Science and modern medicine have helped mitigating labor and delivery complications. However, birth injuries still exist and many medical professionals do not warn expectant parents. Many are ignorant of the dangers and do not know what to ask or look for. Negligence does happen. Whether because of inexperience or inattention, doctors do make mistakes. These mistakes can have catastrophic effects on the new lives they are bringing into the world, as well as the lives of their families.
There are numerous factors that may contribute to a birth injury, with the most devastating and preventable factors being negligence or errors on the part of healthcare providers and medical staff. Some of the most common causes of a birth injury and the resulting effects include head trauma, forcible delivery, delayed delivery, oxygen deprivation and medical mistakes.
Trauma to the head and brain during delivery is one of the most common injuries that leads to cerebral palsy and long-term physical and developmental delays. These include caput succedaneum, cephalohematoma, head deformities and hemorrhages. Cerebral palsy affects 1 in 500,000 births. Besides head trauma, research indicates that lack of oxygen to the brain, meningitis, and infection could cause the condition.
Sometimes, a delivery needs outside assistance. A doctor will decide to use forceps, a vacuum, or forced pressure to help aid delivery. When this happens, there is an increased risk of injury to the infant. This includes brachial plexus injuries and Erb’s palsy. Erb’s Palsy is a form of obstetric brachial plexus disorder. This injury occurs when the nerves in a baby’s upper arm are damaged. It typically affects one or two of every 1,000 babies and causes mobility, weakness, or paralysis.
Delivery can be traumatic and any issues need to be resolved quickly. Common complications during delivery include a large baby, a small maternal pelvis, breech, or other maternal illness. When a doctor doesn’t diagnose these conditions quickly, birth injuries happen especially if the delivery is delayed.
Delayed delivery is a key factor in birth injuries. This often leads to too much pressure on the baby’s head, as it tends to remain in the birth canal for far too many hours. If labor lasts over 18 hours, medical professionals should consider an emergency cesarean section. After that, the baby is going to be in distress because of the compression from the birth canal on the brain.
Oxygen deprivation is one of the more common complications resulting in birth injury. When the infant’s brain is deprived of oxygen, it can result in what is known as Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), which means that brain tissue begins to die. If a medical professional does not deliver the baby quickly than permanent brain damage is possible. Almost all brain-related injuries sustained during birth are due to oxygen deprivation.
Proper monitoring shows most threats before labor even happens. But, if there if the medical professional is negligent and misses the symptoms of oxygen deprivation then it most often leads to brain injury.
Patients trust medical professionals to be experts and prevent avoidable problems, however, human error does occur. But, for parents of children who suffer birth injuries, their lives are never again the same. A child may be severely disabled for life and require constant care. Even mild injuries impact the child and family forever. Many families file medical malpractice suits each year. It is not from anger but financial need. It is challenging and expensive to care for children harmed by birth injuries. and no parents should have to carry such a heavy toll.
Help After Birth Injuries
It is important to remember that if your child’s birth injuries are a result of medical negligence and carelessness, the medical staff, hospital, and/or physician may be liable for damages. A complex litigation attorney can help. At The Michael Brady Lynch Firm, our lawyers have decades of experience helping injured people get justice and full compensation for injuries caused negligence. The Michel Brady Lynch Firm regularly takes on the largest corporations in the world with a track record of proven success and results. Contact The Michael Brady Lynch Firm today, and our attorneys will review your case for free and help you protect your rights. For your complimentary consultation, call our office now.