WVA Skull Fractures during Birth

Counsel for West Virginia Families Whose Children Sustain Skull Fractures during Birth

Our family of birth injury attorneys assists victims in complex birth injury cases

A skull (cranial) fracture is but one of the injuries an infant can suffer at birth. The newborn’s skull consists of a number of bones that have a degree of softness to permit bending during the head’s passage through the birth canal. The skull protects the brain from injury and supports the structures of the face. Depending on its location, a fracture of the skull can damage not only the baby’s brain and its outer lining, but its eyes, ears, spine and spinal cord. Neonatal skull fractures sometimes occur naturally as a result of difficult passage through the birth canal; but they also can occur as a result of doctors’ negligent attempts to ease that passage by means of instruments.

Paulson & Nace, PLLC, our family-owned and managed law firm, has helped West Virginia victims of negligent birth injury for the last 40 years. Our family of West Virginia negligent birth injury attorneys has protected the interests of families throughout the state after their children sustained severe birth trauma. We continue to advocates for justice and a secure future for both victims and their families. If you or a loved one has sustained a birth injury let our family be of service to yours in time of need.

Causes of skull fracture during birth

The pressure exerted on the infant’s head as it passes through the birth canal is one of the causes of skull fractures, especially when its body is larger than normal, is incorrectly positioned, or is wedged against the mother’s pelvic bones. In addition, assistive delivery devices can also lead to skull fractures during birth:

  • Obstetrical forceps. An obstetrical forceps is an instrument resembling a pair of tongs, with blades designed to grasp the fetal skull while the doctor maneuvers the fetus into proper position above the birth canal. If not used with extreme caution the blades of the forceps can cause depressed skull fractures and damage to the underlying brain tissue. Depending on the instrument’s placement the fracture may extend to the base of the skull and damage the spine.
  • Vacuum extractors. The vacuum extractor, considered a safer alternative to the obstetrical forceps, is capable of causing equally serious injury if misused. During vacuum extraction, a health care provider applies the vacuum — a soft or rigid cup with a handle and a vacuum pump — to the baby's head to help guide it through the birth canal. This is typically done during a contraction while the mother pushes.

Vacuum extraction poses a risk of injury for both mother and baby. The procedure may cause severe deformity and injury to the fetal skull and brain and, if vacuum extraction fails, a Cesarean delivery (C-section) may be necessary.

  • Improper administration of Pitocin. Pitocin is the drug most often used to induce labor. It is a synthetic version of a hormone released naturally during labor to cause uterine contractions. While Pitocin induces labor, it is not without risk. Improperly administered, it may stimulate extra contractions of the uterine muscles that can cause significant and permanent damage to the baby’s skull and brain, as well as to other parts of its body.

Your counsel for catastrophic forceps injuries in West Virginia

If your baby sustained a skull fracture because of negligent delivery practices, you should seek qualified legal assistance as soon as possible. Paulson & Nace, PLLC’s, family of negligent birth trauma attorneys is widely recognized throughout West Virginia for our comprehensive legal services to families. We offer compassionate, personal, and professional attention, and the aggressive advocacy you deserve. When you choose a negligent birth injury lawyer from our practice to represent you, you are choosing a team that values family. Please call 304-741-8079 or fill out our contact form to tell us your story in a no-obligation consultation. Our office is located at 3501 Maccorkle Ave SE, Charleston, WV 25304.

We have dedicated our lives to helping medical malpractice victims. Let our family help in your time of need.