Birth Injuries

Childbirth is a complicated blend of contractions, compression, torque and traction.  Because there are considerable risks and the stakes are high, emotion and panic is common - for doctors, midwives, nurses and laboring mothers.  This is because there are many different ways that an infant can be injured before, during and immediately after labor and delivery.  Sometimes injuries to a fetus, newborn, or baby are due to medical malpractice, such as when an obstetrician or gynecologist (OB/GYN), midwife, or nurse makes a mistake or error. 

A medical mistake, such as a failure to properly monitor a pregnancy or a failure to plan for or quickly react to a delivery complication, can have devastating consequences, including any of the conditions listed and hyper-linked below:

Other birth injuries include: radial nerve palsy, lumbosacral plexus palsy, muscular atrophy, subgaleal hematomas, subconjunctival hemorrhage, retinal hemorrhage, liver hematomas, splenic hematoma, adrenal hemorrhages, renal hemorrhage, and laryngeal nerve injuries.  Fortunately, more than one-half of all birth injuries are avoidable with proper obstetrical care. That care should include either anticipation or recognition of a potential for injury before it occurs - often times by use of a fetal heart rate monitor. 

Factors predisposing an infant to injury include:
  • large-for-date infants;
  • post-date infants;
  • macrosomia;
  • prima gravida;
  • excessive maternal weight gain;
  • gestational diabetes;
  • inadequate or abnormal maternal pelvis;
  • small maternal stature;
  • cephalopelvic disproportion;
  • prolonged labor;
  • rapid labor;
  • pushing for a long time; and
  • a prior complicated delivery.
The manner in which an infant is delivered, including whether obstetric instrumentation is used, may also increase risk of birth injury or trauma.  For example, the risk of injury to an infant is significantly increased by overstretching, overextension and rotation during delivery, as well as when mechanical forces are applied during forceps deliveries and vacuum extractions.

Birth injuries can be mild or severe, and can affect many different parts of the body. A majority of birth injuries resolve without significant long-term side effects.  However, many birth injuries are permanent. On the less severe end of the spectrum are soft tissue injuries which generally include abrasions, lacerations, ecchymosis, subcutaneous fat necrosis and erythema petechia. More severe injuries can affect the skull, face, abdomen, musculoskeleton, brain and central or peripheral nervous system.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Law, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict medical malpractice and birth injury cases.  If you or your baby have been injured due to medical malpractice, you, your child and your family may be entitled to compensation for lifelong health care, medical expenses, special education, medical bills, loss of income, and pain and suffering. 

To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice and birth injury attorney, contact us now at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at