What Causes a Birth Injury?
The birth of a new child should be filled with joy, not fear and uncertainty. Every year, millions of children are born across the United States. Although most births are free from dangerous complications, some births are affected by serious injuries. Generally speaking, a birth injury is any physical trauma sustained by a mother or child during labor and delivery. According to some, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a birth injury, too. Only a small fraction of mothers are affected by PTSD after giving birth.
Although some birth injuries are unavoidable, others are the result of careless or negligent medical professionals. Simply put, there are two causes of birth injuries: natural causes and medical malpractice. During labor and delivery, babies can suffer a variety of complications. If the child's head or shoulder becomes lodged against the mother's pelvic bone, the baby's shoulder could be damaged. This type of injury is called a brachial plexus injury and refers to a bundle of nerves running through the neck and shoulder that control arm and hand movement.
Other birth injuries include fractures, facial paralysis and cerebral palsy. Although the exact causes of cerebral palsy are unknown, a child may suffer lasting physical damage if he/she develops cerebral palsy at birth. Doctors suspect that cerebral palsy may be caused by a lack of oxygen during birth. If a doctor fails to perform a caesarian section on time, the child may develop cerebral palsy. Children with cerebral palsy usually need lifetime medical attention and care. Because of this, cerebral palsy is an extremely serious form of birth injury.
Some birth injuries are the result of complications during pregnancy, labor or delivery. Injuries caused by pregnancy complications or natural agents are usually not attributed to the carelessness or negligence of a doctor, nurse or other medical professional. For instance, if the mother's blood pressure spikes during the last portion of the pregnancy, the baby may suffer seizures, coma or death. This condition is called preeclampsia and is the result of natural conditions such as high body fat. Unfortunately, the only treatment for preeclampsia is delivery and many women who suffer from preeclampsia deliver their babies prematurely.
Gestational diabetes is another condition that could easily cause a birth injury. For example, if a woman suffers from a high blood sugar concentration while carrying a child, the baby may suffer serious brain and heart related complications. During pregnancy, most women experience increased blood sugar but are able to compensate by producing extra insulin. If the mother does not produce enough insulin, she may develop gestational diabetes. Undiagnosed gestational diabetes is especially dangerous and can lead to severe birth complications. Because of this, it is imperative that doctors correctly identify gestational diabetes in pregnant women.
Usually, babies are born head first. When a baby enters the birth canal feet first, it is called a breech delivery. Babies delivered this way are more susceptible to injury and complications than children born normally. During a breech birth, the child's head may become lodged against the mother's pelvic bone, leading to oxygen deprivation or a brachial plexus injury. Brachial plexus injuries are usually not severe, but may require surgery. Oxygen deprivation can lead to serious complications - even death. Babies deprived of oxygen during delivery may develop cerebral palsy or suffer brain damage. Although breech deliveries are the result of natural agents, the danger of a breech birth can be heightened by negligence, careless or incompetent medical professionals.
Birth Trauma and Medical Negligence
Although birth injuries may be caused by natural factors, they may be the result of medical negligence. If a doctor fails to correctly diagnose a condition, the baby may suffer serious injury or illness. Sometimes, babies cannot be delivered safely and doctors decide to remove the child from the mother's womb via caesarian section. If a doctor fails to notice that a caesarian section is needed, the baby may suffer brain damage, develop cerebral palsy or another serious condition. If you believe that a doctor failed to diagnose a necessary operation and hurt your child, you may be entitled to financial compensation.
Sometimes, doctors use vacuum extractors or forceps to aid delivery. When used correctly, these tools are extremely helpful; when used rashly or incorrectly, they can damage the child. If a doctor applies too much pressure while using forceps, the baby may suffer from facial paralysis. Facial paralysis is caused by damaged nerves in the baby's face and is usually noticeable when the child cries. If your baby has suffered facial paralysis because a doctor was not careful while using forceps or a vacuum, call a lawyer form Zinda Law Group - we can help you understand your rights so that you can make an educated decision about your legal future.
Did your baby suffer a birth injury? We can help!
Birth injury is an umbrella term that refers to a multitude of birth-related medical conditions. If your baby was hurt by a careless or negligent doctor during labor and deliver, you may be entitled to financial compensation. If you suspect that your child's injury is the result of medical negligence but aren't sure, contact us anyway. When you schedule a free case evaluation, a Personal Injury lawyer from Zinda Law Group can help you determine whether or not you should take your case to court. The sooner you talk to a lawyer from our firm, the faster you can have peace of mind knowing that your case is in good hands.