Injuries at Birth

The day you have been waiting for has finally arrived. You are at the hospital ready to welcome your new baby into your family and into this world. You had not considered that his entry might cause him injury, but sometimes it does. There are unexpected complications during the delivery process that cause such injuries.

When a baby is being born it is possible that he has a difficult time coming out of the birth canal, despite the mother pushing and pushing. The doctor may opt to use forceps, which clamp onto baby’s head, and pull the baby out by the head. Another similar instrument used for this same purpose is a vacuum, which creates a suction on baby’s head, and it pulls the baby out. These two devices can be dangerous and can cause brain damage to your baby.

Another injury which can occur at birth results from a breech delivery, meaning the baby’s legs or bottom are presented first at the birth canal as opposed to the baby’s head. If this position is seen before hand, there are measures to assist the baby into turning around in the correct, head first, position. If the baby is born in a breech position, injury could occur as a result of his head getting stuck in the birth canal. A cesarean section is a good alternative to giving birth to a baby in breech position.

Premature rupturing of membranes, or the water breaking, can result in injury to the baby. The baby is no longer encased in the amniotic fluid which protects him from environmental agents. He is susceptible to sickness. Usually, when the water breaks, active labor is soon forthcoming. If labor does not begin after the water breaks, sometimes the physician will induce labor to reduce risk of infection and injury to the baby.

Another injury that can occur during birth happens when the baby is born too early, this can result in underdevelopment of the the lungs, as well as damage to the spine and brain. Cerebral palsy sometimes results and the damage is irreparable. It is important for the correct date of conception and corresponding due date to be determined by the physician.

The most special day of a person’s life is when their infant is born. In a hospital setting, you expect a competent team of health professionals who can quickly handle situations when problems arise. With a good medical team, who have assessed your risk factors, chances for injury to your baby will be reduced. It is helpful to be knowledgeable of things that could go wrong, that way you know you are prepared.

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.

If you have had a child with a recent injury due to birth please fill out our form for a free consultation with a Lawyer who specializes in personal injury.