  A score lower than seven means the baby might need help breathing.  A low Apgar score does not always mean a child will have serious or long-term health problems, as it is not meant to predict the future health of the child. However, it may signal a serious and potentially life-threatening problem requiring immediate medical attention.

Long-Term Medical Issues From Birth Injury

When birth injury or birth trauma occurs, unfortunately there is risk of long-term, permanent, and life-changing medical issues for the baby.  In severe cases, the child will experience developmental disorders, brain damage, or nerve damage.  Some common, serious, and long-term medical issues that result from birth injury or birth trauma include:

  • Cerebral palsy (a neurological disorder) which can permanently affect body movement and muscle coordination
  • Brain injury
  • Brachial plexus injury (an injury to the nerves which run from your neck to fingers) which causes arm paralysis
  • Bone fractures – when not treated properly can result in long-term effects on range of motion
  • Spinal cord injuries and cranial nerve injury
  • Laryngeal nerve injury
  • Intraabdominal injury
  • Group-B Strep disease
  • Soft tissue injury including bleeding (e.g., cephalhematoma, subgaleal hematoma), caput succedaneum, abrasions and lacerations, subcutaneous fat necrosis

Contact Our Muskegon, Michigan Birth Injury Medical Malpractice Attorney Team

Perhaps one of these birth injuries or birth traumas is familiar to you.  If you or someone close to you suffered a difficult labor and delivery in Muskegon at Mercy Health Hospital resulting in injury to a newborn child, it is important to act quickly and call the Buchanan Firm team.  The only way to determine whether injury was avoidable is to have prenatal, delivery, and newborn medical care reviewed by professionals who understand the complex medicine between mother and fetus during gestation, stresses the infant undergoes during birth, effects of those stresses, adjusting to life outside the womb, and responses to stresses and factors of the environment.

At Buchanan Firm, our combined legal-medical team has decades of experience handling medical malpractice cases, including cases involving birth injury and birth trauma in Muskegon, Michigan. We quickly and efficiently assess the medical facts and give you answers. If we determine medical malpractice caused a child’s injury, we will take immediate action to protect the child’s rights and fight to secure fair and just compensation for the harms and losses.