There are always risks associated with giving birth. While obstetrics has come a long way, there is still no way to completely eliminate all potential complications that can arise during the delivery process. However, medical errors are preventable. Doctors and other medical professionals are expected to adhere to the appropriate standard of care when treating patients and performing procedures. Failure to do so can result in that individual being held liable for his or her negligent actions.
One type of medical error that can happen to an infant is a spinal cord injury. This is a serious injury that, depending on the severity of this injury, can result a child can have limited or no mobility in all or part of his or her body. The child may need extensive surgeries, need to go through long-term physical therapy, and have other issues as a result of his or her spinal injury. If your child suffered a spinal cord injury during birth, please do not hesitate to contact the law firm of Gilman and Bedigian today to discuss your case.
Spinal Cord Trauma
According to the Boston Children's Hospital, the spinal cord is “[a] compact but extremely powerful package of nerves, it works with the brain to transmit important messages that are responsible for functions in every area of the body.” It had four different sections. The highest section is called the cervical and is located in the neck area. The next section down is called the thoracic and is located in the mid-back area. The section below the thoracic is called the lumbar and this is located at the lower back. The lowest section and the base of the spine is called the sacrum.
About 5% of those who suffer from a spinal cord injury are children. The most common place an individual to get a spinal cord injury is in the neck area, with about 60-75% of injuries taking place in this location. When the spinal cord is injured, the severity of the injury depends on where on the spine the injury is located. Generally, the higher up on the spine that the injury occurs, “the more significant the resulting damage.”
A spinal cord injury can result in partial or total loss of “feeling and movement below the level of the injury.” If there is “a loss of sensation and function in the lower half of the body” then this is classified as a paraplegic spinal cord injury. If this loss of both sensation and function occurs everywhere below the chest then this is a quadriplegic or tetraplegic injury.
Causes Of Spinal Cord Trauma
Childbirth is a difficult process and medical professionals should take all proper precautions in order to minimize the potential risk of injury to the mother as well as the infant. A spinal cord injury can occur in a number of ways during delivery including, but not limited to
- If too much force being used to extract a child from the birth canal
- If the child's spine is twisted or over-extended during delivery
- If the child is delivered using forceps or a vacuum-extraction tool and too much pressure is used
Philadelphia Birth Injury Legal Representation
If a doctor or other health care professional is using proper care during the birth then there should be no injuries to either mother or child. However, failure to abide by standard practices or careless actions can result in injury and potential malpractice liability. If you believe your child's spinal injury was the result of a medical error, contact Gilman and Bedigian today. Our attorneys are dedicated getting our clients just compensation for injuries that were caused by negligent parties. Let our extensive medical malpractice knowledge and experience work for you. Contact us today.