Social media chatter has been abuzz the last few weeks over a new contestant in the reality TV romance shown known as The Bachelor. One of the contestants on the latest season is a woman who was born with only one full arm as a result of a birth injury. These television shows are not exactly known for their ability to spark useful national conversations. However, in this case, the contestant has worked hard to ensure her newfound celebrity is used to share important information about the risks of injury to developing children.
In Utero Injuries
The 25-year old contestant, Sarah Herron, has thus far survived the first two rounds of the contest. As explained in a new VOXXI article, Herron’s injury developed in utero and was caused by amniotic band syndrome. This is a quite rare condition, which is caused when the fetus becomes tangled in strands of the amniotic sac. This situation influences the development of the fetus. The strands can constrict the growth depending on where they are located on the fetus. In many cases it results in a limb amputation. In Herron’s case it occurred in her left arm at the elbow.
In sharing information about her condition, Herron points out there are are many other in utero injuries. For one thing, many in utero injuries are caused by what the mother ingested when she was pregnant. Sadly, one major problem remains the ingestion of illicit substances–too much alcohol or drugs ingested by the mother can obviously cause serious harm to the development of the child. In other cases chemical exposures by the mother may act in the same way.
On top of that, in utero injuries may be caused by physical trauma to the mother. For example, many mothers-to-be who are involved in car accidents may suffer force on the body that causes problems for the fetus. The development of infections may also lead to injuries in a developing child.
All of these situations–and many others that occur during the birth itself–can cause physical injuries (as in Herron’s case) as well as mental difficulties. Beyond physical limitations things like cerebral palsy may develop if an injury affect’s the brain’s development or deprives oxygen to the brain
Herron is also trying to send a message that being born with certain injuries, like hers, does not automatically mean that society should view her as “disabled.” She put it succinctly, “Having one arm does not define who I am.”
Our birth injury attorneys are glad that more public figures with various birth injuries are able to share their stories and raise awareness of these conditions. Sometimes these injuries are not preventable (or hard to prevent), like the condition that affected Herron. However, in other cases the injury could have been prevented with better prenatal care or proper treatment to emergencies during the birth itself.
If you or a loved one ever experiences a birth injury which may have been preventable, it is important to remember that the law may allow you to receive compensation. In our area a Chicago birth injury attorney can listen to your story and explain what can be done under the law to ensure full accountability.
See Other Blog Posts: