Birth injuries are not as prevalent as they once were, but they still happen far more than one would expect. Many of these lead to medical malpractice suits due to improper birthing techniques used by the doctor or staff.
Birth injury, or birth trauma, are injuries to an infant through difficulties arising from the birthing process or even labor. It can also be a result of improper care after birth, failure to find and treat an infection, or even a mistake made during circumcision.
There are many causes of birth injuries. The most common is the inappropriate use of forceps or vacuum extraction. Forceps can causes scratches on the scalp, or leave bruising where they were used to grasp the head in order assist with the birthing process. This can also cause skull fractures that will require surgery to repair. Vacuum extraction, can also cause bruising and cuts in the scalp. This can lead to Caput Succedaneum, which is a swelling of the scalp. It can become quite severe but will generally go away on it’s own.
Subconjunctival Hemorrhage is also very common and will leave the infant with blood red bands around the irises of one or both eyes. This doesn’t damage the eyes, but is very disconcerting to look at. It is caused when a small blood vessel in the eye breaks. There is no pain or discharge and it will go away usually within a week or ten days.
An infant with fractured bones is actually quite common. The most common bone to have a fracture is the clavicle, or the collarbone. This usually is the result of a breech birth, or a very difficult birth in which the baby was “stuck” due to size. Once the bones are immobilized, they mend quickly without further problems.
Cerebral palsy can also result from a birthing injury. Any time that labor is not managed correctly, or delivery was not handled with correct measures, and the infant suffers from lack of oxygen, bleeding, either internal or external, and any form of head trauma, the risk of cerebral palsy is increased. This is a severe birth injury that nearly always results in a medical malpractice suit being brought.
If you think you or your child is a victim of a birthing injury due to medical malpractice, you should seek counsel from an attorney as quickly as possible. Don’t allow your baby to suffer needlessly. Fill out our form to have a local Attorney contact you for a free consultation.