Determining Liability in Birth Injuries Cases in Tennessee

Fighting for justice for families in Memphis, Jackson and throughout the state

For every 1,000 births in the United States, between six and eight injuries occur during labor and delivery. Most have a favorable outcome and either resolve on their own or require very little medical intervention. However, some suffer tragic birth injuries that will have an impact on the rest of the child’s life.

At the law firm of Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we have compassion for families who are dealing with the pain and confusion of a birth injury to their newborn. We have experience investigating birth injury cases and winning compensation on behalf of our clients. We even have an in-house registered nurse to assist with investigating birth injury claims.  With offices in Memphis and Jackson, we are equipped and able to represent families throughout West Tennessee.

Common birth injuries

Sometimes medical professionals make mistakes, and babies suffer serious injuries during the birthing process. It is important to note that many birth injuries may have been avoided if only someone had taken a different action. There are many possible birth injuries, but some of the most common include:

  • Cerebral palsy: A group of brain and nervous system disorders that can cause problems with movement, learning, vision, and hearing.
  • Shoulder dystocia: When the fetal head has passed into the birth canal and the shoulder(s) become lodged or stuck on the mother’s pelvis.
  • Brachial plexus injury: Occurs when the network of nerves in the fetus’s neck is damaged during a difficult childbirth.
  • Erb’s Palsy: A result of brachial plexus injury that affects the child’s strength, growth, and mobility of the arm, hand, and wrist.
  • Head and brain injuries: Can range from minor bruising and swelling to bleeding in the brain (intracranial hemorrhage).
  • Skull Fracture: Bone fractures can happen to any bone in the fetal body, but most common are collarbone and skull fractures.
  • Oxygen deprivation: Also known as perinatal asphyxia, this occurs when the umbilical cord gets twisted, cutting off the fetal oxygen supply.

Sometimes these injuries are caused by labor and delivery negligence. Issues such as failure to properly monitor the fetus during labor, which would cause the doctor to miss signs of oxygen deprivation and other problems (including harm to the mother), can be considered medical negligence. Post-partum negligence, where the injury occurs after the birth, can include the failure to monitor the mother after delivery to watch for signs of infection, bleeding or other complications.

Symptoms of birth injuries

While some birth injuries are easy to diagnose immediately following birth, others may take some time and observation to detect. Parents who suspect a birth injury should look for the following symptoms:

  • Unresponsiveness
  • Poor feeding
  • Bruising
  • Paralysis
  • Seizures
  • Developmental delays
  • Excessive sleepiness
  • Excessive crying
  • Poor control of muscles

Causes of Birth Injuries

While there are many factors that can cause birth injuries, human error is too often the main cause. Medical personnel can:

  • Use improper or excessive force to deliver the baby.
  • Use forceps and/or a vacuum extractor improperly.
  • Fail to order a Cesarean section when it is appropriate and/or needed.
  • Fail to notice signs of fetal distress.
  • Fail to notice problems with compression of the umbilical cord.
  • Make mistakes in medications, including those used in epidurals.

If you have any questions about what caused your child’s birth injury, don’t rely solely on the medical personnel involved in the birth itself. The information you get may be incorrect or misleading. It is more likely that your pediatrician will be able to give you the correct diagnosis and information. If an act of negligence is suspected, Bailey & Greer may be able to help you.

Contact our West Tennessee birth injury attorneys today

If you discover that your child’s birth injury was preventable, your best bet is to contact a lawyer. Bailey & Greer, PLLC is ready to answer your questions. We understand the pain, anxiety, and financial hardship that a birth injury can cause. Our Memphis and Jackson birth injury lawyers offer compassion and caring as we handle your case. Do not hesitate to call us toll free at 877-819-4414 or fill out our contact form to request a free consultation. If we can help, we will work tirelessly to represent you and your child.