Monday, October 10, 2016

Common Birth Injuries

There are a variety of different types of injuries that occur during birth and a wide array of affects. Some birth injuries are temporary and have mild symptoms, while others can be severe and last a lifetime.
Complications during birth can lead to serious injuries, lifelong conditions, and even death. While sometimes these injuries can occur without anyone being at fault, many times proper medical care would have prevented the injury. Below are some of the more common injuries that can occur during childbirth due to medical negligence.1
Common Birth Injuries
Brain injuries – These injuries are the type that will often last for a lifetime, if the infant survives the injury. The most common cause of brain injuries in infants is a lack of oxygen. Oxygen deprivation often occurs when the umbilical cord compresses or wraps around the baby, cutting off circulation. This can normally be detected with proper monitoring of the baby immediately before, during, and after birth.
If the baby is not getting enough oxygen for any reason, the most common course of action is for the obstetrician to deliver the baby as quickly as possible to lessen the effect of the interruption of circulation. This usually entails a caesarian section. In situations where the oxygen deprivation has been too great, the infant may develop cerebral palsy2 or other brain disorders, such as seizures, which will last for the life of the child. Treatment for these disorders often depends on their severity and may help to manage symptoms.
Fractures – A somewhat common occurrence during difficult deliveries involves the doctor forcefully repositioning the baby and/or pulling on the baby during delivery. This can result in fractures to the baby’s fragile bones. Most commonly, fractures occur to the shoulder and arm area because they are the most likely to be yanked during the process. Generally, treatment is rather quick and the infant makes a full recovery with no long-lasting issues.
Brachial plexus injuries – Brachial plexus injuries occur when the infant’s shoulder and arm area become trapped during delivery. If the doctor too forcefully pulls on the baby, permanent damage can be caused to the nerve system of the infant, with severe cases resulting in complete paralysis. Symptoms can range from loss of sensation in certain areas to paralysis, so the likelihood of success of treatment depends on the severity of the injury.
Cephalohematoma – During the birthing process, it is not uncommon for the infant to develop bleeding underneath the cranium, resulting in a bump on the head. This is known as cephalohematoma and is usually something that clears up on its own within a few weeks. In rare instances, though, it can lead to other health risks caused by blood disorders, such as jaundice, anemia, and hypotension.
Perinatal Asphyxia – Perinatal Asphyxia is another birth injury that can be caused by inadequate oxygen supply. This injury can cause a range of issues from trouble breathing to seizures and coma. Treatment depends on the severity of the issues present, as does the length of time

issues will be present. In some instances, the issues will clear up almost immediately and in others they will be lifelong.
Caput Succedaneum – Caput Succedaneum is caused by too much pressure being placed on the infant’s head during birth. Essentially, it is a bruising or swelling of the scalp that appears after birth. It usually will clear up on its own within a matter of days, but could be evidence of a greater underlying issue, such as internal bleeding or a fracture if it does not.
While not all birth injuries are serious or permanent, it is important to fully understand what has happened to your baby. Some effects may not present until the child is older, such as developmental or educational delays.
Contact a Clearwater Birth Injury Attorney Today for a Free Consultation
If you have a child who suffered an injury during birth, contact a Clearwater, Florida birth injury lawyer right away. Florida law allows victims to recover compensation for injuries and other losses that they may experience as a result of medical negligence. A lawyer familiar with litigating Florida birth injury cases can often help victims recover substantially more compensation than they would be able to retain on their own, so it is highly advisable for the parents of a child who suffered a birth injury to discuss their options with an experienced lawyer. To schedule a free consultation with one of our lawyers at Dolman Law Group, call our office today at 727-451-6900 or send us an email through our online contact form.
Dolman Law Group
800 North Belcher Road
Clearwater, FL 33765