Articles Posted in Birth Injury Prevention

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The birth of a baby is usually a joyful time for families, unless a severe birth injury causes harm to the newborn. One of the most common types of birth injuries is called hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE). This is a reduced flow of oxygen to the baby’s brain during the birth process and is also a type of birth asphyxia. HIE may cause brain injuries that range from minor to severe. There are many factors that contribute to how a child with HIE will develop. Recent information indicates that reducing the body temperature immediately after the occurrence of a serious brain injury has a major positive impact on recovery. The baby’s brain has a much better chance of improvement when the body is cooled to slow metabolism.

Neonatal Cooling
A medical treatment for HIE, neonatal cooling requires the newborn to spend time at a lowered temperature for the immediate hours and days following birth. The cooling treatment reduces the body’s temperature and slows the metabolism. This gives the body a much better chance of recovering and is particularly important for brain recovery. Decreasing the body temperature has been shown to reduce the severity and extent of a brain injury in some cases. The body may be able to repair the damage thus reducing the extent of the damage done by lack of oxygen.
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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
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Most births are happy times for new parents and in most cases the birth goes well, without complications. However, sometimes there are complications that, if handled improperly, can cause serious and long-term harm to the newborn. Medical professionals must be ready to take care of all types of situations that could happen during labor and delivery. When the proper treatment is rendered in a speedy manner, the chances of serious injury or death are diminished. If doctors and others do not offer appropriate care they may be negligent in their actions, or lack of actions.

Brachial Plexus Injuries
The brachial plexus is a bundle of nerves that connects the spine, neck, shoulder, and arms. If damage occurs to this area during birth the infant may suffer injuries. The injuries may be mild and the child may recover completely after a few months or the damages could be permanent and severe. This type of injury most often happens when the child’s shoulders become stuck during birth. The doctor may need to pull the infant by using forceps or a vacuum instrument.
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Childbirth is one of the most rewarding experiences in life; however, it can also be one of the most painful. To counteract the pain, many doctors and hospitals offer epidurals. According to the American Pregnancy Association, epidurals are the most common type of pain relief used during labor. While epidurals are generally considered safe, they do come with some risks. When an epidural goes wrong, the results can be devastating.

What Are Epidurals?
An epidural is a type of local anesthesia that is administered for management of pain associated with childbirth. A catheter is typically inserted into the lower back to allow for easy management of the drug. When needed, the anesthesia is administered into the back. This type of epidural is also sometimes called a walking epidural because it allows the patient to move more freely. Various medications are utilized in epidurals. Pain relief may last from 4 to 8 hours. One of the main advantages of an epidural is that it allows the woman to be awake and participate fully during labor and birth.
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One of the most common types of medical malpractice happens during labor and delivery. Even with the latest technology and support, errors can and do happen. These problems could have been avoided and thus are considered medical negligence. If you or a family member has suffered due to a mistake made by a doctor or member of the medical staff, it is possible to recover damages.

Medical Errors

While medical errors are not common, they do occur from time to time. Unfortunately, mistakes made during the delivery process can have a devastating and lasting effect on the child and his or her family. When childbirth complications are mishandled the result may be a child who is diagnosed with cerebral palsy or other type of brain injury. A prolonged labor or one where the proper procedures were not followed could create a risky situation. Physicians and other medical professionals must take the proper steps to ensure that the birth was attended to correctly. If you feel as though the birth was not handled correctly, you may be right. It is certainly worth further investigation.

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Epidurals are so commonly used during child birthing that they often seem like an integral part of the process. Many women expect to receive one as a pain medication resource and many physicians routinely give them to every single mother laboring mother. However, the risk involved in receiving an epidural requires thoughtful and personalized consideration.

What is an Epidural?

According to Baby Center, United States physicians use epidurals to manage labor pain more often than any other type of pain medication. An epidural is administered through the insertion of a catheter into the area surrounding the spinal cord and fluid. The procedure lessens the sensation of pain in the lower body by interrupting nerve signals between the sensory and motor nerves, but it still allows you some feeling. Though epidurals are commonly given after active labor begins, the recent trend is to administer it in the earlier stages of labor if requested by the mother.

The Potential Problems

While the epidural is interfering with the nerve signals to lessen pain, it is also interfering with hormones that the female body produces during labor and childbirth, according to natural health expert Chris Kessler.
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When parents choose a medical center to care for their labor and delivery needs, they also expect that the hospital will be capable of adequately handling any complications that may arise with the newborn. Reputation and track record go a long way in demonstrating whether your health care providers are truly fit to manage your birthing procedure, as well as your new bundle of joy. The poor track record of one Florida hospital attracted the attention of the federal government and their investigation may lead to a significant amount of financial liability.
An article on CNN.com is reporting about a West Palm Beach medical center that routinely performs open heart surgeries on infants and babies.
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Expectant mothers rely on their treating physicians to promote their health, as well as the health of their babies. Part of this responsibility includes the accurate and timely diagnosis of disorders and potential problems. If this task is not carried out adequately, the result can be fatal. When a pregnancy is first diagnosed, one of the details that the mother is most concerned with is the age of the fetus. The due date becomes stamped in the minds and hearts of family and friends, as parents anticipate the arrival of a new life. But an inaccurate gestational age diagnosis can prove much more serious than the inconvenience and disappointment it can cause.

A study on TranstitionToParenthood.com discusses the potential risks of misdiagnosing the gestational age of a fetus. According to the report, about 66% of babies are born relatively close to their due dates, meaning within ten days. Variation from one pregnancy to another is expected, with factors like age, race and multiple births all playing a part in the normal gestational term.
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When expecting a child, parents are faced with a variety of options. They want to make decisions that are in the best interest of the baby and their family. Some of the most important choices involve medical treatments and the birthing process. Parents may take a considerable amount of time to research and choose the right physician. After all, this is the person who cares for the mother and fetus during pregnancy, and ensures that the baby is brought into the world safely. A growing number of parents choose a different route, opting for a midwife instead of a doctor and deciding to have a home birth.

A Continuing Debate
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As the world celebrates the birth of a new royal princess, it is important to also recognize the risks of childbirth to both the mother and the baby. Parents expect physicians to act in a professional manner when diagnosing and treating problems that arise during pregnancy. When doctors do not meet these standards, the results can prove devastating for the entire family.

A breech positioning is one condition that should cause considerable concern for the treating physician. The healthiest position for an infant in the womb is facing down, so the head is the closest body part to the birthing canal. When babies deliver head first, the rest of the body has an easier transition through the canal. Breech positioning occurs when the baby’s feet or buttocks are closest to the birthing canal.
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