Skull Fractures During Birth

Washington, D.C. Birth Injury Lawyers Handling Skull Fracture Claims

Your champion in courtrooms throughout Washington, D.C.

The bones in your infant child’s skull are not fully fused at birth, so everyone – new parents, attending physicians, friends, and family – must handle the baby’s head with great care. If the skull is crushed in any way, your child could face permanent disfigurement or brain damage.

At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, we know exactly what a family faces when their newborn is injured; we know what kind of lifelong care may be necessary, and what your expenses could be. That is why we advocate so aggressively on behalf of families throughout Washington, D.C. whose children have suffered a skull fracture at the hands of a negligent medical team or because of a defective medical device. We have the skills, the resources, the experience, and the drive to help you protect your family and your future.

What causes a baby’s skull to fracture during labor ordelivery?

Because baby’s skulls are so delicate in the beginning, there are several ways your child could suffer a skull fracture during the birthing process. Some of the more common causes include:

  • Vacuum extractor and forceps mistakes. These instruments are used when the baby is essentially stuck in the birth canal and force needs to be exerted to pull your child out. Putting too much pressure on the head by pulling or gripping too hard with forceps can easily cause a fracture to the skull.
  • C-section errors. Cesarean sections can often become emergency procedures during complicated births. If the baby is in distress, doctors are more focused on removing him or her from the womb as quickly as possible, which can mean being a little more careless with their delicate heads.
  • Congenital conditions or injuries. When undiagnosed and untreated, there may be existing abnormalities of the fetus’s head that require action while still inside the womb. If the baby is born with an already compromised skull, the normal birthing process can cause fractures.
  • Undiagnosed cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD). When the mother’s pelvis is too small for the head of the baby, it can create excessive pressure that can cause a skull to fracture.
  • Manual repositioning of the baby. Tools aren’t always necessary to help a baby out of the birth canal. Sometimes doctors may manually manipulate the child’s position to head off birth complications. Excessive pulling or pushing on the skull to move the baby into a better position can result in skull damage.
  • Dropping the baby. If a doctor, nurse, or other medical professional drops your baby at any time during or after delivery, the child’s skull can easily fracture. Even a “small” drop can lead to serious injury.

Going into a pregnancy armed with as much information as possible can help guide your medical decisions and hopefully avoid unnecessary injury to your baby. Not every expectant mother and father are educated on all their options and risks and sometimes there are mistakes made by doctors once you are already down a path you couldn’t avoid. Our attorneys know that you didn’t choose a more difficult childbirth or to have your child begin life with a potentially permanent injury. We may be able to obtain the compensation necessary to move forward with the healing process for you and your child.

How do i know if my baby has a skull fracture?

Baby’s skulls are more pliable to enable them to move through the birth canal more easily. Unfortunately, this also means they can become damaged more easily without using the proper care during the birthing process.

There are a few types of skull fractures that are typically seen in newborns, such as:

  • Linear skull fractures. This occurs when there is a break in the bone without any displacement. This is the least concerning type of fracture, however it still needs to be assessed for bleeding underneath that can become serious if not repaired.
  • Depressed skull fractures. Just like it sounds, this fracture takes place when an injury - usually instruments such as forceps - causes part of the skull bone to become sunken in. These fractures have a higher occurrence of bleeding and causing pressure on the brain, which often requires surgery.
  • Diastatic skull fractures. These common breaks can be found along the suture line of the baby’s skull. Because sutures are designed to expand with the baby’s head as his or her brain grows, the fracture can expand and cause damage as your child ages.

A mild to severe skull fracture can usually be diagnosed if the newborn shows signs including:

  • Irritability or crying
  • Sensitivity to light and sounds
  • Abnormal eye movement
  • Seizures
  • Lethargy
  • Restlessness
  • Not sleeping
  • Refusing to nurse or take a bottle
  • Swelling or bruising
  • Misshapen or disfigured head
  • Fluids, including blood, leaking out of their ears, eyes and noses
  • Brain damage or traumatic brain injury

As one of the premier medical malpractice law firms in Washington, D.C., we have experience in birth injury cases like these. We are able, using authoritative testimony and cutting-edge technology, to provide visual representations and learned explanations to judges and juries about your child’s suffering, and why that suffering was the result of medical negligence accurately and thoroughly.

For more than four decades, we have secured millions of dollars for our clients – compensation they needed not only to cover their medical bills, but to provide the types of treatments necessary to help their children who required lifelong medical care.

Family is the most important thing in this world. When your family is hurting, our family seeks justice on your behalf. Together, we find the answers you need, and help you plan for your new future.

We have a calling to help parents of children who suffer skull fractures

We know that you are anxious and afraid for your child. At Paulson & Nace, PLLC, we have helped alleviate some of those fears and stresses for families throughout the greater Washington, D.C. area, and we want to do the same for you. Schedule your free case evaluation in our Washington, D.C. or Charleston, WV office by calling 202-463-1999 or by reaching out to us through our contact page.