In the United States alone, approximately 7 in every 1,000 births involve an injury during labor. These injuries can be caused by various factors, and most often occur while the infant is in the birth canal.
No matter what type of birth injury is sustained, it’s a terrifying time for the mother and loved ones. This is the type of fight you don’t want to face alone, and Shea Law Group is here for you.
Causes of Birth Injuries
There are countless things happening inside the birth canal during delivery, and some can be traumatic to both mother and baby. The act of pushing during labor can result in tearing of tissue, and can also cause bruising to the infant. These injuries usually self-heal in a matter of months.
The more severe injuries are often caused by the negligence of medical professionals. Improper use of birthing implements and techniques can cause severe injury. This is more often the cause of brain damage, nerve damage, sensory problems and other resulting disabilities.
Types of Birth Injuries
Many things can go wrong during a pregnancy, and they all have the potential for serious complications, including fatality. Some of the most common types of birth injuries that result in lawsuits involve shoulder, head, or nerve injuries.
This is a type of injury resulting from one or both of the baby’s shoulders becoming stuck in the birth canal during labor. This trauma can lead to further, more severe conditions.
Brachial Plexus Palsy
The pressure on the shoulders from being stuck affects a group of nerves that aid in controlling arm and hand movement.
These types of fractures occur more often in breech births as a result of shoulder dystocia.
There are different types of head injuries that can occur during birth, and the long-term effects vary, as well. These usually result from pressure in the birth canal or from delivery assistance.
While this condition can occur through regular delivery, it more often involves delivery by vacuum extraction. The result is soft tissue swelling, or edema, of the baby’s scalp, and can resolve itself in time without serious long-term effects.
This condition also involves the newborn’s head bleeding rather than swelling. This subcranial bleed typically resolves within a few months of birth, but can cause jaundice or other conditions.
This can result from nerve bruising, or can be more severe due to a tear and require surgery.
These injuries can be from the pressure in the birth canal, severe contractions; however, it is more commonly due to misuse of forceps and other birthing implements.
Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
This common birth injury causes lack of blood flow and oxygen to the brain, and can be caused by many things. Umbilical cord accidents or internal ruptures, for example, can cause this terrible brain dysfunction. HIE causes brain damage that can last a lifetime, and is often a major factor in cerebral palsy lawsuits.