Understanding Infant Injuries Related to Dangerous Breech Deliveries
A breech birth occurs when an infant enters the birth canal in a manner other than head first, causing the baby’s buttocks or feet to be positioned to be delivered first. The majority of infants born breach are healthy, without a mother or her child suffering a birth injury. The American Pregnancy Association discusses these three types of breech positions as:
- Footling Breech: This occurs when one or both of the child’s feet enter the birth canal and are positioned to be delivered first.
- Complete Breech: A complete breech arises when the child’s buttocks point downward with knees folded and feet neat the buttocks.
- Frank Breech: Similar to a complete breech with the buttocks closest to the birth canal but with legs pointed straight and feet near the head.
Although a breech presentation only occurs in 1 of 25 labors that go to term, there is an increased risk for birth injury or infant death, especially to pre-term babies. Umbilical cord prolapse can occur when the cord becomes compressed, and the baby’s oxygen and blood supply is cut off as he is pushed through the birth canal. If a baby is not delivered immediately, he may experience brain damage or sudden death. Birth traumas to muscles and soft tissues of the infant’s back and lower extremities can also occur and be extensive due to crush syndrome and disseminated intravascular coagulation, resulting in fatal outcomes.
Preventable Delivery Complications Resulting from Breech Birth
Doctors are trained to know that mothers pregnant with multiples, and women who have an abnormally shaped uterus, or have been diagnosed with placenta previa are more likely to deliver a breech baby. Medical staff should be experienced in how to deliver these infants. They must either work ahead of time to reposition the child or deliver the baby via C-section. In a vaginal breech delivery, electronic fetal monitoring should be used to monitor the baby’s heartbeat throughout labor.
But deciding how best to deliver a breech baby first requires the medical professional to act timely, and even then, the decision doesn’t always come quick enough if other conditions were not properly diagnosed. Failures in these cases can result in excessive force being used to deliver the infant, leading to nerve or spinal cord damage, and both physical and emotional injuries to the mother.
Deciphering between whether a child’s injury is due to a mistake made during their breech birth requires the opinion of medical specialists who will need to work with knowledgeable attorneys to accurately present the facts of the case. While these claims sometimes involve medical malpractice, there can also be additional claims based on the specific scenario and who was at fault.
Breech Birth Injury Lawyers
If your family has experienced trauma as a result of breech birth complications, an experienced birth injury attorney at Levin & Perconti can guide what your best options for obtaining justice are. Our birth injury lawyers are well-versed in these types of cases and here to support you. Request a free consultation by calling 312-332-2872 or 877-374-1417.