Child Brain Injuries at Birth: What You Need to Know

Brain injury at birth can have devastating consequences not only for the child, but also his or her family. Caring for a child with a brain injury or cerebral palsy can be a tremendous physical, emotional and financial strain on families. Statistics show that roughly three in 1,000 babies in the United States suffer brain injuries. About half of these brain injuries that occur at birth are linked to a lack of oxygen in the baby’s brain.

This condition, known as asphyxia, can be caused by medical negligence or wrong actions on the part of medical providers before or during birth. If your child has suffered a brain injury at birth, you may have a birth injury lawsuit against the negligent (careless) medical staff or hospital. Sometimes, other responsible parties can also be held accountable. An experienced New York child brain injury lawyer will be able to help you better understand your legal rights and options.

What Are the Symptoms of Child Brain Injuries?

Here are some of the common signs or symptoms of brain injuries at birth:

• Low APGAR score for more than five minutes
• A baby’s inability to breathe on his or her own soon after delivery
• Apnea, or periods in which the baby stops breathing for 20 seconds or more
• Seizures within the first day or two of birth
• Difficulty feeding including inability to suck, swallow or latch
• High or low blood sugar
• Low blood pressure
• A weak or absent cry at delivery.
• Issues with vital organs

What Causes Infant Brain Damage?

There are a number of different scenarios where medical negligence (carelessness) leads to brain damage in a newborn. One of the main causes is lack of oxygen (asphyxia) around the time of birth. Because the brain needs oxygen to function, the lack of oxygen or low levels of oxygen — even for a short period of time — can result in permanent brain damage.

Asphyxia may occur due to many reasons including placental abruption, a condition where the placenta partly or fully separates from the inner wall of the uterus before delivery. Asphyxia can also occur because of complications with the umbilical cord, undiagnosed and/or untreated infections in the mother or the baby, or other maternal health issues such as preeclampsia, which is a condition where a mother has high blood pressure along with high levels of protein in her urine.

Contacting an Experienced Lawyer

Victims of brain injuries that stem from medical professionals’ negligence (carelessness) during labor and delivery should remember they have legal rights. It is the responsibility of medical professionals to monitor the condition of the fetus and the mother and make decisions that would reduce or eliminate risks during delivery. If your child has suffered a brain injury, he or she may be able to receive compensation to pay for medical expenses, lost income, cost of therapy, future treatments, permanent injuries, disabilities, past and future pain and suffering, etc.

The experienced New York personal injury attorneys at the Law Offices of Kenneth A. Wilhelm can help you better understand your legal rights and options, and also fight hard to recover just compensation for you. One of our clients obtained a verdict for $43,940,000 and another of our clients got a verdict for $23,500,000, both in medical malpractice cases.

We have seen many cases where New York City Health and Hospital Corporation facilities deliver babies who are born with cerebral palsy or brachial plexus palsy (Erb’s palsy) that is linked to negligence (carelessness), and/or medical malpractice in the labor and delivery etc. of the children.

The following list identifies some of these hospitals (operated by New York City Health and Hospital Corporation):

• Jacobi Hospital aka Bronx Municipal 1400 Pelham Parkway South Bronx, New York 10461 718-918-5000
• Lincoln Hospital 234 East 149th Street Bronx, New York 10451 718-579-5000
• North Central Bronx Hospital 3424 Kossuth Avenue Bronx, New York 10467 718-519-5000
• Coney Island Hospital 2601 Ocean Parkway Brooklyn, New York 11235 718-616-3000
• Kings County Hospital 451 Clarkson Avenue Brooklyn, New York 11203 718-245-3131
• Woodhull Hospital 760 Broadway Brooklyn, New York 11206 718-963-8000
• Bellevue Hospital 462 First Avenue New York, New York 10016 212-562-5555
• Harlem Hospital 506 Lenox Avenue New York, New York 10037 212-939-1000
• Metropolitan Hospital 1901 First Avenue New York, New York 10029 212-423-6262
• Elmhurst Hospital 79-01 Broadway Elmhurst, New York 11373 718-334-4000
• Queens Hospital Center 82-68 164th Street Jamaica, New York 11432 718-883-3000

Please contact us TOLL FREE 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-WORK-4-YOU (1-800-967-5496). WE CAN EVEN COME TO YOU. There is no attorneys’ fee unless we recover money for you. We can also help with personal injury and/or medical malpractice cases in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, or Florida. If you have been seriously injured in any of the 50 U.S. states, please call us and we will try to help you with your case.

Other TOLL FREE phone numbers for us are:

1-800-RADIO-LAW, 1-888-WYPADEK, OR 1-800-LAS-LEYES

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