Every year, thousands of babies are born with injuries that could have been prevented. While some birth injuries are minor and heal quickly, others can affect a child’s health and development.
What are Common Birth Injuries?
Many different types of birth injuries can occur, but some are more common than others. Some of the most common birth injuries include:
- Brain damage: This can happen when the baby’s head is crushed during delivery or if there is a lack of oxygen to the brain during labor.
- Cerebral palsy: This is a condition that affects movement and muscle coordination. It is caused by damage to the child’s brain during pregnancy, childbirth, or shortly after birth.
- Erb’s palsy: This is a paralysis of the arm caused by damage to the nerves in the neck during delivery.
- Shoulder dystocia: A condition where the baby’s shoulder becomes stuck behind the pubic bone of the mother during delivery. This can cause severe damage to the baby’s shoulder, neck, and spinal cord.
- Skull fractures: These can occur when the head of the baby is crushed during delivery.
Any birth injury can have a debilitating impact on a child’s life. Many injuries cause pain and suffering. Unfortunately, the complications of birth injuries can be significant.
Complications of Birth Injuries
Suffering a birth injury can have a life-altering impact on a newborn. Unfortunately, many potential complications can arise from these injuries. Some of the more common ones include:
- Paralysis: This is one of the most serious potential complications, as it can lead to a loss of mobility and independence.
- Infection: If the injury is left untreated, it can become infected, leading to further complications such as sepsis.
- Loss of sensation: Based on the severity of the child’s injury, it is possible to lose sensation in the affected area. This can cause problems with both movement and sensation.
- Chronic pain: Birth injuries can often lead to chronic pain, which can be debilitating and significantly reduce the quality of life.
- Psychological trauma: The psychological impact of a birth injury can be significant, particularly if it leads to long-term physical impairments. This can include anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Signs and Symptoms of Birth Injuries
There are several signs and symptoms of birth injuries. Recognizing that your child may have suffered a birth injury is crucial. If your child does not receive immediate medical attention, the condition can worsen and, in severe cases, become life-threatening.
Some of the signs that could indicate a birth injury includes:
- Any abrasions, swelling, or bruises that are your child’s face, head, or shoulders.
- If your child experiences any seizures within 48 hours of birth.
- If CPR or a breathing tube is necessary for the child during the delivery process.
- If your child does not begin breathing immediately after their delivery.
- Any limp or loose arms, which muscle tone problems could cause.
Management of Birth Injuries
There are several different ways to manage birth injuries. The course of treatment will differ depending on the type and severity of the child’s injuries. However, several methods can be used to manage common birth injuries.
Proper rehabilitation is one of the most critical aspects of managing a birth injury. This can help the child regain function and range of motion and improve their quality of life. Surgery may also be needed, especially in cases where it is necessary to correct any physical deformities caused by the injury.
Providing emotional support to the child and their family is also essential. Many families struggle to cope with the challenges presented by a birth injury, and it is vital to offer them guidance and understanding.
Finally, ensuring that the child has access to the best possible medical care is essential. This includes regular checkups, appointments with specialists, and any necessary therapies or treatments.
Birth Injury Causes
According to statistics, approximately 7 out of every 1,000 children born in the United States are afflicted by birth injury. There are many possible birth injuries causes, including:
- Improper use of delivery instruments like forceps or vacuum extractors
- Excessive force used during delivery
- Prolonged labor
- Failure to promptly deliver a baby in distress
- Inadequate staffing or poor communication among medical staff
If you believe medical negligence was the cause of your child’s birth injury, you may be able to file a medical malpractice lawsuit. You must seek legal guidance from a birth injury attorney as soon as possible.
Our experienced Tulsa birth injury lawyers at Richardson Richardson Boudreaux, PLLC, can help your family get justice after being affected by a birth injury. Contact our law firm today to schedule a free consultation.