Skull Fractures

Memphis Birth Injury Lawyers Handling Skull Fracture Claims

Helping families in Memphis, Jackson, and throughout West Tennessee

You may be glad to know that birth injuries are becoming increasingly rare as time passes. Still, each time one occurs it can shatter the dreams that parents have for their new baby. In vaginal births, most infants come into the world head first, so the head often bears the brunt of the challenges during a difficult delivery.

Although they are rare, sometimes a skull fracture may occur from the forces of labor and delivery. Skull fractures can often be prevented if the doctor and other medical professionals adhere to an acceptable standard of care during labor and delivery. When your newborn’s skull fracture was caused by medical negligence, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the doctor and the hospital.

The West Tennessee birth injury lawyers at Bailey & Greer, PLLC are interested in discussing your case. We are here to answer your questions and to offer sound, legal advice pertaining to your situation. If your child’s injury was indeed caused by medical malpractice, we will protect your right to compensation to cover medical expenses and your emotional pain and suffering from your child’s injury. Let a Memphis or Jackson birth injury attorney at one of our offices help you.

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What kinds of skull fractures can happen during delivery?

The different types of skull fractures that may occur during childbirth include:

  • Diastatic fractures. These go across the line of the skull suture and push the plates apart. Newborns are particularly vulnerable to these types of fractures as their skulls are not yet fused together. When left undiagnosed, this fracture can continue growing, tearing or even herniating the brain and membranes.
  • Depressed (or "ping-pong") fractures. A very serious injury, this fracture can push the skull downward, forming an indentation. In some cases the skull will cause pressure on the brain and require surgical intervention.
  • Linear fractures. With a linear fracture, the bone splits but stays in place. These injuries typically heal on their own with the right medical supervision.
  • Basilar fractures. Any break below what’s called the “neurocranium” is a basilar fracture, including those in the eye sockets, nose, ear or the occipital bone, which is the bottom portion of the skull right above the neck.

Fractures can be minor or severe, where the bone cracks or either breaks completely.

What are the causes of skull fracture birth injuries?

Rather than just being a single piece of bone, the skull of a newborn is comprised of smaller pieces of bone that are connected to one another. The bones of the skull protect the brain and also support the facial structures. Skull fractures can happen during a difficult delivery, when a baby’s head might be too large to pass through a too narrow passage in the mother’s pubic bone.

In these situations, forceps and vacuum extractors are commonly used to help guide the baby along. However, if they are used improperly, have an inherent defect, or are used in an emergency situation, they can easily crack or crush the bones of the skull, leading to permanent brain damage and other conditions like oxygen deprivation or cerebral palsy.

What are the symptoms of skull fracture injury in newborns?

Minor fractures, like small linear fractures, may go undetected and heal on their own. Other fractures, like a depressed fracture, may be visibly noticeable and should be treated immediately. You may also notice swelling or bulging on your baby’s head or face. This is referred to as cephalohematoma. A small bulge will appear on the head.

Other symptoms of skull fracture include:

  • Anemia
  • Difficulty feeding
  • Infection
  • Irritability or crying
  • Bruising around the eyes
  • Blood or fluid from the ears or nose
  • Jaundice
  • Seizures
  • Respiratory distress
  • Apnea

A skull fracture in a newborn is almost always completely preventable. They most often occur when doctors use excessive force in delivering the child, when they do not use their instruments properly, or when they do not exercise good judgement in carrying out their work. Being in a rush, fatigue, lack of training are all factors that might contribute to a doctor’s negligent actions.

How are newborn skull fractures diagnosed and treated?

When symptoms of a skull fracture are present, doctors and medical professionals can order imaging tests for a better diagnosis. These can include X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs. A doctor can also perform a neurological exam in order to better diagnose the extent of the injury on the infant.

Treatment for a skull fracture depends entirely on the severity of the injury. With minor fractures, no treatment is necessary, other than monitoring the healing process and continuing neurological testing. More serious injuries, like depressed fractures, may need more immediate treatment like surgery, to relieve swelling or blood pooling in the brain.

Although many skull fractures resolve with or without treatment, those that do not can cause a child to experience permanent brain injury and require medical care for the rest of their life.

Memphis Personal Injury Lawyers

How can a Memphis skull fracture birth injury attorney help with my case?

While you are dealing with the uncertainty of caring for an infant who has suffered a skull fracture at birth, the birth injury attorneys at Bailey & Greer, PLLC are ready to pursue justice on your family’s behalf. We investigate your case and work to secure compensation for medical expenses, any residual disabilities and your emotional pain and suffering. We are prepared to either pursue litigation or settle your case, whichever makes the most sense.

When medical negligence results in serious injury to your child, you may be eligible for financial compensation including:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future income
  • Pain and suffering

Our attorneys advocate for your child with their health and their future in mind. Remember, under Tennessee statute of limitations, you must file a malpractice claim withing three years of the date of your child’s injury, or within one year of the date the injury is discovered. We urge you to act quickly to protect your rights and the strength of your case.

Schedule a consultation with a West Tennessee birth injury attorney today

They joy that comes with the birth of a new baby can be shattered when the baby suffers injury and trauma at the hands of a careless doctor. At the law firm of Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we understand the pain and devastation that parents experience when they discover that their perfect newborn child received a skull fracture injury due to medical negligence.

We are here to protect your rights to compensation when your child has been injured by medical malpractice. We are unrelenting advocates for the injured in Memphis, Jackson and throughout West Tennessee. You are welcome to call the law office of Bailey & Greer, PLLC at 901-475-7434 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers.

Bailey & Greer Team