Skull Fractures

Newborn Skull Fracture Lawyers in New Jersey

Infant Skull Fracture During Labor and Delivery in NJ

An infant’s skull is fragile and easily injured. It consists of connected plates, two frontal, one occipital, and two parietal bones. The plates are connected by pliable tissue and sutures or seams, allowing movement and flexibility to adapt to birth conditions and later, brain growth and development. Eventually, the soft plates harden and form a less flexible skull. When complications occur during labor and delivery, a doctor may injure the baby’s delicate head by improperly using birth instruments or allowing labor to proceed when the baby is breech. These possible causes and many others may be the impetus for a skull fracture, many of which lead to lifelong disabilities for the child harmed. In some cases, medical negligence plays a role in causing newborn skull fractures, leaving devastation for the baby and their family in its wake.

When a healthcare provider causes a skull fracture and long-lasting damage to your child and lifelong financial and emotional harm to you, these tragedies demand justice and compensation. If your baby suffered a skull fracture caused by negligent medical decisions or conduct during the childbirth process, our talented team of New Jersey birth injury attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group can help you receive compensation for your child’s injuries. Our legal team handles cases like yours on a daily basis, as our entire firm concentrates on medical malpractice law and specifically, the area of birth injuries and pediatric malpractice. As such, we are fully prepared to conduct a thorough investigation in preparation for settling or litigating your case before a judge and jury, pursuing damages for you and your family. We walk you through the pitfalls of birth injury claims and never back down from a complex, challenging case that requires advanced legal and medical knowledge. From the initial free consultation to a settlement or jury verdict, let us fight for your rights after an infant skull fracture. Contact us at 973-435-4551 to speak with an attorney about your child’s case today.

Wide Range of Infant Skull Fracture Causes

Common causes of skull fractures are issues involving birth assistance instruments, such as forceps and vacuum extractors. When mothers need help delivering a large baby or a quicker delivery for a distressed fetus during a long delivery, physicians use tools to extract the baby from the birth canal. These instruments often help deliver a baby and avoid further complications. If used inexpertly, birth assistance tools can cause skull fractures and other head injuries.

For example, forceps can cause scalp wounds, brain trauma, and fractured newborn skulls. The forceps are like two large spoons that the physician places around the baby’s head and maneuvers the baby to assist it in leaving the birth canal. Other helping tools, vacuum extractors, attach to the baby’s head and, like forceps, can cause skull damage when used too forcefully.

Long labors can cause complications that warrant a physician’s quick and energetic response. When a baby endures contractions for too long, they may suffer from asphyxiation or oxygen deprivation. A doctor facing an endangered fetus may act quickly to use birth instruments or other means to get the baby out. When the hurried attempt to extract the baby causes injury, the baby can be born with a skull fracture.

Besides long labor and fetal distress, a baby’s position in the uterus is a serious complication that can result in infant skull fractures. When a baby is headed down the birth canal feet or bottom first, an already tight space becomes more compressed, adding pressure on the baby’s head. And even though skull fractures can occur under ideal conditions, they are more common when complications require remedial action.

Spectrum of Severity for Newborn Skull Fractures

The types of infant skull fractures range from mild to severe. Linear fractures are breaks in one of the plates or bones that may cause bleeding but are not too serious. On the other hand, depressed skull fractures are more likely to cause bleeding that affects the brain. A depression fracture causes a sunken skull, typically arising from mishandling birth instruments or from the birth process, and may result in brain damage when the hollow occurs from too much pressure from forceps or a vacuum extractor.

Another skull fracture type, diastatic skull fractures, derive from the sutures that allow brain growth by their elasticity as the baby grows. When they are not expanding as they should, the baby’s skull can fracture along those seams when they separate, also risking brain injury. Basilar fractures are the most damaging, as these fractures occur at the base of the skull in the back of the head.

How to Recognize the Signs of an Infant Skull Fracture

Some of the prevalent symptoms of skull fractures include a misshapen head or a bump or bulge in the newborn’s head. An infant may appear listless, unresponsive, bruised, unconscious, or paralyzed. They may cry all the time for no reason or cannot nurse. Other signs may be seizures, convulsions, facial hematomas, vomiting, or leaking fluid from the nose or blood from the ear. In some cases, a skull fracture during birth will leave the infant with bruising around the eyes or a cerebrospinal fluid leak from the nose. Some or all of these symptoms typically alert doctors to a skull fracture.

Diagnostic Tests to Confirm a Newborn Skull Fracture

Once a physician suspects a skull fracture, they run diagnostic tests to find where the fracture is and how severe it is, depending on its type and location. A doctor might run blood tests, x-rays, MRIs, or other brain scans. The course of treatment depends on the type and extent of the injury. Linear fractures might require monitoring, whereas those fractures affecting the brain may require more proactive measures, like surgery and monitoring, to relieve any pressure on the brain.

Additionally, an infant may require breathing machines and sedation to reduce brain swelling and distress. Bruising and bleeding under the scalp can cause pressure on the skull and lead to cerebral palsy. Asphyxia, or oxygen deprivation, may cause damage to various organs and result in cerebral palsy, a movement disorder characterized by stiff muscles, sensory impairment, seizures, twitches, and cognitive and motor development delays.

Medical Malpractice can Cause Birth Skull Fractures

Obstetricians who diligently monitor the growth of a fetus can detect fetal macrosomia or a large baby that is incompatible with the mother’s vaginal canal and prepare for emergency use of birth tools or a cesarean section. When the situation demands, obstetricians inexpert in using those tools can prepare for a medical professional with more experience with the tools to be on hand for the delivery. Otherwise, their negligence in mishandling birth tools may amount to medical malpractice.

Likewise, a lack of preparation for, or expertise in, turning a breech baby can be the source of negligence when a fracture occurs, causing an infant permanent damage. Additionally, waiting too long to perform a c-section for long labor or fetal distress may result in a medical malpractice action when the baby is born with a skull fracture. Finally, failing to scan, monitor, or perform or refer an infant for timely surgery after detecting skull fractures may be another source of medical malpractice.

Long-Term Effects on a Baby Born with a Skull Fracture

Skull fractures can cause long-term disabilities, such as light sensitivity, noise sensitivity, and memory difficulties, among various physical, psychological, social, emotional, and cognitive problems in life. When those permanent injuries are due to the carelessness of a medical professional, a medical malpractice lawsuit is a way to recuperate your losses and ensure that your child has the medical and therapeutic assistance they need for as long as they need help, which is often a lifetime.

Take Legal Action for an Infant Skull Fracture with Help from Fronzuto Law Group

If your baby sustained a fractured skull during birth as a result of a healthcare provider’s negligence, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be the right choice for you and your family. A birth injury lawyer at Fronzuto Law Group is standing by to analyze the circumstances of your case and determine the legal avenues that may be available to you. When you need skilled legal counsel in the face of a life-altering newborn skull fracture threatening your finances, your child’s wellbeing, and your future as a family, call 973-435-4551. Our attorneys can provide a free case review and solid advice so you know what lies ahead in pursuit of compensation for your baby’s skull fracture injuries.

Practice Areas

Our attorneys advocate for those who suffer injuries due to the negligence of physicians, nurses, other health care professionals, hospitals, and medical facilities.

Medical Malpractice

Our team addresses the most complex of pediatric malpractice cases, including rare conditions such as craniosynostosis and plagiocephaly.

Pediatric Malpractice

Our firm represents individuals who are injured by improperly designed and manufactured products, including pharmaceuticals and medical devices, auto products, and sporting equipment.

Product
Liability

Our attorneys advocate for those who suffer injuries due to the negligence of physicians, nurses, other health care professionals, hospitals, and medical facilities.

Wrongful Death

If you or your child suffers from a birth injury, Fronzuto Law Group can help.

Birth Injuries

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