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How do birth injuries harm California infants?

Birth injuries to Californian babies can occur in a number of ways. Often they may be the result of poor prenatal care on the part of a negligent doctor who fails to catch a warning sign or negligently guides the childbirth process when a mother is having a difficult or prolonged labor. Additionally, an abnormal birthing presentation, such as through a breech delivery, may make a birth injury more likely.

One alarming form of birth injury is facial paralysis. Facial paralysis may occur when a doctor uses forceps during the delivery process, or if there is pressure on a baby's face that leads to a facial nerve being injured. Facial paralysis presents itself by preventing movement on the side of the face where the injury occurred. Evident when a baby cries, an infant with facial paralysis will not be able to close his or her eye on the affected side of the face. If the paralysis is so severe that an infant's nerve was torn, he or she may need surgery to repair the injury.

Another distressing injury that may occur to a newborn is a fracture. During the labor and delivery process, an infant's collarbone or clavicle may become fractured. If a baby presents in a breech delivery, or if there is other difficulty delivering an infant's shoulder, the clavicle may break, resulting in an infant's inability to move his or her arm. A fracture can be very painful for an infant.

These are only two of the many potential birth injuries that may occur and result in trauma for a newborn and his or her family. If your baby has suffered from a birth injury resulting in additional medical expenses and trauma for both baby and family, you may have a cause of action for a birth injury case. An attorney may be able to offer guidance regarding your legal options.

Source: Stanford Children's Health, "Birth Injury," accessed June 24, 2016

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