What Is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is a term used to describe any trauma a baby experiences during childbirth, as well as medical conditions that may arise during pregnancy. These injuries may be physical and may or may not fully heal, or they may be mental and result in physical or functional complications.
Common examples include forceps bruising, shoulder dystocia, facial paralysis, cystic fibrosis, spina bifida, umbilical cord entrapment, and cerebral palsy.
What Kind of Damage Can Forceps Cause to a Newborn?
Forceps are tools used by medical professionals during labor and delivery to help guide a baby through the birth canal. While forceps can be very beneficial if used correctly, they can cause serious injury when misused or applied in the wrong way. Common injuries associated with forceps use include bruising on the face, scalp, and skull; broken bones; damage to facial nerve endings; and trauma to the brain.
In some cases, these injuries can be quite serious and cause lasting physical and mental impairments.
What is Shoulder Dystocia?
Shoulder dystocia is a condition that occurs during childbirth when the baby’s shoulder gets stuck on the mother’s pelvic bone. It can be caused by various factors, such as the size of the baby, the shape of the mother’s pelvis, or if there is too much amniotic fluid in the womb. This condition can lead to severe injury to the baby, such as brachial plexus injuries and fractured clavicles. It can also cause serious complications for the mother, including hemorrhage and uterine rupture.
How Can a Birth Injury Cause Facial Paralysis?
Facial paralysis is a condition that occurs when the nerve endings responsible for facial movement become damaged. This damage may be caused by birth trauma such as forceps use, shoulder dystocia, or umbilical cord entrapment.
In rare cases, it can also be caused by genetics or infection. Facial paralysis can result in facial deformities, difficulty eating and drinking, and lack of control over facial expressions.
What Are the Symptoms of Cystic Fibrosis?
Cystic fibrosis is an inherited condition that affects the lungs and digestive system. Symptoms vary from person to person, but can include recurrent chest infections, coughing up mucus, poor growth, salty-tasting skin, and difficulty gaining weight.
People with cystic fibrosis have difficulty breathing due to a buildup of thick mucus in their lungs, which can also lead to frequent lung infections
What Is Spina Bifida?
Spina bifida is a congenital birth defect in which the baby’s neural tube fails to close properly during pregnancy. This causes damage to the spinal cord and its surrounding structures, resulting in a range of physical disabilities.
Common symptoms of spina bifida include weak or absent reflexes in the legs, leg paralysis, urinary incontinence, and hydrocephalus (excess fluid in the brain).
How Can Umbilical Cord Entrapment Affect a Baby?
Umbilical cord entrapment occurs when the umbilical cord becomes wrapped around the baby’s neck or body during delivery, cutting off oxygen and nutrients to the baby.
This can cause severe injury, including brain damage and stillbirth. In some cases, a cesarean section may be necessary to deliver the baby safely.
Other complications associated with umbilical cord entrapment can include cerebral palsy, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and mental retardation.
What Is Cerebral Palsy?
Babies can develop cerebral palsy if they receive insufficient oxygen during their labor and delivery. Cerebral palsy refers to several impairments that impact cognitive and muscular development.
External Link: https://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/cp/facts.html
Cerebral palsy is a disorder that affects movement and coordination. It occurs when certain areas of the brain are damaged during pregnancy, birth, or shortly after birth. The damage can be caused by oxygen deprivation, infection, bleeding in the brain, or physical complications during delivery.
Symptoms of cerebral palsy vary from person to person but can include difficulty walking and controlling limbs, poor balance and coordination, and muscle stiffness.
What Causes Birth Injury?
Birth injuries can be caused by medical malpractice, negligence, and lack of physician oversight.
Parents and healthcare professionals both have a responsibility to ensure the baby’s health and safety. Malpractice can occur if a medical condition during pregnancy is not diagnosed, emergency c-sections are not performed in a timely manner, mothers are not warned of dangerous medications, or equipment is misused.
In such cases, the doctor and/or hospital may be held liable for the injuries caused by their negligence or misconduct.
What Is the Effect of a Birth Injury?
Even a small injury during birth can have a lasting impact on a baby. The effects of such an injury may decrease as the child grows, but they often remain into adulthood.
The symptoms may change, but they can still be life-changing. If your child has suffered a birth injury, you can expect ongoing expenses for medical treatments, surgeries, rehabilitation, medications, and emotional support.
What Treatment Options Are Available for Birth Injuries?
Treatment options for birth injuries vary depending on the type of injury sustained, as well as its severity. While some injuries may heal with time, others require extensive medical procedures or even major surgeries to correct.
Physical therapy and special education programs may also be necessary to treat physical impairments and cognitive disabilities caused by a birth injury. In some cases, special medical equipment may be needed to help with mobility or daily activities.
It is important to understand the full scope of your child’s condition in order to find the best treatment plan for them.
What Should I Do if My Child Suffers a Birth Injury?
Birth injuries create undue financial and emotional burdens for the entire family, and are often preventable. If your child has suffered a birth injury in Nevada that you believe was caused by negligence or misconduct on the part of a healthcare professional, the compassionate Las Vegas birth injury attorneys at Shook & Stone can help you determine the best course of legal action. Call us today for a free consultation today at 702-570-0000.