Birth Injury

Birth injury usually results from complications during delivery, although in some cases, medical malpractice is involved.

A baby holding an adult's hand
Birth injuries are commonly the result of careless behavior on the part of the delivery room staff.

Causes of Birth Injury

While medical malpractice may be the cause of your child's birth injury, complications that can occur during labor and result in birth injury include:

  • Fetal distress
  • Seizures
  • Breech or malpresentation: a delivery that occurs feet or buttocks first

Common Causes of Birth Injuries

There are many things that can cause birth injury. Some of the most common causes of birth injury would include fetal distress, breech birth and a condition called shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia occurs when a baby's head and shoulder bet stuck beyond their mother's pubic bone.

There are many other pregnancy and birth complications that can cause birth injury as well. For instance, some things that occur during delivery would include oxygen deprivation or a bump or compression of the baby's head. These things can cause a brain injury that leads to cerebral palsy or other complications. Head injury can also occur while the baby is still in their mother's womb if there is a car accident or fall.

Birth Injuries and Doctor Negligence

In many cases, birth injury can occur as the direct result of medical negligence. A doctor may not run standard tests that would screen for preventable complications. They may fail to diagnose or treat problems that may affect a baby's growth or development. They may fail to properly address birth complications that arise or fail to screen the fetus for stress during labor. All of these failures can lead to a birth injury that can cause temporary or life-long problems for both the mother and baby.

Birth Injuries and Medical Equipment

Another thing that can cause birth injury is the improper use of medical equipment. Often, doctors use things like forceps or a vacuum to assist a mother during a complicated delivery. If these tools are used incorrectly, they can cause birth injury. In some cases, these birth injuries are minor, in other, they are severe and life altering.

Types of Birth Injury

Birth complications happen more often than one might think. When birth complications occur they can lead to birth injury in many cases. Often, when a birth injury occurs it can cause permanent damage that complicates the lives of the infant affected and their family forever.

Below is a list of some of the most common types of injuries that happen as a result of complications experienced during childbirth.

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy occurs as a direct result of a brain injury before, during, or immediately after a child is born. There are many things that can cause cerebral palsy. Some of the causes include oxygen deprivation, maternal infection, premature birth, or a blow or bump to the baby's head during delivery. Cerebral palsy affects each child differently, but it is not curable.

Erb's Palsy

Erb's palsy occurs when a birth injury leads to paralysis of one limb. The birth injury occurs as a direct result of a birth complication called shoulder dystocia. This complication occurs when the baby's head and shoulder get trapped behind the mother's pubic bone. Erb's palsy is not always permanent. In some cases, surgery and therapy can help a child recover from this birth injury.

Brachial Plexus

Many infants suffer a brachial plexus injury when birth complications occur. The brachial plexus is a series of nerves that transfers signals between the spine, arms, and legs. The injury to the brachial plexus can be permanent or temporary depending on the severity. There are for different types of brachial plexus birth injury that range from a complete tear of the nerve to a stretch of the nerve.

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia is a common birth complication that leads to birth injury in about 20 percent of the people it happens to. Shoulder dystocia happens when the baby gets stuck behind their mother's pubic bone. When this occurs the rest of their body can not follow the head out of the vagina as it would in a normal delivery.

Consult a Birth Injury Attorney

If you suspect that medical negligence contributed to your child's birth injury, we encourage you to take a moment to get in touch with an experienced birth injury lawyer. You may be entitled to financial compensation for your child's injuries. A birth injury attorney can review your case to determine its validity.

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