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Many birth injuries might arise from medical malpractice

While every prospective parent in Maryland wants a healthy baby, sometimes injuries and accidents can occur at the time of delivery. According to experts, around six of every 1,000 babies endure some kind of birth injury. Aside from upsetting the parents, these injuries could have long-lasting effects on the health of the children.

While many birth injuries are mild, some can be severe. And while many are inevitable no matter how good the care of the mother and baby are, unfortunately some birth injuries are caused due to the negligence of health care providers.

Among the more common birth injuries sustained by babies are:

• Facial paralysis - caused by pressure on the baby's face during birth or from the use of forceps. May require surgery to correct.

• Erb's palsy - damage to the nerves controlling hand and arm movement. May also require surgery.

• Cerebral palsy - caused by lack of oxygen to a newborn, leading to brain damage.

• Broken bones - collar bones are the most frequently broken bones during delivery.

While some of these injuries can be reversible, either due to corrective surgery or to the passage of time, some--such as cerebral palsy--can be permanent. Many factors contribute to the preponderance of cerebral palsy, but unfortunately many of them are preventable errors made by medical staff.

Maryland parents who suspect that medical malpractice played a part in their child's birth injury should consult an experienced medical malpractice attorney to explore their options and make sure they have an aggressive advocate on their side.

Source: KJRH.com, "How medical malpractice leads to birth injuries," Jan. 11, 2012

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