Unfortunately, women can experience complications during childbirth. Depending on the situation, in such cases, the newborn may suffer birth injuries that are relatively minor or serious. A birth injury can cause disfigurement or developmental disabilities that can affect the child for the rest of their life. Therefore, it is important to understand how these injuries can occur and how to take legal action when you suspect your child has been injured during birth.
What Is A Birth Injury?
“Birth injury” refers to an injury that occurs before, during, or shortly after a baby is born. The severity of some cases can be greater than others and may even be life-threatening. Other birth injuries, however, are comparatively mild and require little attention.
In some instances, a birth injury can be healed naturally, allowing a baby to lead a relatively normal life. Children with severe birth injuries may need continuous medical care throughout their lives.
How To Deal With A Birth Injury?
Birth injuries can be diagnosed and treated early to prevent developing more symptoms later on. Although birth injuries are not always curable or reversible, early intervention can improve cognitive and educational issues. By providing your child with the care he needs as soon as possible, you will be able to help him live a happy and healthy life.
If you think your childbirth injury is caused by medical negligence by the doctor or any other medical health professional, visit www.childbirthinjuries.com for legal help. The lawyers here will assist you in pursuing legal action and seeking compensation for your child’s treatment.
Types Of Birth Injuries
Many types of birth injuries exist, which range in severity, impact specific parts of the body, and lead to lifelong disabilities; these injuries include:
1. Shoulder Dystocia
Sometimes, a newborn’s shoulders become caught on something (usually the mother’s pubic bone) during birth. Immediate medical intervention is required for this birth complication. Unfortunately, if doctors fail to prepare for this or perform poor delivery methods, the baby may suffer injuries, such as nerve damage, fractured bones, or asphyxiation.
A mother is more likely to experience shoulder dystocia if she suffers from gestational diabetes, puts on weight during pregnancy, or carries a large child. These warning signs can be identified during pregnancy, making it possible for your doctor to prepare you for shoulder dystocia or prevent it altogether by performing a cesarean.
2. Infant Jaundice
Whenever a baby suffers bruises during delivery or sustains bleeding (causal hematoma or caput secundum), they are at risk for jaundice. Without immediate treatment, the child may suffer from a dangerous fever, weakened teeth, cerebral palsy, or loss of hearing.
A baby typically develops infant jaundice on the second or third day after birth. During their hospital stay, they should be treated preemptively when they notice bruises or as soon as they notice early warning signs. If infant jaundice is not treated on time, it can result in long-term complications and be considered a “birth injury” even though it occurs after birth.
3. Brachial Plexus Injury
A brachial plexus injury (commonly known as Erb’s Palsy) is a significant consequence of shoulder dystocia. Although it can also occur for other reasons, the most common cause of this injury is when the head and neck are pulled in opposite directions during delivery. Due to this, the baby’s brachial plexus (a nerve that connects the neck to the arms) may become strained or torn.
Depending on how much damage has been done to the nerves, Erb’s palsy can cause various symptoms. As the baby grows, there may be problems with grasping, arm numbness, lack of coordination, or even losing control of the damaged arm.
4. Birth Hypoxia
During birth, hypoxia occurs due to asphyxiation. The infant asphyxiates whenever a newborn becomes stuck in the birth canal or loses access to the mother’s blood supply. If there isn’t an immediate intervention, the damage to the brain could be long-lasting, leading to cognitive difficulties and intellectual disabilities in the future.
Hypoxia during birth is considered a “latent birth injury.” It means the full extent of the harm may not be apparent until the baby is older. If your baby suffered complications during delivery and is suspected of cognitive impairment, it is necessary to contact a birth injury lawyer as soon as possible.
5. Cerebral Palsy
One of the most serious birth injuries is cerebral palsy since it fundamentally impacts your child’s quality of life and requires specialized care for the rest of his life. Although there are various causes of cerebral palsy, it has one common characteristic. Symptoms include cognitive impairment, speech difficulties, limb stiffness, and immobility due to a brain injury or malformation.
If your child is diagnosed with cerebral palsy, it’s important to explore all your treatment options and provide them with the therapies they require for a comfortable life. Fortunately, treatments for cerebral palsy have improved greatly over the past century, and today’s affected children have a better quality of life than ever before.
6. Newborn Cephalohematoma
A newborn cephalohematoma develops when bleeding in the skull, causing blood to pool in the brain’s surrounding tissues. Cephalohematomas cause pressure on the brain and can contribute to a seizure, neurological damage, swelling, or brain depression.
A newborn’s risk of developing cephalohematoma increases with long or stressful labor or using forceps or vacuum extractors.
Infant cephalohematomas may be treated with surgery if they are caught early. Some cases resolve on their own. However, in untreated and severe situations, cephalohematomas can permanently damage the brain.
7. Vacuum Extraction Complications
During delivery, doctors might use vacuum extractors to remove a baby stuck in the birth canal.
Using a soft cup, the vacuum extractor attaches to the baby’s head and produces suction, enabling the doctor to pull on the infant when the mother is pushing. It is possible that, in rare cases, complications with vacuum extraction can result in serious injuries.
Brain bleeding, an injury to the shoulder, or Fractured skulls are some complications associated with vacuum extraction.
Once a birth injury has occurred, determining whether it could have been prevented is important.
There are consequences to actions. If medical professionals fail to follow standard practices, their patients may suffer.
Injuries caused by birth are often caused by medical professionals failing to notice the warning signs of a birth injury. As long as the standard of care is followed and timely action is taken, birth injuries can often be avoided.