Articles Posted in Birth Injury Treatment

In the U.S., about 1 in 33 babies is born with a birth defect each year, according to the March of Dimes. This makes birth defects the leading cause of infant mortality in the United States, accounting for over 20% of all related deaths.  Several factors have an impact on how a child is born with a birth defect and whether that defect could have been prevented. Critical evaluations of the biological parents’ genetics, medications mom may have been prescribed, social and environmental factors, and prenatal care and physician choices all could play a role. Not to be confused with a birth injury, not all birth defects are preventable.

  • Birth Defects: A birth defect is a health condition that is present at birth. Defects can cause serious problems in a baby’s overall health, how his body develops, and how his/her body works, according to the March of Dimes.
  • Birth Injuries: A birth injury is defined as the structural destruction or functional deterioration of the neonate’s body due to a traumatic event at birth. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Some of these injuries are avoidable when appropriate care is available, and others are part of the delivery process that can occur even when clinicians practice extreme caution.”

Levin Perconti - Baby's Shoulder

4 Newborn Injury Complications Caused by Shoulder Dystocia

One of the most feared complications of a normal vaginal delivery, shoulder dystocia is a frightening reality that most U.S. labor and delivery teams are not nearly as prepared for as they should be. The American Family Physician defines shoulder dystocia as a difficulty during labor that occurs when the anterior shoulder of the baby gets stuck behind one of the mother’s pelvic bones during a vaginal delivery and ultimately delays birth.

Today, clinicians have many tools available to recognize the knowns risks of shoulder dystocia and should be trained to adhere to more conservative approaches and tactics to ensure a safe delivery with minimal harm of pressure put onto the baby or the umbilical cord. Although risk factors are identifiable during the course of prenatal care, doctors do continue to make delivery mistakes such as having a mom continue to push or fail to intervene soon enough. These medical errors can result in several significant birth injuries to the infant’s nerves and oxygen flow, and the mother.

The birth of your baby is one of the happiest days of your life. That is, unless your baby suffers a birth injury. Although they happen infrequently, birth injuries are often caused by the negligent care of a doctor or medical team. The mother of a baby injured at birth has filed a lawsuit against the doctor and hospital, claiming her daughter’s injury was due to improper medical care. The lawsuit names Roseland Community Hospital, and a doctor, and is seeking damages in excess of $50,000.

Hypoxia in Newborns

Hypoxia is a lack of oxygen to the brain. In newborns, it is usually the result of aspiration that takes place in utero. This can happen with a difficult or prolonged birth. When the baby suffers reduced oxygen intake for longer than a few minutes, brain damage may occur. The infant may suffer from various types of brain injuries including the possibility of cerebral palsy.

The birth of your child is one of the happiest times in your life. Bringing home a healthy baby is the hope of every family. Yet sometimes something goes wrong and the infant suffers an injury. Even with today’s modern technology, birth injuries still occur. When an infant suffers a birth injury it may be the result of a mistake made by the doctor or medical staff. Birth injuries are not only emotionally difficult; they can also be financially overwhelming.

Birth Injuries

There are a number of different birth injuries that may occur. Some of them are relatively minor and the child will have a full recovery while others may be permanently disabling. Some of the most common types of birth injuries include broken bones, bruises, brachial plexus injuries, perinatal asphyxia, facial paralysis, spinal cord injuries, and cerebral palsy. Many of these injuries are preventable and when they occur they are likely due to negligence – also known as medical malpractice.

The birth of your baby is one of the happiest days of your life. That day could be tarnished if the baby suffers an injury at birth. When a birth injury occurs it is possible that the doctor, nurse, or hospital is to blame. Babies that suffer significant birth injuries may have ongoing medical and developmental problems for a period of months or years. Still others may never fully recover and will require ongoing care for the rest of their lives. Some of the most common serious birth injuries include:

· Brachial Plexus Injuries
· Perinatal Asphyxia
· Brain Hemorrhage
· Spinal Cord Injuries
· Cerebral Palsy

Babies born in United States hospitals are evaluated utilizing the Apgar system.
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The birth of a child is supposed to be a happy event. While in most cases, the birth goes well, sometimes an injury occurs. An injury to the infant can be very difficult for the family and painful for the newborn. One of the most common injuries that can happen during vaginal birth is shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is an injury that happens when the baby’s shoulders become lodged in the mother during birth. The newborn’s head is delivered; however, the baby gets stuck. This may result in birth injuries to the child. In many cases, the injury could have been prevented and if so, the doctor may have acted in a negligent manner.

Shoulder Dystocia

Shoulder dystocia can cause a prolonged or delayed birth. In situations where the birth is delayed, the child could be deprived of oxygen. If there is a lack of oxygen, brain damage may occur. An attempt by the doctor to assist the birth by using forceps or a vacuum will increase the possibility of nerve injuries to the shoulder which could be severe. For these reasons, doctors need to be aware of the potential for a problem and prepare accordingly.

Every parent prays for a physically and mentally healthy baby, but for a variety of reasons, infants are often born with disabilities. While it is undeniable that these children are just as precious as their healthy counterparts, managing a child with severe disabilities can prove emotionally, physically and financially challenging for a family. For this reason, many expectant parents want to know about any obvious abnormalities as early as possible in the pregnancy. Regardless of any decisions made by parents upon finding out, knowledge of the situation allows for proper planning and informed choices.

What is a Wrongful Life
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Many things can go wrong during the delivery of a child. Experts advocate for prenatal care to decrease the likelihood of injury to the mother and the baby. But sometimes, even a healthy pregnancy results in a difficult birthing process. When this occurs, the medical staff’s actions are essential to promoting the health of the infant. They must recognize the symptoms of potential conditions and act accordingly to decrease the possibility of further damage.

According to the National Institute of Health, meconium is the fecal matter passed by a newborn soon after birth. When babies experience stress inside the womb, they often pass meconium into the uterus. The matter mixes into the amniotic fluid that surrounds the baby, creating a potentially dangerous situation. The infant may breathe in the meconium while still inside the womb or directly after the birth before the amniotic fluid is wiped away. Once this substance enters the lungs, it can cause the infant’s lungs to swell, blocking the airway. This is called meconium aspiration Continue reading ›

Jaundice is a common condition among newborn babies. It develops when an infant has abnormally high levels of bilirubin present inside of the blood. This substance is created by the body during the process of replacing red blood cells. Normally, the liver works to break down and remove bilirubin from the body. When that is not happening, the bilirubin causes the baby’s skin and eyes to take on a yellowish tinge, which is jaundice. According to the National Institute of Health, jaundice can have serious health consequences if not treated adequately and quickly.

Most cases of mild jaundice are harmless, clearing up on its own within two to four days after birth. However, according to the NIH, any level of jaundice merits strict and regular monitoring as soon as possible. This is accomplished through a skin assessment or a blood test of bilirubin levels. If the testing process show that levels are increasing, instead of decreasing, treatment of the condition should begin while the infant is still in the hospital. The baby should feed often to promote frequent bowel movements. The body can remove excessive bilirubin through the stools.

Treatment of Jaundice

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit against the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, according to a recent article in The New York Times. The suit, which was brought on behalf of a Michigan woman, alleges that the woman received inadequate medical attention from a Michigan Catholic hospital when she sought care 18 weeks into her pregnancy. In suing the bishops rather than the hospital, the ACLU is targeting the bishops’ medical directives and the impact they have on pregnant female patients in Catholic hospitals.

The ACLU’s lawsuit could have important implications for birth injury lawyers and victims of medical negligence during childbirth. If successful, it could pave the way for more actions of its kind.

The Facts

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