Injuries during labor and delivery
About seven in every 1,000 babies in the United States are born with a birth injury. These injuries can occur because of a mother’s illness or pre-existing health condition, complications during delivery or because of negligence on the part of doctors, nurses or hospitals during delivery.
Multiple births, breech births or other complications during pregnancy, delivery or labor can increase the risk that a child will be born with cerebral palsy. This condition occurs because of brain damage which affects the newborn’s ability to properly use its muscles.
The signs of cerebral palsy
Children who exhibit signs of cerebral palsy may have trouble with balance or coordination, fine motor skills or other movements. Other cerebral palsy symptoms, such as seizures or mental retardation, may be present as well. Cerebral palsy may also occur when doctors or nurses fail to properly monitor a baby’s condition during labor or delivery. If the baby does not receive enough oxygen during the delivery process, a brain injury can result which could lead to cerebral palsy. Doctors and their staff must be alert to changes in the baby’s vital signs during labor or delivery to prevent this type of birth injury.
Problems during delivery
If problems during the delivery process cause a child’s shoulder to become lodged in the womb (shoulder dystocia), an injury may occur in the brachial plexus, the bundle of nerves leading to the arms.
Children who experience a brachial plexus injury may suffer from Erb’s Palsy, a condition which causes a weak or paralyzed arm on one side of the body. In some cases, a brachial plexus injury leading to Erb’s Palsy symptoms may occur because a doctor uses too much force to deliver the child from the womb.
Other serious birth injuries, including fractures, soft-tissue damage, asphyxia or brain damage, may occur when the doctor uses too much force or fails to properly monitor the baby’s condition during labor or delivery.
Birth injuries can profoundly alter a child’s quality of life and place hardship upon those entrusted with a baby’s care. We at Bader & Yakaitis, LLP can help. Speak with a birth injury attorney at Bader & Yakaitis, LLP today.