In the United States, one in every 9,714 babies is born with a birth injury. That means there are three newborns an hour entering the world already suffering. We know that these injuries stress parents enough; they do not need to be stressed by the costs to care for their injured baby additionally. It’s always important to be informed. Here we take a look at the five most common birth injuries.
The brachial plexus is a set of nerves that controls the muscles of the arm. When these nerves are damaged, some or all of your child’s arm muscles may no longer work. This happens commonly during complex births. To amend this error, children need to participate in physical and occupational therapy or even surgery if the damage does not correct itself over time. Brachial plexus palsy often can be prevented by more careful maneuvering of the infant by physicians. Additionally, if it’s predicted that the baby will have a difficult delivery the mother should plan for a C-Section to help prevent brachial plexus.
Bone fracture; the name of this injury is self-explanatory, however, what many people don’t know is that this extremely common birth injury can be easily prevented. In assisted delivery, misuse of forceps and vacuum extractors are common ways this injury can occur. Physicians must ensure that they are placed properly on the baby’s head, otherwise it can cause damage to their fragile skulls.
Cephalohematoma is caused by damaged blood vessels and is defined by a collection of blood under the tissue that envelops the skull. Blood vessel damage often happens to infants during childbirth due to misuse of forceps; however, it can also occur due to the pressure of the vaginal canal on the infant’s head if the mother’s pelvic area is smaller than the baby’s head.
Caput succedaneum refers to swelling of an infant’s scalp, which appears as a lump or bump on the head shortly after delivery. Bruising, abnormal coloring, and an increase in the molding of head bones can also accompany the swelling. The most common root of this damage is from there being too much pressure on the head of a baby in the vaginal canal. It is very common in a long or hard delivery, because there is not enough amniotic fluid due to absence of the amniotic sac used to provide a cushion for the baby’s head over a prolonged time period. Your doctor should be aware of this and be prepared to utilize alternative ways to remove your child that will not hurt them.
Perinatal asphyxia results from an insufficient amount of oxygen intake for a baby before, during, or just after birth. The decreased oxygen intake can result in low levels of oxygen in the child’s blood, as well as too much acid in the blood. This causes them to have the symptoms of abnormal fetal heart rate, low pH levels, poor skin color at birth, low heart rate, weak muscle tone, and gasping or weak breathing. The key to preventing this damage is identifying the issue before it’s a problem. If this is a potential problem the mother can be given extra amounts of oxygen before delivery.
Birth injury or birth trauma claims are extremely complex to investigate and pursue in court. If your child has suffered a birth injury, your family needs an attorney well experienced in investigating and litigating these types of highly specialized cases. Our Philadelphia birth injury lawyers will investigate your case, determine if you have a claim, and guide you through the process of securing the support you need for your injured child. Call us today (610-729-2900) or schedule a free online consultation.