Because childbirth happens so frequently, it is easy to forget that the process is both a miracle, and a very dangerous event. Though thousands of women give birth across the country every day, there is still a risk for serious complications for both mother and baby. If you or someone you know is planning on giving birth soon, be aware of these common infant birth injuries, and know what you should do about each.
Brachial Plexus Palsy
The brachial plexus is a grouping of nerves in the shoulder which extends from the spinal cord down through the arms. During birth, an infant’s shoulder can become lodged behind its mother’s pubic bone and can become stuck. If a doctor pulls the baby too hard or in the wrong way, this bundle of nerves can become damaged, causing Erb’s palsy or Klumpke palsy. These types of palsies may result in temporary or permanent paralysis, movement disorders, and limited range of motion in the arms or hands.
An infant’s bones are not as hard as those of an adult. Because of this, infants are especially susceptible to fractures and breaks during a difficult birth. The most common type of birth fracture is to an infant’s collarbone, which usually caused by a doctor pulling too hard when trying to turn or deliver a breech baby. Luckily, these fractures heal relatively quickly.
During birth, a baby’s face is pressed into the sides of the birth canal. If the birth is difficult, and the child spends too long in one position, the baby’s nerves could become paralyzed either on a temporary or permanent basis. This type of paralysis can also be caused by the use of forceps during delivery.
When an infant is deprived of oxygen during birth, the baby can develop a brain injury which may never heal. Oxygen deprivation can be caused by a number of factors, including the umbilical cord being wrapped around a baby’s neck, getting stuck in the birth canal, or a mother’s low blood pressure. When an infant is deprived of oxygen, problems like cerebral palsy, autism, or other brain injuries may develop.
Spinal Cord Injury
Injuries to the spinal cord are some of the most severe birth injuries that an infant can suffer. These types of injuries usually occur when a baby is forced into or out of a position to forcefully, and are often attributed to the use of forceps. When an infant’s spinal cord is injured, the baby may suffer permanent paralysis.
No expectant mother wants to think about the possibility that her infant could be injured during birth. While birth injuries are rarely intentional, they are often the result of carelessness, rushed deliveries, or negligent birthing techniques.
If your infant is harmed during birth, you deserve to get justice for your baby. At the Trial Law Office of Bradley I. Kramer, M.D. Esq., we share a parent’s outrage when an infant is injured by inexcusable negligence. If your baby suffered an injury as a result of malpractice, our dedicated legal team will fight to get you the compensation that you need to help your baby recover.
To make an appointment with experienced Los Angeles medical malpractice attorney Bradley I. Kramer, fill out our contact form online or call (310) 289-2600. Don’t wait to fight for your rights after your child is injured—call today to get the help you need to heal.