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The Seven Common Types Of Birth Injuries Most New Parents Don’t Know About

   Image source Life before childbirth is already tough on couples; it gets worse wh...


Image source

Life before childbirth is already tough on couples; it gets worse when dealing with complications during delivery.

Parents hope for the best for their own and their infant’s future and try to avoid thinking of potential problems.

For many, their hopes are shattered because of birth injuries, some of which then plague their children’s entire future. 

A birth injury refers to any damage to a baby right after, during, or before birth, often because of the nurse’s negligence or carelessness.

While it is depressing to think of such possibilities, new parents should be aware of some common birth injuries and their causes.

They should know when to seek legal assistance if they suspect that medical errors caused their baby’s condition.

Today, birth injuries are much less common than a few decades ago, but they can’t be ignored. Following are some birth injuries you should be aware of:

1.      Cerebral Palsy

2 or 3 of every 1000 children born are reported to suffer from cerebral palsy, a condition that is characterized by impaired motor development and weak muscles.

This condition usually results from a brain injury at birth that limits the oxygen supply to the brain. Babies diagnosed with cerebral palsy also experience learning difficulties, cognitive impairment, lung disease, hearing or vision impairment, and low bone density.

Even though a baby born with cerebral palsy cannot be completely cured, therapy exists to improve symptoms.

Unfortunately, it is often because of the negligence of hospital staff, like inadequate monitoring of a laboring mother, improper birth techniques, and inability to monitor fetal distress that leads to hypoxic episodes.

If such medical malpractice is suspected, families can file a birth injuries lawsuit that mandates financial compensation from the perpetrators.

Such financial compensation can be used for medical bills, mobility aids, adaptive equipment, speech therapy, surgery, etc., that the child would need.

Yes, it does not compensate for the damage done to the infant’s entire life, but it does help.

2.      Brachial Plexus injuries

During the delivery, nerve damage can also cause serious, debilitating injuries like Erb’s Palsy. Brachial Plexus is a collection of nerves that run along the spinal cord, along the neck, and then down to the arms.

This bundle of nerves is responsible for controlling arm movement. Pulling the head, neck, or shoulders can stretch or damage these nerves during delivery, even tearing them completely from the spinal column.

Erb’s Palsy is a Brachial Plexus injury characterized by a loss of sensation, weakness, or even paralysis in the arms.

Fortunately, brachial plexus injuries are not permanent for most infants, and these nerves can recover within a few months.

For more serious injuries, physical therapy may be necessary. Sometimes even surgery becomes necessary to repair the brachial plexus nerves.

3.      Skull fracture

Sometimes the pressure felt by the baby during birth or force from contact with the pelvic bone can lead to a fracture.

If the doctors are careless with their instruments, they can damage the baby’s skull. Most skull fractures recover over time and don’t escalate to other problems.

However, sometimes other injuries like cephalohaematoma can accompany a skull fracture. This is when bleeding occurs under the skull.

Cephalohaematoma becomes evident as a bump that appears a few hours after birth. To heal the hematoma, doctors would have to drain the fluid.

4.      Birth hypoxia

Sometimes asphyxiation, suffocation, or oxygen deprivation occurs when the baby loses connection to the mother’s blood supply.

Asphyxiation itself can cause unconsciousness, brain damage, or even death. Birth hypoxia results from such asphyxiation, and if immediate intervention is not given, it can cause permanent brain damage and subsequent intellectual and cognitive impairment.

Birth hypoxia is categorized as a ‘latent birth injury,’ which means that the full extent of the impact will become evident later in life.

For such cases, it is recommended that if you had a complicated birth and later notice developmental problems, you should consult a birth injury attorney.

5.      Shoulder dystocia

The baby’s shoulder can get caught on something during delivery, and if the situation is not handled properly, it can result in serious damage to the newborn.

For instance, poor delivery methods in such a situation can lead to nerve damage, asphyxiation, and broken bones.

Such a problem usually arises when the mother experiences weight gain, has gestational diabetes, or if the baby is larger than usual. It is best to seek prenatal care when warning signs appear.

6.      Infant jaundice

When a baby gets bruised or suffers other injuries that cause bleeding, there is a high risk of infant jaundice. Symptoms of infant jaundice appear on the second or third day after birth and can be detected within the hospital setting.

Doctors should look for bruises and other warning signs and treat them before it develops into jaundice.

If left untreated or is not treated in time, it can escalate to serious fever, cerebral palsy, weakening of the teeth, and hearing loss.

In most cases, however, particularly for infants born anywhere from 35 weeks gestation to full term recovery without needing treatment for jaundice.

7.      Facial paralysis

Nerve damage can cause weakened sensation or paralysis in relevant areas. Such complications can arise when the wrong instruments are used during delivery and too much pressure is applied.

If too much pressure is applied to the face during delivery, facial nerves get damaged, leading to facial paralysis. As a result of such nerve damage, the baby may never be able to move the affected area of his face.

Final words

Birth injuries are a real possibility; all new parents should be aware of potential birth injuries and know when to seek legal help.

Cerebral Palsy, brachial plexus injuries, birth hypoxia, and facial paralysis are commonly reported injuries. Many times the complications arise because of medical malpractice and negligence.

In such situations, the parents have the legal right to file a lawsuit against the perpetrators and seek financial compensation for the damage done.