Gorovitz & Borten, P.C.
Attorneys at Law

550 Cochituate Road, Suite 25
Framingham, Massachusetts
Tel: (781) 890-9095
Birth Injury
A birth injury is defined as any type of damage caused to an infant's body
before, during or shortly after birth. Damage can be mild or severe, temporary or
permanent and can be serious enough to cause the death of the infant. Birth
injury is most often caused by induced or operative delivery.

Injury to an infant during the birth process can have many causes. Insufficient
supply of oxygen (fetal hypoxia), inadequate blood supply to the infant's brain
(brain ischemia), improper use of instruments to deliver the infant (forceps,
vacuum extractor), failure to perform an indicated cesarean section (fetal
distress, cephalopelvic disproportion, abnormal labor), undiagnosed conditions
during the pregnancy (gestational diabetes, placenta previa), excessive use of
force during delivery and the injudicious use of pitocin or any other uterotonic
agent (prostaglandin), delay in performing an indicated cesarean section.

Before birth:

  • Failure to assess and properly diagnose conditions requiring treatment or
    incompatible with a normal life.
  • Failure to diagnose hydrocephaly
  • Failure to diagnose polyhydramnios
  • Failure to diagnose olygohydramnios
  • Failure to diagnose genetic abnormality
  • Failed genetic counseling
  • Failure to anticipate macrosomia

During birth: Main causes of injury at birth  are oxygen deprivation and
mechanical trauma.  The outcome:

  • Cerebral palsy
  • Erb's palsy
  • Brachial plexus palsy
  • Shoulder dystocia
  • Forceps delivery
  • Vacuum extraction delivery

After birth:

  • Undiagnosed jaundice
  • Seizures

Injury to an infant can occur before the mother enters the process of labor or
during labor and delivery. Pregnancy complications quite often start during the
third trimester of pregnancy in the absence of uterine contractility and without
the mother experiencing any labor at all. Some of the early signs of an infant
requiring special assessment include:

  • Decreased fetal movement
  • Fetal size smaller than dates of gestation
  • Maternal fever
  • Post-dates (gestation longer than 41 weeks)
  • Unusual position in utero

Early detection of an infant injured as a result of obstetrical mismanagement
include seizures within days of birth, inability to move extremities, failure to thrive.
Birth asphyxia is the result of cerebral hypoxia that results when the supply of
oxygen to the unborn child is reduced below acceptable levels. Cerebral hypoxia
is also known as fetal hypoxia or fetal distress. In order to diagnose fetal
distress, the mother and infant must be monitored before and during labor.

Most families simply don't have the financial resources to cover all the expenses
associated with caring for an injured child over his or her lifetime. If the child's
injury was diagnosable, avoidable or preventable, or plainly resulted from a
medical provider's mistake in handling an obstetrical condition, the parents and
the child are entitled to receive compensation. If your child's condition was the
result of medical negligence, we can help you assert your rights and get the
compensation you deserve. Allow
Dr. Borten and the Boston area medical
malpractice attorneys at Gorovitz & Borten evaluate your case.
Contact Information
For a free confidential consultation and receive a response within 24 hours
(when possible), please contact us by phone, fax or e-mail with your question or

Telephone:  781-890-9095     -     Fax:   781-890-9098
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