When a child is born, there are times when complications arise which lead to them suffering from a birth injury. Now, there are also instances when a doctor makes a medical error which also results in a child suffering an injury during birth as well. Determining whether a birth injury was caused by a physician or of natural causes is reliant on whether the injury could have been prevented or if the treating physician failed to provide the expectant mother with the standard level of care that would have reduced the chances of her child suffering an injury.
Now, there are some common birth injuries and reasons why they occur, both of which we will be explaining below.
What are some of the reasons why birth injuries occur?
Many of the birth injuries a newborn baby sustains are caused by the baby’s size or the position of the baby during labor and delivery [Source: Stanford Children’s Health]. Some of the conditions Stanford Children’s Health say can lead to a difficult birth include:
- Having a large baby. This typically occurs when the baby if over eight pounds, 13 ounces.
- The baby is premature. When a baby is born before 37 weeks, they are considered to be premature and much more fragile which puts them more at risk of being injured.
- The size and shape of the mother’s pelvis is not adequate to birth the child vaginally. The proper term for this is cephalopelvic disproportion.
- The mother experiences a difficult labor or childbirth, also known as dystocia.
- The labor was prolonged.
- Having an abnormal birthing presentation. One example is when a baby is born breech, which means they are delivered buttocks first.
What are some of the most common birth injuries that arise?
- Caput succedaneum. This type of injury involves “swelling of the soft tissues of the baby’s scalp that develops as the baby travels through the birth canal.” Babies who are delivered by vacuum extraction are more likely to experience this, however, Stanford Children’s Health states the swelling will usually go away within a few days.
- Facial paralysis. When a baby experiences pressure on his/her face during birth, it can “cause the facial nerve to be injured.” When a baby cries, you won’t see any sort of movement on the side that sustained the injury and their eye won’t be able to close. The source says that if the nerve was bruised, the baby’s condition should improve in a matter of weeks, however, if the nerve was torn, then they may need surgery.
- Fractures. The most common fractures for a newborn baby to sustain are those to the clavicle or collarbone. If there is difficulty with delivering the baby’s shoulder or they are breech, the clavicle may break.
To find out more about other types of common birth injuries, visit stanfordchildrens.org.
Now, if your newborn baby suffered a birth injury and you aren’t sure whether it occurred naturally or because your physician or the nurses tending to you made a mistake, it is best you contact a Fort Lauderdale, FL birth injury lawyer. The birth injury attorneys at Madalon Law located in Fort Lauderdale can help clarify whether you have a medical malpractice case on your hands, meaning the doctor made a mistake and the injury was preventable, or if your child was the unfortunate victim of a difficult birth.
Madalon Law’s Main Office is located at:
100 N. Federal Highway #CU5
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301