The birth of a child should be a happy time, yet once in a while, the joy turns to sorrow when a baby faces birth trauma. Birth trauma may happen during an otherwise normal delivery. Birth trauma consists of a number of different medical problems that may include injuries to the face, head, shoulders, body, or abdomen. Injuries may range from mild to severe. Some injuries will heal quickly while others may have a more serious prognosis. Birth trauma injuries can be caused by the negligence of the doctor or other medical professionals who are delivering the baby.
Risk factors for Birth Trauma
There are some factors that may increase the risk for birth trauma. The most common risk factors are:
· Large Babies
· Breech Delivery
· Prolonged Labor
· Instrumentation Use During Delivery
· Excessive Traction During Delivery
· Large Head
When these factors are present, extra precautions need to be taken to ensure a smooth delivery. Many
times, these issues can be determined prior to the start of delivery. The use of instruments and devices to assist in the birth can be detrimental to the infant. Sometimes labor may be prolonged when the mother is given an epidural, which can slow the labor process.
What Causes Birth Trauma
Birth trauma is generally caused by difficulties during delivery. The baby may become stuck, which will require assistance. If the baby is not delivered quickly enough he may be deprived of oxygen, which could cause very serious brain trauma or cerebral palsy. The doctor may need to use a device such as forceps or vacuum extraction to assist in bringing the baby out of the birth canal. These devices can cause harm to the infant. Head and shoulder injuries are very common when forceps are utilized. Serious injury to the neck or head can cause permanent disabilities.
Preventing Birth Trauma Injuries
Many birth injuries may be prevented with proper medical care and treatment. Doctors must evaluate the size and position of the baby before delivery. If the baby is large or is in a difficult position, a cesarean section may be necessary. Doctors and nurses need to be prepared for the possibility of a difficult birth. When the birth warrants assistance the use of instruments or devices may be required. These need to be used cautiously and with extreme care since they can cause severe injuries to the infant. An experienced doctor should have the expertise necessary to avoid problems during the birth process. If risk factors are present the doctor should be prepared for any possible situation and should have specialists available to assist during the birth.
What to Do About Birth Trauma Injuries
Birth trauma is something no parent ever wants to have to face. However, if it happens to your baby you may be entitled to compensation. When a birth injury is caused by the negligence of a doctor or other medical personnel, a lawsuit may be necessary. There are many expenses that are associated with birth trauma. In addition to medical expenses, there could be ongoing treatment and rehabilitation required. If the injury is severe the child may need lifelong care. In addition to medical costs, your child may also receive money for pain and suffering and for loss of enjoyment of life. If your child suffered birth trauma as the result of negligence, contact Levin & Perconti to discuss your case with a free consultation.
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