What Is A Birth Injury?
Ordinarily, childbirth is a miraculous process that is life-changing for the families of newborns. While complications can arise, hospitals are specially trained to deal with each and every outcome. When a medical error causes an injury to the mother or child at birth, it’s considered a birth injury. Birth injuries can last a lifetime and many children with birth injuries will require extra care. Extra care includes medical treatments, physical therapy, and special education among others. If you or someone you know has suffered any type of traumatic birth experience, you have legal options.
Types of Birth Injuries To Babies
- Cerebral Palsy – Cerebral palsy occurs for a number of reasons. Lack of oxygen to the brain or injury to the spine causes brain damage resulting in cerebral palsy. Newborns with cerebral palsy will show signs of difficulty moving one or more limbs, holding up their heads, and experience developmental delays.
- Erb’s Palsy – Similar to cerebral palsy, Ebr’s palsy occurs after injury to nerves known as the upper trunk C5-C6 nerves. Certain types of physical injuries during delivery cause this condition. The impact of Erb’s palsy ranges from mild to serious, depending upon the severity of the injury. When doctors use too much force during delivery, nerve damage creates weakness or paralysis in the arm.
- Brachial Plexus Injury – This injury is also known as neonatal brachial plexus palsy (BPP). Damage to certain nerves during childbirth lead to a variety of conditions. Depending on which nerves suffer damage, babies risk developing Erb’s Palsy, Neuropraxia, Klumpke’s Palsy, or Neuroma. Breech positioning, maternal obesity, or use of excessive force increase the risk of brachial plexus injuries.
- Forceps and Vacuum Assisted Delivery Injuries – During childbirth, whether natural or Caesarian section, a physician may use a medical vacuum or pair of forceps, a tong-like device. After placing the vacuum or forceps on the baby’s head, doctors pull gently to help the baby leave the birth canal. Doctors who use too much force cause devastating birth injuries.
Types of Birth Injuries To Mothers and Babies
- Hypoxia – When oxygen levels drop, whether in the baby or the mother, it is essential to get air to the patient. Low oxygen in the organs can lead to permanent damage or death.
- Shoulder Dystocia – During the childbirth process, a physician delivering the baby may pull on the baby’s head to aid the birth. Shoulder dystocia is a birth injury that occurs when an infant’s head and shoulders become stuck behind its mother’s pelvic bone during delivery. While rare, this type of injury is often severe and is risky for both mother and child. The mother can hemorrhage and/or rupture her uterus, and the baby may experience difficulty breathing, a collarbone fracture, cerebral palsy, a brachial plexus fracture, and in some instances, die during or shortly after birth.
Experienced Birth Injury Attorneys
If you or someone you know has suffered any type of birth injury during a hospital or home birth, contact the birth injury attorneys at Lopez McHugh today. When handled correctly, your birth injury claim compensation should help you take care of your injured child for life. Our medical malpractice lawyers can help.