The birth of a child is one of the most important and memorable moments in a person’s life. Unfortunately, traumatic injuries can occur during the birthing process that may affect your baby for years to come. Birth injuries include both physical and mental abnormalities caused by certain events occurring during the process of childbirth (labor and delivery). There is nothing you can do to completely control this, but there are steps you can take to ensure that your baby’s birth goes as smoothly as possible. Here are four things you should know about birth injuries.
Who is to blame for the accident?
Negligence on the part of medical professionals can lead to serious birth injuries during labor. If your child is deprived of oxygen for an extended period, their brain could develop tissue damage that will affect them later in life. Doctors should take all necessary precautions before using devices like vacuum extractors or forceps to ensure they are not mishandled or used incorrectly. As stated by the birth injury professionals from ERLegal, hiring a lawyer who specializes in birth injury cases will help you understand your legal rights and assist with filing any lawsuits against negligent parties responsible for harming your child. It is important to understand that your child’s medical expenses will likely increase after birth due to injury, and the long-term effects of their treatment. A reputable attorney will help ensure you receive full compensation for all damages caused by negligence during labor.
What Are Some Common Types Of Birth Injuries?
while birth injuries can be caused by several factors and every situation is unique, the most common types of birth injuries include:
- Brain or head injury: Occurs when the infant’s head is compressed during labor. This causes bruising, swelling, or bleeding which may damage brain tissue. The impairment varies based on the severity of the injury. Commonly associated with other injuries such as fractured clavicle (collar bone), facial paralysis/dropped eyelid, and subdural hematoma (bleeding behind an intact dura).
- Physical disability: Maybe due to any combination of prematurity, low birth weight, traumatic delivery, difficult forceps/vacuum extraction delivery, or failure to recognize fetal distress. The type of disability varies depending on the specific cause, while the most common include club foot, cerebral palsy, and Erb’s or Klumpke’s Palsy.
- Muscle or nerve damage: May be caused by injury to the brachial plexus (nerve bundle) when shoulder dystocia is not recognized and corrected during delivery. Nerve damage may also occur in cases of severe shoulder bruising, perinatal asphyxia (lack of oxygen to the brain), cervical fracture, or bruising from improperly placed forceps/vacuum extraction.
Who Is At Risk For Birth Injuries?
As with any type of injury or illness that occurs in a hospital setting, it is important to determine the cause and identify all parties who may be responsible. If you suspect your child has been injured during childbirth due to medical negligence, contact an attorney immediately for legal advice and representation. The following are some factors that put infants at increased risk for developing birth injuries:
- Prolonged labor – This is when labor lasts longer than normal (24 hours). Delivery should occur within 12-18 hours after the mother’s water breaks if possible. Any delay could affect your baby’s health and lead to injury.
- Failure to recognize labor – If doctors do not recognize that the mother’s body is preparing for delivery through the stages of labor, complications could occur due to a lack of medical treatment during contractions.
- Improper use of instruments during delivery – Tools like forceps and vacuum extractors should be used with care as they can cause unexpected injuries or cut your child if mishandled. Special training is required before doctors are allowed to use these devices.
What Are Some Long-Term Effects Of Birth Injuries?
As mentioned above, doctors will closely monitor your child’s development and chart their progress through childhood to determine the possible effects of birth injuries and any necessary treatment. Many children will recover from these injuries quickly while others may require ongoing therapy and assistance for them to gain normal function again. The following are some long-term effects that can result from untreated or improperly treated birth injuries:
- Cognitive delays – This is when your child does not meet standard developmental milestones at times during their early years. Intelligence tests should be administered regularly so doctors can monitor changes in scores over time.
- Emotional issues – Higher levels of anxiety and depression may occur after a traumatic event like a car accident or physical trauma suffered during birth. Therapy may be required in some cases.
- Speech difficulties – This can occur when the palate in your child’s mouth is injured during delivery, which alters how sound waves travel to their vocal cords and causes them to speak differently than other children.
Birth injuries can have a profound effect on both child and their parents because of the enhanced medical expenses associated with taking care of a child’s health after birth as well as missed wages for parents who choose or are forced to take time off work to care for their child. Understanding what it means and what are your options will help you get your life back on track as soon as possible.