Birth injuries are physical injuries that infants suffer during the birthing process. The infant’s size could cause birth injuries as births involving children over 8 pounds, or 4 kilograms in weight, often result in birth complications.
The baby’s position during labor and delivery could also result in a birth injury. Other causes of birth injuries include prolonged labor, prematurity, maternal obesity, abnormal birthing presentation, infections, and medications. Birth injuries can have a lifelong effect hence their seriousness.(1)
The following are the most common types of birth injuries:
Brachial or Erb’s Palsy is a condition that occurs mainly when there is nerve damage from shoulder dystocia, which refers to trouble delivering the baby’s shoulder.
When the brachial plexus, which are the nerves in the arms and hands, are injured, Brachial Palsy occurs. The infant loses the ability to control their arms.
The injury can cause swelling and bruising around the arms though mobility should return soon after birth. However, if the nerves are completely torn, there will be permanent damage, and the child will lose motor control in their arms. You can do much to boost your baby’s health and growth, such as special mobility exercises.
Cerebral Palsy is a collection of disorders that affects the brain’s connection to the nervous system and the body’s muscles. The condition can be characterized by weak musculature, poor motor skills, and muscle spasms.
About two in every one thousand children are born with cerebral palsy. Though Cerebral Palsy will affect a child for the remainder of their life, the brain damage does not get better or worse unless there are other injuries. There is no cure for cerebral palsy.
However, surgery and medication are approaches that could improve the child’s quality of life. Therapy is usually necessary throughout the child’s life to ensure they can live independently or with minimal care.
An infant has very soft bones; hence fractures are some of the most common birth injuries. Fractures of the collarbone are the most common fractures of all birth injuries.
The reason is that once the baby’s head is through, the shoulders can have trouble coming through as they are wider than the head. Clavicle fractures typically happen during breech deliveries.
The baby will have difficulty moving the arm on the side of the fracture. However, healing occurs rapidly, and the baby regains mobility within the first two weeks.
During delivery, there can be too much pressure on the baby’s face. The pressure may result in damage to the child’s facial nerve. Facial paralysis can also occur when forceps or vacuum extraction are used during delivery due to the same reason.
It is noticeable immediately after birth since there will be little to no movement of the facial muscles when the baby cries. You may have a medical malpractice claim in such a case, and you should contact thebirthinjuryattorney.com for more information.
In some cases, the infant will be unable to close their eyes when crying. If the injury to the facial nerve is mild, there will be improvements in a matter of weeks. If the nerve is completely damaged, surgery may be necessary.
The baby may be deprived of oxygen during delivery due to constriction or obstruction of nasal airways. Oxygen deprivation can lead to long-term damage in an infant, particularly brain injuries.
The brain injuries can subsequently lead to cerebral palsy or chronic seizures. Some long-term consequences of oxygen deprivation during childbirth are chronic physical and mental disabilities.
Many things can go wrong during a child’s birth and delivery process. Facial paralysis, oxygen deprivation, Brachial Palsy, and fractures are the tip of the iceberg. Cerebral Palsy is the most common of birth injuries. Contact an attorney if you think you have a medical malpractice claim.
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