Five of the most common types of birth injuries
Sometimes during their birth a baby can suffer a physical injury. This can simply be the result of being born, or it can be through an error made by a medical professional. This is known as a birth injury.
Infants who experience a birth injuries may develop life-threatening complications or even permanent disabilities. And on some occasions, mothers may also suffer severe or fatal injuries.
In this article we look at five of the most common types of birth injuries. Let’s check each one out below.
1) Cerebral palsy
Cerebral palsy is one of the most common and most reported birth injuries in the United States. However, the term covers to a wide range of symptoms and medical conditions that can result from brain damage due to problems during childbirth.
For example, a child can develop cerebral palsy due to trauma such as oxygen deprivation during childbirth. Often, it is unclear exactly how extensive this condition will be until children grow. Some children can live pretty much ‘normal’ everyday lives, whereas others are much more seriously disabled.
Cerebal palsy often has all or some of the following symptoms:
- Delays in motor function
- Cognitive impairment
- Delays in social development
Cerebral palsy is not reversible, so any child who develops this condition through birth injury will live with it for the rest of their life.
2) Brachial plexus injuries
The brachial plexus is a band of nerves extending from your neck, collarbone area, and upper arm. An infant’s shoulder is the widest part of their body that needs to pass through the birth canal. If the doctor managing the childbirth process uses too much force or moves the baby in the wrong way, the infant may become stuck, and their brachial plexus can become damaged.
Some brachial plexus injuries result in Erb’s palsy, a condition characterised by slow muscle growth in the affected arm. Other, more severe brachial plexus injuries may result in nerve damage or more extensive paralysis.
3) Injuries from surgical instruments
The medical staff assisting childbirth procedures will try avoid surgical instruments when possible, because if an error is made when using a tool, the baby can suffer from injuries that may be permanent.
However, some situations may call for forceps or extraction devices, and it’s understandable but proper precaution must still be practised.
4) Injuries from failure to monitor
Childbirth procedures are complex, so the medical staff overseeing the delivery will constantly and consistently monitor the vital signs of the mother and child. If they fail to properly monitor these vital signs, it could result in life-threatening complications.
For example, if the mother suffers an internal injury and starts to bleed internally, failure to monitor her blood pressure will result in a life or death situation. The medical staff may not have enough time to provide the necessary corrective treatment to her life.
5) Failure to conduct a C-section in time
C-section procedures are required when mothers are unable to deliver their child vaginally, for many different reasons. It’s important that attending physicians and their support staff know and watch out for the warning signs of any problem, and act swiftly and appropriately.
If it’s clear that it is unsafe to continue with a natural (vaginal) childbirth, the doctor must act quickly to ensure the mother has an emergency caesarian. If not, it could lead to a fatal injury or even the death of the mother or child, or both.
What happens if your baby has suffered a birth injury?
These five types of birth injuries are the most common medical malpractices, and these kinds of claims are some of the most challenging personal injury claims a person can file. These cases usually have unique requirements, such as:
- Formal medical board review
- Expert witness testimony
So what should you do if you, a family member or a friend experiences any of the birth injuries listed above? In this case, you should look to hire a birth injury lawyer.
It is not wise to pursue any medical malpractice claim without having a legal representative on your side. Doing everything on your own can increase your chances of losing your case and not receiving the justice and financial compensation you need.
In reality, an average person will be unlikely to secure all necessary documentation and evidence needed to succeed with their claim. Having an attorney will make things easier because they have the network and authority to access the right documents and evidence.
Also, when filing for a medical malpractice claim, you must meet the court’s strict filing requirements and deadlines. And if you are currently managing the physical and emotional effects of the birth injury you and your family have experienced, you may have difficulty meeting these strict requirements.
It’s also wise to hire legal counsel to assist you in handling your legal affairs so you can focus on healing. If you are looking for the best Baltimore birth injury lawyers who have the experience, resources and skill to secure and maximise fair compensation for your birth injury claim, you may wish to check out Peter Angelos Law for more information.