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What Are the Most Common Causes of Birth Injuries?

The birth of a child is usually a happy experience and parents are overjoyed to bring home their newborn bundle. But when a birth injury occurs, the joy turns to sorrow when the child is hurt. Birth injuries can be serious and may even cause lifelong disabilities. According to the CDC, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, birth injuries occur to approximately 6 to 8 of every 1,000 live births in the U.S. Birth injuries are usually preventable and may be caused by the negligence of the doctor or medical team before, during, or after delivery.

Causes of Birth Injuries

Birth injuries occur because of problems with labor or delivery. Most birth injuries fall into one of several main categories including mechanical stress to the body, lack of oxygen, and utilization of medications. Injuries may range from minor problems that will heal quickly to serious and lifelong medical issues that require long term care.

  •         Stress to the Body during Delivery – When the baby is large or positioned improperly the infant may become wedged during delivery. The doctor must then take steps to assist by pulling the infant, sometimes with the use of devices such as forceps and a vacuum. The baby can suffer injuries to the head, brachial plexus, and neck. These injuries can be serious and even disabling.
  •         Lack of Oxygen to the Brain – A difficult or prolonged delivery can cause distress to the baby. In some cases, the baby experiences a lack of oxygen to the brain. This results in brain injuries that may include cerebral palsy and other disabilities.
  •         Medications – When the mother is provided medications during birth they can sometimes cause problems with labor and delivery. Improper dosages could also have an adverse impact on the newborn.

Types of Birth Injuries

Common types of birth injuries include bone fractures, head trauma, injuries to the brachial plexus, perinatal asphyxia, intracranial hemorrhage, facial paralysis, cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, and spinal cord injuries. Injuries are usually diagnosed immediately upon birth, but the extent of them may not be apparent. Injuries such as brain trauma could have symptoms that are not completely realized until the child begins to grow. Birth injuries may require expensive medical treatment which may be required for an extended period of time.

Legal Action for Birth Injuries

Birth injuries are caused by medical malpractice when the doctor or medical professional makes a mistake. The failure to take appropriate action is also considered malpractice. For instance, a difficult birth may require a c-section to prevent injuries to the baby. If the doctor fails to perform a c-section and the baby is hurt as a result, the doctor may be responsible for the infant’s injuries.

A lawsuit may be required to seek compensation for damages caused by the negligent actions. Damages include medical costs, future treatment and care expenses, and money for pain and suffering.

If your baby was injured at birth, contact the compassionate legal team at Levin & Perconti to schedule a consultation.

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