Research shows that about .27 percent of all childbirths involve a birth injury. Even though the majority of females give birth in a medical facility surrounded by professionals, a birth injury can occur at almost any time during the birth process. Damage of this sort is usually caused by medical negligence. An infant who suffers a birth injury may reach full recovery in a short period of time or have to face long-term physical disability and/or mental disability.
Causes of Birth Injuries
Birth injury is typically the result of vaginal or abdominal operative deliveries and can be prompted by any of the following scenarios:
- Stoppage in the oxygen supply can occur if the umbilical cord is squeezed or tangled during delivery or when the fetus asphyxiates on its own meconium (fecal matter resulting from the baby's first bowel movement that is produced before or after birth).
- Mechanical trauma occurs when the baby assumes an unnatural position during childbirth or when it is too massive to pass through the birth canal. This situation is inherent to diabetic mothers.
The birth process is handled by multiple members of the medical staff, and any one of them can make a mistake before, during, or following delivery. This is known as delivery room negligence and may involve:
- Lack of intuition on the part of the midwife to seek help from an obstetrician
- Poor intubation (tube insertion) technique of an infant, resulting in hypoxia (inadequate oxygenation of body tissue).
- Being overly aggressive or using unwarranted rotational force during delivery.
- A medical team may be ill-equipped to handle a tough delivery if prenatal testing was insufficient. Delivery complications may be characterized by conditions such as a birth weight in excess of nine pounds, a mother's peculiarly shaped pelvis, and a badly situated fetus. These can all be identified by a sonogram.
- Holding off on a C-section delivery when the baby is exhibiting characteristics of distress.
Although none of these events guarantees the occurrence of a birth injury, they will add some tricky obstacles to the delivery process, and the probability that an injury will occur may rise. If an infant is unable to recover from a birth injury, the damage can be rather destructive; the harm inflicted may leave the victim with disabilities that last a lifetime.
Types of Birth Injuries
Birth Injury Lawsuits
Serious Birth Injuries
Other Common Injuries at Birth
- Oxygen deprivation
- Mental retardation
- Dejerine-Klumpke Palsy
- Brachial plexus damage
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb's Palsy
- Internal bleeding Infection
- Damage to the spinal cord
- Bone fractures
- Brain damage
If a birth injury proves to be permanent, the parents of that infant have the right to file a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of their child. A medical malpractice attorney will seek compensation for:
- Past and future lost wages.
- Pain and suffering.
- Past and future medical costs.
- Future treatment expenses (e.g., aides, equipment, counseling, rehabilitation, etc.).