Birth injuries are defined as harm that occurs to infants before, during, or immediately after birth. These injuries can be mildly severe, severe, or even fatal, making it essential for every parent to understand the cause of birth injuries.
What Causes Birth Injuries?
The process of childbirth can lead to certain birth injuries, such as those caused by the infant's large size, positioning in the womb, the size, and shape of the mother's pelvis, prematurity, and prolonged labor. However, medical professionals are trained to and can significantly reduce the incidence of birth injuries. Medical malpractice occurs when providers make mistakes during labor or delivery, and birth injuries that could have been avoided occur.
During labor and delivery, many different complications can arise that cause birth injuries. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Prolonged labor
- Placental Abruption
- Uterine Hyperstimulation
- Gestational Diabetes
- High Blood Pressure (pre-eclampsia)
- Maternal Infection
- Umbilical Cord Issues
- Placental Insufficiency
- Nonreassuring Fetal Heart Monitoring
- Fetal Distress Requiring an Urgent C-Section
5 Types of Birth Injuries
1. Fetal Hypoxia: Oxygen Deprivation Injuries
Oxygen deprivation injuries or Hypoxia can occur when the baby's brain does not receive enough oxygen before, during, or after birth. This can cause various medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, seizures, developmental delays, and learning disabilities. These types of birth injuries are considered among the most severe and can have long-term effects on the baby's life.
2. Fetal Distress
Fetal distress occurs when the baby is not receiving the required oxygen levels in the womb, leading to a dangerous and life-threatening situation. Risk factors that contribute to fetal distress include maternal high blood pressure, diabetes, infection, uteroplacental insufficiency, and pre-term labor. Prompt medical intervention is required in such cases to prevent birth injuries.
3. Traumatic Birth Injuries
Infants can suffer traumatic birth injuries if the physical forces of labor and delivery are too intense. These injuries can occur when the baby is forced through the birth canal too quickly or if any medical instruments like forceps or vacuums are used to assist in the delivery. The most common types of traumatic birth injuries include subgaleal hemorrhages or cranial bleeding, brachial plexus injuries, and fractures.
Infants can get infected during delivery or shortly after birth. The most common types of infections include group B strep, meningitis, sepsis, and herpes simplex virus. Any signs of infections in newborns should be addressed immediately to prevent long-term damage to the infant's health.
5. Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy (CP) is a group of disorders that affect the baby’s muscle movement and coordination. CP is caused by brain damage that occurs before, during, or after birth. The most common causes of cerebral palsy include prenatal or postnatal brain injury due to lack of oxygen, infections, bleeding, and head trauma.
National Birth Injury Attorneys
If you believe that your child has suffered a birth injury due to medical negligence or malpractice, you should contact a birth injury attorney immediately. Due to the 2-year statute of limitations on birth injury cases in many states, acting quickly is crucial to securing justice for your child and family.
Ascertaining liability is not always easy in these cases. Regardless of who you feel is responsible, you should have our seasoned team of legal professionals at National Trial Law review your medical records. We can determine which individuals and institutions can be held accountable.
Learn how we can help by scheduling a free consultation. Call (833) 913-1885 or visit our website to get started.