Birth injures occur when a child has been hurt during their delivery. Depending on the delivery process and the infant, many types of birth injures can result. Unfortunately, all birth injures can be serious, life-altering, and potentially fatal.
Birth injuries occur for many different reasons. In many cases, medical malpractice, or obstetric malpractice, could be the reason. If so, and the baby is injured, the patient could file a medical malpractice lawsuit. Birth injuries can be the result of the time frame of the child’s delivery. Delivering the child too rapidly can lead to the child being positioned in an abnormal way. If the delivery is delayed, the child can lose oxygen, their heart can be stressed, brain damage can result, or the baby can even die.
Abnormal birth position is a common cause of birth injury. If the physician does not take the necessary steps to ensure that there is a safe delivery when the child is in a breech or shoulder position, serious consequences to the child can result. If the child is in an abnormal birth position, a caesarian section surgery is often required. A child in an abnormal birth position can lose oxygen, or if the child is not born within an appropriate time frame, they can suffer brain damage.
The child could also be lodged in the birth canal during delivery. As a result, removal of the infant can lead to serious and permanent damage. Using forceps on the infant can lead to permanent head injuries, shoulder and neck injuries, and nerve damage. In a similar way, pushing and pulling on the infant during delivery can be just as dangerous to the long term health and development of the child. Additionally, if done negligently, vacuum extraction can also lead to serious injury to the infant.
The most common birth injuries in the United States are cerebral palsy and Erb’s palsy. The development of Cerebral palsy occurs when there has been an injury to the motor control area of the brain. This type of injury can occur while the child is in utero, during the delivery process, or after birth, up to age three. Symptoms include problems with the child’s motor development, abnormal muscle tone, joint deformities, and reflex problems. Erb’s palsy results from nerve damage to the brachial plexus nerve area leading to paralysis of the arm. This can occur to an infant who has been lodged in the birth canal.
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