birth injury type brachial plexus

Birth Injuries Can Cause Shoulder, Arm, and Hand Paralysis in Newborn

The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves located in an infant’s body’s upper shoulder and neck area. The nerves can be damaged when the site is pulled or pinched during labor and delivery. Brachial plexus injury (BPBI) remains the leading cause of infants’ upper extremity paralysis that can significantly impact arm and hand mobility and leave up to 30% of those affected with residual neurologic deficits.

When the damage happens, it may be relatively minor, and some children will be lucky enough to make a full recovery eventually. But at other times, for example, in a case of a forced breech delivery or improper use of an instrumented delivery, the damage may be so extensive that a permanent disability is the only outcome. The child could have restricted movement of the shoulder, arm, and hand and possible nerve injuries that affect facial muscles. These problems are associated with the side of the body where the immediate damage happened.

list of preventable birth injuries like asphyxiation

Brain Injury Awareness Month Serves as a Reminder for Medical Professionals to Work Harder in Preventing Birth Injuries

March is Brain Injury Awareness Month. The birth injury lawyers at Levin & Perconti and their families would like to acknowledge and support the 5.3 million Americans living with a brain injury, including the 2 out of every 1,000 newborn infants who suffer from oxygen deprivation at birth. Asphyxia is an irreversible event that occurs when an infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen for an extended time prenatally, intrapartum, or postnatally, resulting in abnormal neurologic function. The harm can be incredibly debilitating and impact the child’s suffering for the remainder of their life.

Common brain injuries as result of asphyxia at birth include:

labor induction leading to birth injuries

The Connection Between Labor Inducing Drugs and Birth Injuries 

According to research provided through the National Partnership for Women & Families (NPWF), up to 50% of all birth injuries to mothers and babies are avoidable with proper planning and better care. And a woman’s doctors or medical team may be responsible for those injuries if they allow labor and delivery complications to impact a mother and her baby’s health. At times, a physician may schedule a delivery to induce labor and avoid further complications.

NPWF has identified three situations that can occur at the end of pregnancy when women or newborns are likely to benefit from induction:

maternal health of black women

New Legislation Aimed to Save Lives and Reduce Disparities Impacting Mortality in Black Mothers and Black Babies

Women of color, more so non-Hispanic Black mothers, suffer adverse maternal health outcomes at disproportionately high rates, as much as 3 to 4 times those of their white counterparts. In response, the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2021 has been unveiled alongside 12 bills to address the significant health inequities Black mothers are at risk for. While the newly proposed legislation could impact the growing concern for Black women’s health across the U.S., the related challenges are especially problematic in Illinois, where an average of 19 Black women in Chicago dies within 12 months of giving birth, making their deaths nearly six times higher than whites.

According to the U.S. House of Representatives and members of the Black Maternal Health Caucus, The Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act is designed to:

black babies and mortality rates

New Research May Provide Answers to Lessening Mortality Rate in Black Babies

An associate professor and reproductive health equity researcher from the University of Minnesota School of Public Health has released her medical research that examined decades of hospital birth records between 1992 and 2015, looking for clues as to why Black babies have such high mortality rates.

Rachel Hardeman discovered that Black newborns are three times as likely to die as White newborns when Black babies weren’t cared for by Black doctors after birth. The doctors were primarily pediatricians, neonatologists, and family practitioners. When cared for by Black doctors, a Black baby’s mortality rate was cut in half. According to the research article published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States (PNAS) on September 1, 2020:

birth injuries by episiotomy

Childbirth Injuries Related to Unnecessary Episiotomy

Episiotomies can create lasting injuries and make sexual intercourse painful, if not impossible, and prevent women from wanting to have more children with worries about another childbirth. And while episiotomy rates are dropping in the U.S. due to these known risks, some doctors are still routinely performing them.

The American Pregnancy Association identifies these situations in which an episiotomy may be needed but not always necessary:

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8 Birth Injury Facts Parents Must Know

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, most birth injuries are avoidable when appropriate care is available. And while some minor injuries to newborns may occur and can resolve without treatment, a birth injury is better defined as the structural destruction or functional deterioration of an infant’s body due to a traumatic event at birth. Here are eight additional facts you may not know about preventable birth injuries that could impact both mom and baby.

  1. Failure to perform an emergency cesarean section (c-section) can result in a severe birth injury to a newborn, including brain damage and cerebral palsy due to oxygen deprivation and lifelong injuries to the mother.

usa has highest maternal death rate

Latest CDC Data Shows U.S. Maternal Mortality Rate Highest Among Comparable Countries

A recent analysis of the latest issue brief from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows that most maternal deaths are preventable but continue to be increasing in the United States compared to 10 high-income countries. The data is being used to identify differences in maternal care workforces, access to postpartum care and midwife services, and paid maternity leave policies among the countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

Other key findings alarming to U.S. women included:

steps taken in birth injury cases

Do These 3 Things If You or Your Child Were Injured During Pregnancy or the Labor and Delivery Process

Nearly 28,000 babies are born with a birth injury each year across the U.S. That equates to 2,333 per month, 538 per week, 76 per day, and 3 per hour, according to the National Healthcare Quality Report (AHRQ). AHRQ researchers say about half of those could have been avoided. Medical staff, including obstetric physicians, pediatricians, nurses, technicians and medical assistants, can be responsible for these tragic labor and delivery mistakes that cause life-long injuries and circumstances so dire that a tragic death occurs to a mother or her child.

If you can relate to this situation, you may be wondering who to turn to for help, and if you have the right to make a claim. It is natural for parents of a child who suffered a birth injury also to have many questions. We suggest you start with these three steps.

delayed c section injuries

6 Birth Injuries to Baby That Can Happen Due to Delayed C-Section

Healthcare professionals are trained to detect when an emergency C-section is needed. Still, if a doctor delays action to deliver a baby or the health system is not prepared to act quickly, severe consequences to both baby and mom can lead to a myriad of injuries related to lack of oxygen and organ failure, infant brain damage, and developmental disabilities. In the most severe cases, infant or maternal death may occur due to medical errors and negligence. Unfortunately, physicians can fail to schedule a C-section or delay intervening even though the warning signs related to fetal or maternal distress were present.

  1. Fetal Lacerations
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