The excitement of bringing your precious newborn home can be darkened if your baby is injured at birth. Sometimes, a new born can suffer from a broken collar bone; This is a telltale sign that birth injury has occurred. A baby in pain is something no parent ever wants to experience. Worse yet, broken collarbones are often caused from medical malpractice. This can be preventable.
The experienced Philadelphia birth injury lawyers at the Villari Firm help victims pursue justice, and compensation, due to the harm from negligence or incompetence. If you think your newborn’s broken collar bone was the result of medical malpractice birth injury, call us to discuss your case today.
Broken Collarbones in Newborns
The collarbone, or clavicle, is the bone that connects the breastbone to the shoulder. It is most commonly seen in large birth weight newborns. This birth injury may occur when the baby is passing through the birth canal.
Determining Medical Malpractice for a Newborn’s Broken Bones
Determining medical malpractice for a newborn’s broken bones is case-specific. The first step is to meet with an experienced medical malpractice attorney who can help explain the facts of your case.
In determining whether medical malpractice exists in your case, a birth injury attorney and the court analyze the following:
- Was there a failure to adhere to the standard of care?
- Was the harm caused by the failure to adhere to the standard of care?
- What are the potential damages?
- Has an expert signed a Certificate of Merit?
Standard of Care
Medical professionals must meet specific standards of care when treating a patient. If a healthcare provider or facility fails to meet the applicable standard of care, you might have a medical malpractice claim.
The broken bones in a newborn must result from the failure to adhere to the standard of care. Evidence includes the harm suffered due to the failure to meet the standard of care. There is a statute of limitations for each case.
Injuries cause medical bills for treatment now and in the future. Damages can include compensation for permanent damage; disability into the future due to the injuries and to lifestyle impairment.
Certificate of Merit
In Pennsylvania, one must obtain a certificate of merit before pursuing a medical malpractice lawsuit. A certificate of merit is proof that the provider fell below the standard of care. An expert must provide the certificate of merit in advance of the suit. An expert of the same specialty must sign the certificate to support the validity of your claim. Then, your lawsuit can be filed. The team at the Villari Firm has a database of experts who are able to meet this requirement of the State of Pennsylvania.
Symptoms of a Broken Clavicle in Newborn Babies
Symptoms that may indicate a broken clavicle (Clavicular Fracture) include:
- The baby not moving their arm as much, or not at all, on the side of the break
- Crying or “fussiness” when picked up or when disturbing the area of the break
- The collarbone area will display a “bump” in the affected area
- A “crunchy” feeling in the area around the break
Long-Term Effects of Broken Collarbones in Newborns
Long-term effects can result from a broken collarbone in a newborn. Here are several examples of what your child may suffer:
Arm weakness and loss of motion in the arm or shoulder are classic signs of Erb’s Pasly. During the labor and delivery process, pulling excessively on an infant’s head and shoulders or stretching the neck in the birth canal, can damage the brachial plexus (a group of nerves running from the shoulder to the hand).
Klumpke’s Palsy is a condition that causes a “claw-like” deformity of the hand due to paralysis of the forearms and hands, stiff joints, and muscle atrophy. This condition stems from nerve damage in the lower brachial. Some babies experience drooping of the eyelid on the opposite side of the face along with Klumpke’s Palsy, referred to as Horner’s Syndrome.
Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a group of nerves in the shoulder area that sends signals from the brain to the arm. These nerves send signals to arm on how it should move. If you injure the nerves, you can lose the functionality of your arm. An injury to the brachial plexus may result in an infant suffering Brachial Plexus, Erb’s, or Klumpke’s palsy. These injuries may result from a doctor excessively pushing or pulling on an infant’s head during birth or from shoulder dystocia, another type of injury explained below.
Brachial Plexus Palsy
Brachial Plexus Palsy is characterized by weakness or paralysis in parts of the arm, including the hand and fingers. This is due to significant injury to the brachial plexus nerves.
Shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that occurs when one or both of a newborn’s shoulders get stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone. The baby can not continue to pass through the birth canal when the shoulders get stuck. This condition is an emergency. Medical professionals must act quickly to prevent complications and long-term injuries to the baby.
How a Birth Injury Lawyer Helps Your Case
If you believe that you or your newborn’s broken bones were due to negligence, talking with an experienced medical malpractice lawyer helps your case significantly. Birth Injury lawyers like Heidi G. Villari, Esquire are trained to carefully listen as you explain the events that you have experienced. These attorneys analyze the facts of your case. They consult with respected experts, and works directly with you to develop the best possible strategy for the case.
To speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney about your newborn’s broken collarbone case, call the Villari Firm at (215) 977-4796 or online by clicking here. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation to review your case.