There are few things more exciting than bringing a new child into your family. Unfortunately, labor and delivery can be dangerous, even in New York, where we have access to some of the best doctors and hospitals in the country.
According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), in an average year, there are over 4 million childbirths in U.S. community hospitals, making it the most common reason for hospitalization. The majority of these births end well, with a healthy mother and baby.
Yet in some cases, a doctor or other medical professional is negligent, which can lead to serious injuries or even death. The AHRQ reports that in a single year, 157,700 mothers and babies suffered birth trauma. In these situations, a skilled Long Island birth injury lawyer can help families recover the compensation that they need to help them move forward with their lives.
Winkler Kurtz, LLP is committed to helping the families of birth injury victims recover compensation to help them pay for the lifelong care and treatment that they will often require. Contact us today by phone at 631-928-8000 or email us to schedule a consultation with an experienced Long Island birth injury lawyer.
How Common Are Birth Injuries in the U.S.?
Birth injuries include any type of physical trauma to a baby that occurs during labor and childbirth. A birth injury may be mild, such as a bruise, or severe — causing nerve damage, a brain injury or even death.
While most of us view childbirth as a relatively safe and straightforward medical procedure, the reality is that birth injuries happen with surprising frequency. Data extrapolated from an AHRQ report indicates that approximately 28,000 babies are born each year with a birth injury — or one baby every 20 minutes. The AHRQ found that 1.7 newborn males and 1.5 newborn females were injured for every 1,000 births.
Generally, newborns covered by public health insurance (such as Medicaid) are slightly more likely to suffer birth injuries than those covered by private insurance. However, the rate of birth injuries is roughly the same in the wealthiest areas of the country as it is in the poorest locations. Injuries to newborns occurs most often in non-urban areas. According to the AHRQ, the Northeastern area of the United States has one of the highest rates of injury to newborns.
These numbers demonstrate that birth injuries happen far too often in the United States. Perhaps more importantly, many birth injuries are severe, causing injuries and conditions that may be debilitating or even lead to death.
Types of Birth Injuries
If a newborn suffers trauma during childbirth, he or she may suffer a range of injuries, with complications that can include lifelong illnesses or even death. As Long Island birth injury lawyers, we most commonly see the following types of birth injury malpractice cases:
- Erb’s Palsy: also called Brachial Plexus palsy, this birth injury is often caused by doctor applying excessive force if a baby’s shoulder is stuck under a mother’s public bone, resulting in damage to the nerve bundles in the shoulder region.
- Cerebral Palsy: this injury can be related to lack of oxygen during delivery, resulting in damage to the motor areas in the baby’s brain that disrupt his or her ability to control the body’s movements or posture.
- Kernicterus: an excess of bilirubin in a baby’s blood can cause extreme jaundice, leading to brain damage. If properly diagnosed and treated, kernicterus will not generally cause an injury.
- Cervical Dystonia: pressure on a baby during a difficult birth may cause a head, neck or shoulder injury, leading to the muscles of the neck contracting and drawing the head forward, backward, or to the side.
- Fractures: during some deliveries, a baby may suffer a broken collarbone, or a broken arm or leg.
- Spinal Cord Injury: a baby’s spinal cord may be damaged due to excessive traction or rotation during delivery. A severe spinal cord injury may lead to death.
- Cranial Nerve Injury: if the head is compressed during delivery by the use of forceps or as the head passes by the sacrum, it may result in temporary or permanent paralysis and disfiguration.
These and other birth traumas may result in injuries that require care for the remainder of a child’s life. The need for ongoing medical care and other treatment makes it all the more important for families who have suffered this type of medical malpractice to contact a skilled Long Island birth injury lawyer as soon as possible after the birth of their child.
Work with a Long Island Birth Injury Lawyer
The attorneys of Winkler Kurtz, LLP have more than 75 years of combined experience helping victims of all types of negligence, including medical malpractice. We are devoted to helping our clients recover for their losses, so that they can focus on healing and recovery.
As experienced Long Island birth injury lawyers, we know how to get results so that you can focus on what is important: your family. We will guide you through the process and work diligently to get you the compensation that you deserve. Contact us today at 631-928-8000 or contact us online anytime to schedule a consultation.