According to the CDC, almost 3% of all babies in the U.S. alone are affected by birth injuries. Also, as per the CDC, nearly 20% of all infant deaths are due to congenital disabilities.
This is because childbirth is not always a simple process and can result in many complications. These complications can be severe or relatively mild, depending on the circumstances.
The same is true for birth injuries. It is the damage caused to an infant during, before, and after labor and delivery. Commonly, these injuries happen in large or premature babies.
It occurs when the baby is not head-first or when the shape of the mother’s pelvis or birth canal complicates the normal birth process.
However, there can be other reasons, too. For instance, sometimes, birth injuries result from medical malpractice or negligence of the medical staff that could have been prevented. Thus, it is essential to understand how such injuries occur because it is the only way to avoid them or take the proper steps to get justice.
This article will highlight the six most common birth injuries your baby may suffer from throughout the birth process.
So, without further ado, let’s find out!
Table of Contents
1. Erb’s Palsy
Erb’s Palsy is one of the birth injuries related to nerve damage in infants. The leading cause of Erb’s Palsy is medical negligence – stretching an infant’s neck during delivery. The condition may leave families with unexpected and costly medical bills to treat their child’s injury.
Therefore, the first step is to seek help from experienced Erbs Palsy attorneys to take legal action.
This can help you get your rightful compensation to give your child the justice and care they deserve. While 1 or 2 out of 1,000 babies suffer from this condition, in most cases, Erb’s Palsy may recover naturally once an infant’s nerves start to strengthen up.
However, this is a slow process and may take up to 1 – 2 years, during which regulation examination by professional doctors is essential.
2. Facial Paralysis
Since childbirth is a complicated process, a lot of pressure is exerted on the face and head of the baby’s body during the delivery procedure. If not taken care of properly, the pressure may result in severe nerve damage.
Moreover, in cases where vacuum extractions or forceps are used to deliver the child or pull out the baby, this may put a strong pulling effect or additional pressure on one or both sides of the baby’s face, leading to facial paralysis for a lifetime.
The birth injury is not only a life-long distress, but it can affect either one side or partially certain face areas, resulting in a child being unable to move cheeks, lips, or even eyelids.
3. Perinatal Asphyxia
It is another commonly observed birth injury that typically occurs due to one major cause, i.e., lack of oxygen either after or during the child’s birth. Also, the oxygen deprivation in the baby may lead to various other complicated health conditions, such as seizures.
However, another possible cause of suffering from perinatal asphyxia is the natural deficiency of oxygen in the child’s blood.
For instance, if the baby faces breathing abnormality or appears pale after labor, it will most likely suffer from Perinatal Asphyxia, leading to seizures or even coma in some conditions.
Nevertheless, it is essential to understand that the condition cannot be healed independently and requires proper and timely medical help or professional care as soon as possible.
4. Cerebral Palsy
It is a type of musculoskeletal disorder that stems from abnormalities or underlying brain damage. Hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy or HIR is the leading cause of cerebral palsy and may occur in almost three out of every 1000 babies born.
However, if the birth injury is not treated properly, it may lead to a lifetime of therapy and treatment for a child.
Cerebral palsy can occur due to various factors, such as damage caused to the brain during childbirth, fetal distress during labor in a mother, or even improper birthing techniques. Similarly, the defect may lead to various other health-related problems for a child later in life, including sight and hearing disabilities, problems with speech, or even learning difficulties.
This medical problem refers to severe blood loss, which may occur both in the baby and the mother, depending on the laboring process. When it comes to a child during childbirth, the condition may occur due to the pressure exerted externally by forceps or internally during labor.
In many cases, the problem occurs when a tiny vein or vessel gets ruptured due to pressure underneath or near the clear surface of an eye. Since the conjunctiva of a baby cannot absorb this released blood properly and quickly, it causes the blood to get trapped.
Not only this, but hemorrhages also occur in case of bleeding under the child’s skull, particularly in the brain and skull’s innermost layers. Again, the real cause is the trapped blood that fails to absorb and eventually affects nerves.
However, the condition should always be treated by professionals so that the patient doesn’t suffer from other complications that may arise due to internal bleeding.
6. Caput Succedaneum
As you know, hard labor usually takes hours to complete, increasing the chances of damage to the baby for multiple reasons. For instance, hard labor requires vacuum extraction that may cause the membranes under the child’s skull to break, leaking the fluid in the amniotic sac while developing a bump on the baby’s skull.
The condition can also arise before undergoing labor for multiple reasons and may get diagnosed via ultrasound as early as thirty-one weeks of pregnancy. Some common signs include swelling of the baby’s scalp or part of it looking damaged or discolored.
However, in some cases, the condition may heal automatically in just a few months after the birth, but if the bump or symptoms remain visible, parents must immediately seek medical help to prevent more damage to their child.
When it comes to intensive procedures like labor, many factors lead to disabilities or injuries for the baby. Therefore, the medical professionals and parents are responsible for taking precautions and following proper guidelines that help ensure safety.
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