What are the Most Common Birth Injuries?

What are the Most Common Birth Injuries?

The vast majority of births are without complication, and result in the delivery of a healthy baby. However, birth injuries still impact thousands of families each year. Not all birth injuries result in life-long injuries, and some may heal with time. Others may cause substantial, longterm devastating harm. Many times, these injuries occur as the result of preventable medical mistakes made by doctors, nurses, or other health care staff.

Sometimes, these injuries occur due to negligence that occurs during the labor and delivery process. This may include injuries that result from actions such as failing to perform proper fetal monitoring, poor communication/lack of communication between medical staff overseeing the labor and delivery, delays of critical interventions such as providing emergency Cesarean Sections when called for, improperly using forceps or vacuum extraction and prescription/medication errors.

Types of birth injuries include brain injuries, such as those that occur from Hypoxic Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE). HIE occurs when the blood flow to a baby’s brain is decreased, reducing critical oxygen supply. When this occurs, the newborn runs the risk of suffering permanent brain damage. Cerebral Palsy (CP), may result from brain damage at birth, including the result of an hypoxic ischemic event, such as the umbilical cord cutting off oxygen supply. CP may also be the result of other medical negligence including medical staff failure to properly monitor the delivery, and act quickly when signs of fetal distress emerge. Other birth injuries may include brachial plexus injuries, and brakes or fractures. These injuries may be the result of the misuse of forceps or applying too much pressure when trying to extract an infant from the birth canal. Where too much pressure is applied, a brain injury may occur. Jaundice/kernicterus also may lead to brain damage. Newborn jaundice is a fairly common occurrence, but if left untreated/monitored, an excessive amount of bilirubin can accumulate in a child’s bloodstream, leading to brain damage. Other injuries include facial paralysis, pre-term birth complications and nerve damage. This list is not exhaustive.

If you believe your child may have suffered a birth injury due medical negligence, it is important to get answers and determine your next steps. For more information, or if you or someone you love has suffered a preventable birth injury, please contact the experienced and compassionate California birth injury lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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