Giving birth to a child can be an arduous process, and some mothers require mechanical assistance from forceps or a vacuum to deliver their children. Such devices can be helpful, but if they are not used with proper care they may damage an infant’s nerves, which can lead to a variety of issues, including Horner’s Syndrome. Although, Horner’s Syndrome is not life-threatening, it can cause debilitating symptoms. Additionally, when it is brought about at by the negligence of health care providers during a child’s delivery, it may be grounds for pursuing damages. If you believe your child sustained Horner’s Syndrome at birth, you should speak to an attorney regarding your rights. The dedicated Baltimore birth injury lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can assess the events that led to your child’s harm and aid you in seeking justice for your losses.Causes and Symptoms of Horner’s Syndrome
Horner's Syndrome is the phrase used to describe a group of symptoms that arise when the sympathetic trunk, which is a cluster of nerves that arise from the spinal cord in the chest and ascend to the neck and head, suffers damage. The symptoms of Horner’s Syndrome, which is also known as oculosympathetic paresis, arise on the same side of the body, and include decreased sweating, inset eye, a droopy and weak eyelid, and a constricted pupil. Horner’s Syndrome can also cause a child to suffer headaches, the loss of the ciliospinal reflex, facial flushing, and the inability to close their eye. Horner’s Syndrome is frequently caused by trauma to the head or face. For example, using vacuum extraction or forceps during birth, attempting a vaginal delivery when a C-section is indicated, and pushing on the carotid artery can cause injuries that lead to Horner’s Syndrome.Pursuing Claims for Horner’s Syndrome
Horner’s Syndrome in infants often arises due to errors made by the medical professionals caring for a woman during labor and delivery. Accordingly, parents of babies who sustain Horner’s Syndrome can often pursue claims against the health care providers that caused their children’s harm via birth injury lawsuits. Generally, a plaintiff in a birth injury case will assert a negligence claim against the defendant.
In Maryland, to prove negligence the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty. In the context of medical care, the duty owed is to provide treatment that complies with the standard of care, which is the care that a reasonable professional working in the same specialty would offer in a similar situation. The plaintiff then has to prove that the defendant deviated from the standard of care in some way. Lastly, the plaintiff must demonstrate that the defendant’s departure from the standard of care caused the plaintiff’s harm. In other words, that the injuries the plaintiff sustained would not have arisen absent the defendant’s acts.
Generally, the standard of care that applies to health care providers is beyond the understanding of the parties determining liability in birth injury cases. As such, the plaintiff will typically need to retain a medical expert to explain the standard of care to the jury or judge, and how the defendant’s actions or omissions demonstrate a breach of the standard. Expert testimony is also needed to link the defendant’s actions to the plaintiff’s losses. If a plaintiff proves a defendant’s liability in a birth injury case, both the parents and the child that suffered harm may be awarded compensation.Meet with an Experienced Baltimore Attorney
When health care providers fail to monitor expectant mothers properly prior to and during birth, it can cause significant birth injuries. If your infant suffered harm at birth due to the negligence of a doctor, you may be owed compensation, and you should meet with an attorney to discuss your possible claims. The experienced Baltimore lawyers of Arfaa Law Group can advise you of your rights and collect the evidence required to provide you with a strong chance of obtaining a favorable outcome. We have an office in Baltimore, where we frequently represent children and families in birth injury cases. You can reach us through our form online or by calling us at 410-889-1850 to set up a confidential meeting.