Birth Injuries Resulting in Spinal Cord Injuries
When it comes to childbirth, parents often feel a little anxious about the process, but most are confident that they and their child will get through it safely and in good health. While that is usually the case, there are unfortunate circumstances where complications develop and result in birth injuries.
Birth injuries involving the spinal cord are especially devastating. Spinal cord injury lawyers at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, understand how spinal cord birth injuries can impact the lives of our Salt Lake City, Utah, clients. Here, we discuss the most common causes of these birth injuries and the potential long-term effects. We also discuss how a medical malpractice claim can help parents get compensation for injury damages.
Causes of Spinal Cord Birth Injuries
Thanks to medical advances and improvements in prenatal and obstetrical practices, spinal cord birth injuries are increasingly rare. Unfortunately, they still occur. Spinal cord birth injuries are more common when there are complications or extenuating circumstances during childbirth.
Some factors that may increase the risk of a spinal cord injuries at birth include:
- Child presenting in breech position
- Prolonged labor and delivery
- Rapid labor
- Delivery involving shoulder dystocia
- Fetal abnormalities
- Premature birth or extremely low birth weight
- The use of forceps or vacuum for extraction
Effects of Spinal Cord Birth Injuries
During birth, the spinal cord can be damaged in a number of different ways. The spinal cord could be bruised, partially torn, or completely torn. Injury symptoms and side effects will depend on the degree of damage, and the location of the damage.
The spinal cord contains nerves that send signals back and forth between the brain and body. Because of this, spinal cord injuries can have a wide range of effects, including:
- Muscle weakness
- Full or partial paralysis in the chest, arms, and/or legs
- Respiratory problems
- Difficulty regulating heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature
- Reduced bowel and bladder functions
Managing Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries often result in permanent damage. However, with early and consistent intervention, doctors may be able to minimize negative injury symptoms and maximize personal functions. Potential treatments for spinal cord injuries include:
- Physical therapy
- Occupational therapy
- Use of supportive medical devices (such as a wheelchair)
- Mechanical ventilation
- Bladder catheterization
Medical Malpractice and Compensation for Damages
Treatment for spinal cord birth injuries is extremely costly, and most patients require care and support for the rest of their lives. If a loved one has suffered a spinal cord injury during the birthing process, our Salt Lake City, Utah, lawyers can help you consider whether a medical malpractice claim can be filed.
If medical professionals failed to deliver care that met the accepted standard, and a child has suffered physical, emotional, and/or financial damages as a result, the treating doctor may be held liable for resulting losses, including:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Costs of ongoing therapy, care, and support
- Lost wages
- Loss of wage earning potential
- Pain and suffering
- Diminished quality of life
If your child suffered a spinal cord injury during the birthing process, the attorneys at Younker Hyde Macfarlane, PLLC, can help you explore your legal options regarding financial compensation for damages. To schedule a consultation, contact us online, or call our Salt Lake City, Utah, law firm at (801) 335-6467.