Most common birth injuries due to doctors negligence

Giving birth to a child is a difficult experience, both physically and mentally. Due to differing circumstances, it can become even more difficult, especially when birth injuries come into play. Birth injuries at the best of times can be a distressing situation, but it only gets worse if the birth injuries are long-lasting or even permanent, as such a thing brings a world of grief and expense.

It only gets worse when a doctor’s negligence is involved. One question that comes up for parents and soon-to-be parents often is just what are the most common birth injuries caused by negligent doctors?

Most common birth injuries caused by a doctor’s negligence

A common risk that infants face when they are being birthed is facial paralysis. This is caused by an excess of pressure being put on the child’s face while they are being delivered, Typically, these kinds of birth injuries occur when a doctor uses forceps or vacuum extraction in order to get the baby out.

The harm caused by facial paralysis is varied and may include anywhere from the baby not being able to close its eye on its affected side of the face, to not being able to move anything at all on the affected side of the face. The range of damage from facial paralysis is varied; at times, the paralysis is not so severe and will come down over time. In the worst-case scenario, however, the facial paralysis may end up becoming permanent, leading to total paralysis of the affected area.

In other situations, the child’s shoulder gets caught under or behind the mother’s pubic bone, referred to as shoulder dystocia. When this happens, it creates an enhanced risk that the child may suffer from an injury when the doctor is attempting to extract them, such as if the doctor pulls too hard or simply does the job incorrectly.

This may lead to an injury to the child’s nerves that allow the child to move their arm and hand, referred to generally as a brachial plexus injury. This term serves as an umbrella for ailments such as Erb’s palsy and Klumpke’s palsy.

Fractures are also a risk that the babyfaces when being delivered, and one that can be exacerbated in the event that the doctor does not take care to extract the child in the appropriate fashion. Babies are very sensitive, and as such, even the slightest error may cause some kind of harm to the child.

Fractures occur most commonly of any kind of injury, simply put, when a doctor pulls too hard during the delivery. In particular, when the infant is in the breaching position is when they are at the greatest risk of a fracture.

While these are the most common injuries, and they are certainly not an enjoyable thing to have to see your child have to deal with, the good news is that in almost every situation, the fracture should heal properly without any actual complications. Sure, infants will have to deal with a loss of arm movement during the recovery, but the recovery should go well, so long as they are handled properly post-injury.

Another type of injury comes in the form of cephalohematoma, which is an injury where bleeding occurs under the cranium. If this happens, you can expect to see evidence of it manifesting several hours after the child has been born in the form of a raised bump appearing on top of the baby’s head. In all likelihood, you are going to have a cephalohematoma injury occurring from the use of birthing tools.

Such an ailment is not something that should be worried about too much, although if you see it in your child, you should absolutely have it dealt with right away. The bump should go away after a few months when met with proper treatment, although it does create certain risks for your child, including anemia, jaundice, hypotension, and meningitis, although the latter is not a common result.

The next injury is one that is likely to persist a lot less than cephalohematoma, and that injury is called caput succedaneum. Much like cephalohematoma, the injury is evidenced on the scalp, shown as swelling of the soft tissues. This typically occurs when the child is going down the birth canal, but in particular, it most often persists in situations where a vacuum extraction tool is misused.

The swelling caused by the injury generally wears off after only a few days, but that does not mean that it cannot have serious risks associated with it. In the event that your infant has suffered from caput succedaneum may also suffer from jaundice and/or kernicterus, the latter being a form of brain damage.

Speaking of brain damage, that is the last example we will be looking at. Fitting, given how serious an injury brain damage actually is. One of the big problems with brain damage, besides the obvious, is that brain damage can lead to pretty serious ailments down the road.

For example, many people who suffered brain damage as a child went on to suffer from chronic seizures and cerebral palsy. Birthing is a potentially dangerous process, both for the infant as well as the mother. It is especially in a place like the United States, which has an unusually high infant mortality rate and maternal fatality rate, the latter of which is the worst of all industrialized nations.

One of the big reasons why an infant may suffer from a brain injury is through improper monitoring of the unborn infant by the doctor during the birth as well as after the fact. A common way for a birth injury to manifest is through the infant being stuck for longer than is safe inside the mother during the birthing process.

This can be caused by a variety of reasons, such as umbilical cord issues, and when it does happen, a common solution is to extract the child from the mother through a process known as a Cesarean section (also known as a c-section). Even a small amount of oxygen deprivation can cause some form of brain damage, so it is especially important that the doctor giving birth try their hardest to do it as safely as possible.

In the event that your infant has actually sustained some form of harm from the birthing process, there are options available for you. Contact an attorney with experience in medical malpractice as soon as possible to get things figured out. They will investigate the circumstances of the birth and, if they find cause to pursue a case, they will do so diligently.