5 Important Things To Know About Birth Injury
After approximately 40 weeks of pregnancy and finally your newborn arrives, it is devastating news to learn your baby suffered a birth injury. Often, the injury is the result of the negligence of a healthcare professional who took part in the birthing process. If your baby suffered any type of birth injury, you may want to consult with a personal injury attorney who has experience with medical malpractice cases.
5 Things to Know About Birth Injuries
1. A Birth Injury is Different From a Birth Defect
A birth injury is defined as any injury to the baby during the labor and delivery process that occurs before, during, or shortly after the birth. It can be minor, and the baby recovers quickly, such as a slight head injury after a forceps delivery.
Unfortunately, many injured babies and their families suffer lifelong consequences and the life they planned will never happen. Some babies are paralyzed, suffer brain injuries, and more. Some even die.
Birth defect. This is an abnormality of the baby that was developed in the womb, generally in the first three months of the mother’s pregnancy. The abnormality is unrelated to the birthing process and although it can be due to medical malpractice, such as the failure of the physician to properly treat an infection, defects are most often due to factors outside the control of healthcare professionals.
2. Maternal Birth Injury Risk Factors
The obstetrician or midwife must consider all these possible maternal conditions to prevent a birth injury:
- The shape and size of the mother’s pelvis.
- Position of the fetus when labor begins.
- Prolonged labor.
3. Fetal Birth Injury Risk Factors
The healthcare professional must consider all these factors to prevent injury at birth:
- Fetuses that weigh more than 8 pounds, 13 ounces.
- Premature babies born before 37 weeks gestation.
Abnormal fetal position at the beginning of labor.
4. Brain Injury During Birth May Be Life-Altering and Due to Medical Malpractice
A brain injury at birth is very serious and there can be many lifelong consequences for the child and the parents who must care for the child if the baby survives. Some causes of brain injuries occurring at birth include:
- Oxygen deprivation of the fetus during labor.
- Misuse of birthing tools, such as a vacuum extractor or forceps.
- Unnecessary force or improper manipulation in removing the fetus from the birth canal.
- A prolapsed umbilical cord wrapped around the fetus’s neck.
Premature infant with undeveloped lungs.
5. Other Causes
There are many other types of birth injuries. Some examples are:
- Cerebral palsy. This may be due to a birth injury. There are also other causes of cerebral palsy unrelated injury at birth.
- Erb’s palsy which is when one or both shoulders suffer nerve damage.
- Facial injuries ranging from tiny indentations from a forceps delivery that heals quickly to damage to one or both eyes that affects the vision.
Any injury your baby experienced during the birthing process should be investigated as possible medical malpractice.
Get Help From A Kansas Personal Injury Attorney
If your baby was injured during the birthing process, learn about your legal options in Wichita, Kansas from an experienced personal injury attorney. At Larry Wall Trial Law, we offer a free consultation. Call us at 316-265-6000 for more information.