Birth Injury - Medical Malpractice Lawyers Compensation ClaimsLEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125
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Birth Injury - Medical Malpractice
Birth injuries are, for the most part, uncommon. A birth injury results from any kind of damage to a baby as a result of the birth process, particularly when the baby is passing through the birth canal. Minor injuries are common and include a cephalhaematoma, which is a collection of blood occurring at the top of the infant head from things like vacuum extraction. A child can also break the scapula when the shoulders fail to pass through the birth canal properly. Nerves can be damaged in the brachial plexus from pulling too much on the neck of the baby when the baby is stuck in the birth canal. Most complications are minor but some are permanent and serious.
Birth injuries happen more likely when the birth canal is too small or if the baby is too big. Some predisposing factors include diabetes in the mother or gestational diabetes in the mother. If the infant is in an abnormal position inside the birth canal, the infant can't pass through as easily and there can be a birth canal. There are ways of checking foetal size and the size of the pelvis so that such birth injuries are less common than they used to be.
Many birth injuries occur in the area of the head. It is the presenting part of the infant so that it is most likely to get stuck and traumatized during the delivery. Even in a normal and uncomplicated delivery can result in swelling and bruising of the foetal head that usually passes in a few days. When the infant head becomes even more stuck, a cephalhaematoma can appear. This is when the fibrous part of the skull separates from the underlying part of the skull and a blood clot forms in the middle. It forms an obvious lump in the skull area that takes many weeks to dissolve and become normal again. A skull fracture can happen in rare cases of cephalopelvic disproportion but this heals on its own without intervention and doesn't usually yield any brain damage.
On the other hand, bleeding into the brain is a serious complication. You can get a brain haemorrhage inside the brain from forceps delivery or a head that does not fit. The skull will look deformed or be bulging in the open areas of the brain. This happens commonly in preterm births fairly commonly, even if they are born by caesarean section. The haemorrhage can resolve on its own or can cause permanent brain damage. It is caused by low O2 levels and can result in irritability and poor feeding.
Brain haemorrhages can occur in many forms include subdural haemorrhages, subarachnoid haemorrhages and intraventricular haemorrhage. When the haemorrhage is within the brain, it generally occurs spontaneously and is the kind most often seen in premature infants. Technically, it is not a birth injury but happens because of the fragile veins and arteries seen in preterm infants. Supportive measures are used in all kinds of brain injuries but surgery is commonly used to treat subdural haemorrhages.
There can be a facial nerve injury when an infant's face pushes too much on the pelvic bone and injures the nerve. Forceps injuries can damage the facial nerve as well. It is usually on one side of the face and looks like facial paralysis on the side of the face. If all goes as planned, such an injury resolves by the age of three months.
Brachial plexus palsy happens when there is too much tugging on the infant neck at the time of delivery. The infant has partial or total arm paralysis from stretched nerves in the brachial plexus. The treatment of this kind of injury is immobilization of the arm for several months. Then the nerve recovers itself and movement begins to happen. You can also have the nerves reattached by a neurosurgeon. The nerve that supplies the diaphragm can get injured, which results in the paralysis of the diaphragm and difficulty breathing.
Perinatal asphyxia can be a birth injury if the cord fails to supply oxygen to the infant during delivery. The heart beat goes down and brain damage can occur. It can be obvious at birth or can show up years later. An infection of the uterus, genetic defect, drug exposure, umbilical cord clot or compression, or anything that causes placental insufficiency can cause brain damage in the infant from perinatal insufficiency.LEGAL HELPLINE: ☎ 855 804 7125