6 Common Birth Injuries That a Child Could Sustain Due to Medical Negligence
Seven women out of every 1000 in the US experience pregnancy and childbirth complications caused by the unprofessionalism of the medical workers, a low standard of medical care, or medical negligence. If you believe you or your child has a birth injury, you are eligible for financial compensation for damages caused by medical negligence. It helps your family pay for the child’s treatment and allows the child to live an independent life. You first need to prove medical negligence during pregnancy, childbirth, or after birth. Professional birth injury attorneys can help establish one of these cases and obtain appropriate compensation.
What are the types of negligence?
Several severe types of birth injuries occur when medical professionals fail to uphold a needed standard of medical care. In some cases, their negligence can cause injury or death to the patient. Medical workers must navigate difficult birthing situations and provide prompt medical treatment. If not, they will endanger the mother and the child.
Negligence during pregnancy – involves failure to diagnose conditions in the baby or the mother. The doctors must screen the mother during pregnancy for high-risk conditions (preeclampsia, diabetes, infections) and ensure safe childbirth. Failure to treat these conditions causes serious harm, such as heart issues, liver failure, or seizures during pregnancy or delivery.
Negligence during birth – usually occurs due to too much force used to pull or twist a baby during delivery, a failure to monitor the baby’s heartbeat, a failure to prevent and control tearing and hemorrhaging in the mother, and the misuse of birthing tools during a vacuum or forceps delivery.
Negligence after birth – in this case, medical workers fail to control blood loss, examine the baby for jaundice, monitor the baby’s oxygen levels, and test the baby and mother for blood type incompatibility. Doctors must diagnose and treat postpartum uterine rupture and tears in the mother.
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What are the types of birth injuries?
Birth injury is any harm to the baby before, during, and shortly after delivery. There are minor injuries that many babies can suffer, and they heal themselves without treatment. However, there are cases where only prompt and proper treatment could help manage birth injuries.
1. Brain damage
This injury occurs when a child suffers a severe head injury during delivery, so brain damage leads to neurological and physical impairments. Common causes of this stage are bleeding in the brain, undiagnosed brain infection, asphyxia (loss of oxygen), and umbilical cord choking.
2. Cerebral palsy
It is a stage caused by a brain injury during childbirth that affects an individual’s muscle control. Often, it causes speech and developmental delays. Common causes of this stage are fever and infection, lack of oxygen, bleeding in the brain, or a heart attack or stroke.
3. Erb’s palsy
The stage is a brachial plexus palsy, a type of injury characterized by paralysis of a child’s hand, shoulder, or arm. The problem occurs when brachial plexus nerves are damaged during childbirth, and it happens when medical workers excessively pull on a child’s neck or head, or their head and neck get stuck under the pelvic bone or they hurt the baby’s feet during delivery.
4. Hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy
This stage occurs when a child suffers from a lack of oxygen and blood flow, primarily due to abnormally long labor, placental bleeding or abruption, fetus in the wrong position, or umbilical cord prolapse (low level of oxygen flow through the umbilical cord).
5. Intrauterine fetal demise
Commonly called stillbirth, the stage occurs when a fetus dies before birth. One out of every 100 pregnancies in the US ends at this stage. There are a lot of risk factors, like twin pregnancy, maternal obesity, genetic factors, or high blood pressure.
6. Newborn jaundice
Jaundice is when a child’s skin appears yellow after birth due to the high bilirubin content. Although it is a normal stage of the newborn, there are cases when large amounts of bilirubin can continue to build up, which causes permanent brain damage.