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Common Causes of Birth Trauma and Injuries

The Donnelly Law Firm

Welcoming the birth of a child should be a happy, joyous occasion—and for most parents, it is. However, parents of babies with birth injuries may also see that happy memory through a cloud of anger, frustration, and confusion. As advanced as our medical treatment in the U.S. is, there is still plenty of room for error, which can ultimately come at the cost of a newborn baby’s health.

Birth injuries can affect the baby’s brain, nervous system, musculoskeletal system, and may result in several different types of developmental problems. Babies who were injured during the birth process could suffer shoulder injuries, brain damage, bone fractures, or they might develop conditions like cerebral palsy. In order to prevent these types of issues from happening, make sure you know what can cause birth injuries.

Common birth issues that can lead to injury or trauma include:

  • The baby is overlarge: When the baby is especially large, it can make delivery especially difficult for the mother. In these circumstances, the doctor may have to use birthing tools, such as forceps or a vacuum, to help with the birth. Or, if the baby is large and the mother is unable to deliver naturally, the doctor must make the correct judgment call and perform a cesarean section.
  • Premature birth: If a baby is not fully developed at the time of his or her birth, it can result in developmental issues. When a pregnant mother exhibits signs of preterm labor, the doctor must monitor her and provide appropriate treatment in order to help prevent any serious harm. If a doctor fails to do this, or if he or she does not recognize the signs of preterm labor, a premature birth can occur. Also, if a premature birth is occurring, the doctor is responsible for taking extra precautions to allow for the fragility of the preterm baby. Failure to respond properly could cause the baby harm.
  • The mother’s pelvis is too small: If a mother’s body is unable to accommodate natural childbirth, the doctor or midwife must respond appropriately, either by assisting with birthing tools or by ordering a C-section.
  • Prolonged labor: When a mother’s labor is prolonged, she can tire, resulting in exhaustion, lack of muscle control, and other serious issues that can inhibit her ability to deliver the child safely. If the mother’s labor has gone on for too long, she could injure herself while pushing, or the baby may become distressed. Fetal distress can be very serious and may lead to oxygen deprivation, decreased fetal heart rate, and other serious issues that could cause the baby irreparable harm.
  • Breech birth: Babies in the breech position are upside down, which makes delivery far more complex and dangerous. Doctors must be able to spot this issue and respond quickly in order to turn the baby around, delivery the baby in breech position, or by ordering a cesarean section. In most U.S. hospitals, breech births are delivered via C-section because it is generally considered the safest alternative.

In any of these situations, doctors, midwives, and nurses must respond quickly. A delay in treatment or a mistake can have disastrous repercussions and might endanger the life of both the unborn baby and the mother. Babies cannot be deprived of oxygen while in the womb, and any distress could ultimately lead to complicated birth injuries and trauma. If a doctor fails to respond quickly or does not monitor the mother and baby, both could suffer.

What Next?

If your child was harmed during the birth process, especially if he or she developed cerebral palsy, Erb’s palsy, shoulder nerve issues, fractures, or other serious problems, you may have cause to file a birth injury claim. Our experienced team understands the challenges that come with birth injuries and we want to help you obtain the support you deserve. We can use our ample resources to gather evidence for your case and hold the liable party responsible for the harm they caused your family.

Contact The Donnelly Law Firm to discuss your case with our firm.

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