When you’re preparing for your child’s birth, it’s easy to become worried about complications. While the vast majority of births go off without a hitch, some infants do end up being harmed during the birthing process. In cases where these injuries are sustained due to medical malpractice, you should be seeking monetary compensation for your child’s suffering. There are ten birth injuries, in particular, that are commonly caused by medical malpractice:
1. Erb’s Palsy
If an infant is injured during the birthing process, they can have nerves connected to the muscles in the arms and shoulders severely damaged. If this occurs, the baby may be afflicted with Erb’s Palsy – which tends to be a lifelong, and often-debilitating condition. If your infant suffers from a birth-injury-related Erb’s Palsy diagnosis, you should consult a medical malpractice lawyer.
Cephalohematoma is defined as a birth injury caused by bleeding under one of the infant’s cranial bones. Raised bumps tend to appear several hours after the infant’s birth if they are suffering from cephalohematoma. Forceps and other more forceful birthing tools are often to blame for this condition, especially if the medical professional using them becomes negligent, or tries to rush the delicate birthing procedure.
3. Perinatal Asphyxia
Perinatal asphyxia is one of the rarer injuries that infants suffer due to malpractice, and this condition is caused when the infant does not receive sufficient oxygen during the birthing process. When the infant fails to have sufficient blood flow levels, it can cause labored breathing, seizures, comas, shock, and other major health issues. Being healthy and prepared for your child’s birth can help cut the chances of your infant suffering from birth-related injuries significantly.
Bleeding inside an infant’s skull causes hemorrhage damage within the two innermost layers of the brain covering. Two types of hemorrhages are common during birth: intracranial and subarachnoid hemorrhages. These hemorrhages can occur when blood vessels in the infant’s eye burst, or when too much pressure is placed on the infant’s skull during the birthing process.
5. Spinal Cord Injuries
One of the most serious birth-related injuries, an infant’s spine can be greatly damaged or even severed if too much pressure is put on them as they exit the birth canal. Neurological damage, paralysis, forms of palsy, and even death can result from spinal damage. Additionally, spinal damage can be incredibly hard to treat or reverse.
Many different types of fractures can occur during the birthing process. However, collarbone fractures are some of the most common. Complicated deliveries are often associated with broken or fractured collarbones. Although these breaks and fractures can heal on their own over time, they need to be carefully observed. In most cases, the afflicted infant will need to be immobilized while the fracture heals. This process can lead to other afflictions in some rare cases.
7. Facial Paralysis
During delivery, when an infant’s face has too much pressure placed on it, nerve damage can occur. Facial paralysis is one of the most common injuries that infants sustain when birth becomes difficult. When forceps or vacuum extraction tech is used to deliver a baby, the chances of facial paralysis increase significantly. However, these injuries tend to not be permanent.
8. Brachial Plexus
Injuries that involve damage to the nerves that connect the upper spine to the neck, shoulder, hand, and arm are connected to the brachial plexus. While some injuries in this category are only temporary, others are life-long afflictions. Even minor cases have to be carefully observed and treated, to prevent long-term damage from occurring. In rare cases, where nerve endings are irreparably damaged, lifelong forms of paralysis (and even complete paralysis) can occur.
9. Oxygen Deprivation
One of the more serious afflictions that can occur during the birth process, oxygen deprivation puts infants at serious risk for death and other serious ailments. Additionally, if the infant is deprived of oxygen for too long, serious brain trauma and injuries can occur. Typically, this injury happens when a doctor, or another medical professional, is not properly monitoring an infant’s oxygen levels.
10. Caput Succedaneum
When a baby is born with portions of the scalp scraped or swollen, they are likely suffering from caput succedaneum. This is another condition that is commonly caused by improper use of forceps or other birth-assisting tools. However, this is also a fairly non-serious affliction, and can often heal on its own without any further medical intervention from medical professionals.
Your Infant Deserves the Best Care Possible
Both you and your infant deserve vigilant, high-quality care during the delivery process. If you’re ever uncertain as to whether a doctor’s lack of attention led to a birth-related injury, either for your infant or yourself, you should contact a legal professional immediately to discuss your options.