What Everyone Should Know About Birth Injuries

Any harm caused to babies during or near the time of their birth is considered a birth injury.

The most common causes of birth injuries are physical pressures during delivery.

Some of the most common complications resulting from birth include infections, oxygen deprivation, excessive stress on the baby’s body, and various other complications.

Injuries sustained during birth vary in severity.

Some are minor with no lasting effects, and others have long-term cognitive, physical, or emotional disabilities.

Nowadays, doctors can lower the risk of birth injuries with advances in prenatal assessments such as ultrasonography.

What Everyone Should Know About Birth Injuries

Common Signs of Birth Injuries After Delivery

It is sometimes apparent that a birth injury occurred immediately after birth when sure signs indicate potential damage, including:

  • the baby’s skin color is turning pale or blue
  • the baby’s breath is slow, with a slow heart rate or a need for resuscitation
  • the baby appears lethargic or sluggish
  • the baby is hypertonic (stiff) or hypotonic (floppy)
  • the baby moves unusually in body parts like their face, legs, arms, and other parts
  • the baby has abnormal reflexes, like failing to respond to noise or an inability to comprehend objects

Be mindful that each baby has its signs of birth injury, so it is vital to have a doctor conduct a thorough examination before determining the correct diagnosis.

Typical Causes of Birth Injuries

The difficulty of the birthing process may be due to various factors resulting in different types of birth injuries.

Conditions that are often seen in conjunction with birth injuries and difficult birth experiences include:

  • large babies
  • premature babies
  • the mother has a disproportionally shaped or sized pelvis
  • difficult childbirth due to breech or other circumstances
  • extended labor
  • maternal obesity
  • unorthodox delivery methods

Common Birth Injury Types

Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral palsy, also known as non-verbal brain damage, is characterized by a lack of motor skill development, spasms, and weak muscles.

Several cerebral palsy cases can be attributed to brain damage during birth.

The most common causes are the lack of proper monitoring for a mother during pregnancy, the lack of adequate birth techniques, and an inability to monitor fetal distress during labor.

A child who has cerebral palsy usually requires ongoing therapy for a lifetime.

They may also develop hearing impairments, speech problems, and learning difficulties.

Brachial Plexus Palsy

Brachial plexus injury usually occurs when the nerves which supply the baby’s arms and hands (also known as “brachial plexus”) are damaged during birth.

This usually happens because of an issue in delivering the baby’s shoulders, referred to as “shoulder dystocia.”

A brachial plexus injury often leaves the baby unable to move or flex his or her arms.

It is possible to maintain motion during the recovery process by doing special exercises after brachial plexus injury, depending on the degree of the damage. 

Caput Succedaneum

The term refers to swelling that typically occurs on babies’ scalps when they need vacuum extraction to deliver them.

It usually appears as discolored and bruised soft tissue, which will usually resolve without further issue.

Legal Help for Preventable Birth Injuries

An injury at birth may result in many different types of disorders.

Still, thankfully, medical attention and therapy can address most birth injuries over time.

Unfortunately, some complications may arise, which can sometimes cause a lifetime of problems for the child.

A condition like cerebral palsy could lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars of expenses across a child’s lifetime.

An expert birth injury lawyer in Vancouver explains that it is essential to figure out if a birth injury was preventable.

Cases of birth injuries created by the oversight of medical practitioners can begin legal proceedings in British Columbia and most other provinces in Canada.

The goal of legal proceedings isn’t a vindictive one, but instead, one that is protective and mindful of the child’s medical expenses.

Legal action can help you ensure your child will be taken care of long after you are gone.

Common reasons for birth injuries that are otherwise preventable include:

  • inadequate prenatal care
  • an ongoing infection during pregnancy
  • a side effect from an incorrectly prescribed medication
  • a failure to identify issues that could have been recognized earlier with the labor, the mother, and the baby

Additionally, birth injuries that often happen during delivery because of actions such as:

  • improper use of forceps
  • vacuum extraction
  • mishandling of the infant

You should seek the advice of an experienced lawyer if you are in doubt as to what steps to take to obtain justice and rightful compensation for you and your child.

Many birth injuries are caused by untreated medical conditions or malpractice during delivery.

To avoid possible injuries to an infant, it is best to seek regular prenatal care and maintain a well-organized delivery plan with caring and experienced physicians.

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