In most cases, delivering a child is a pretty straightforward event. However, sometimes complications arise and the health of the baby is negatively impacted. This can result in birth injuries.
A birth injury is defined as any injury or harm that an infant experiences during labor or the birth process itself. Some birth injuries can be mild or short-term while others are severe or permanent.
But how do birth injuries occur?
In most cases, doctors are supposed to follow particular standards of care that help them monitor the condition of the child and mother. If the physician detects any problems during pregnancy or delivery, they are supposed to address them. However, a medical professional may be negligent and this may cause a birth injury. Such mistakes can lead to medical malpractice. For more details on how to seek compensation for medical malpractice, read Levininjuryfirm.com/pa/philadelphia-birth-injury-lawyer.
Here are the 7 most common types of birth injuries:
This is a birth injury that results from damage to the areas of the brain responsible for regulating balance and muscular control. Cerebral palsy is the most common brain-related injury in infants and the damage is often caused by some kind of maternal or infant infection, infant stroke, or oxygen deprivation. These issues occur when a doctor fails to treat a maternal infection, monitor fetal distress, or use birthing tools properly.
This is a birth injury similar to brachial plexus. It also affects the nerves in the baby’s upper arm. The affected arm becomes weak and loses any sense of feeling. In the most severe cases, the arm may become completely paralyzed.
This involves damage to the nerves in the infant’s upper arm. The affected arm becomes weak and the baby is unable to use the muscles in the arm. The baby experiences a burning sensation or a feeling of electrical shock in the arm. In some cases, the hands and shoulders may also be affected.
Meconium Aspiration Syndrome
This occurs during a stressful delivery where the baby goes through a long and difficult birth. The infant is so stressed that they defecate inside the uterus and then inhales in the meconium. This may lead to severe respiratory problems.
This includes lacerations and bruising that result from the tools the doctor uses to help the baby pass through the birth canal. Birth-assisting tools such as vacuum extractors and forceps can cause head trauma.
We all know that a baby’s bones are more flexible because they have more cartilage than an adult. If the doctor handles the newborn roughly, the baby’s bones may fracture easily.
These birth injuries are caused by infection, trauma, or HIE (Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy). The doctor is supposed to test the pregnant mother for maternal infections, but if these infections are not identified and treated, the baby’s brain may be affected. The trauma and HIE can be caused by improper use of birth-assisting tools, thus resulting in brain damage and inadequate oxygen to the brain.
It is the doctor’s responsibility to ensure that no harm comes to the mother and child during delivery. They should provide adequate prenatal checks and make sure that the delivery process is performed professionally. If this does not happen, and birth injuries occur, then this becomes medical malpractice.