Every year, thousands of children throughout the United States are born with injuries as a result of trauma or negligence during the delivery process. Many birth injuries can be remedied through certain treatments or with surgery. However, many children suffer long-lasting damage to their bodies, including lifelong disabilities that occurred around the time of birth.
The negligence of hospital staff, including physicians, is sometimes the reason why these birth injuries occur. Medical professionals failing to take proper measures to address complications or failing to monitor and manage pre-existing risk factors can contribute to the occurrence of these injuries. Sometimes the negligent use of medical instruments during the delivery process can result in birth injuries.
Birth injury risk factors
The risk of birth injury to a child can increase when complications arise during the delivery process. If the doctor performing the delivery aggressively employs a delivery method beyond what is proper and appropriate, the chances of trauma to the infant during the delivery process increase.
Some of the serious risk factors that can elevate the prospects of birth injury include:
- Breech delivery
- Negligent use of vacuum extraction or forceps
- Extended labor
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (CPD)
- Shoulder dystocia
- Premature birth
- Other complications such as uterine rupture, umbilical cord damage, or placenta detachment
Sometimes doctors must use forceps or other delivery methods as a result of certain pre-existing factors. These factors can increase the chance of birth injury:
- Multiple births – includes twins, triplets, and other multiple births. These babies are sometimes born with low birth weight or prematurely, increasing the possibility of birth trauma.
- Babies with low birth weight – babies born weighing 5-1/2 pounds or less, particularly those weighing under 3 pounds. These babies are at higher risk for birth injuries, including cerebral palsy
- Large babies – babies weighing over 9 pounds at birth have an increased risk of birth trauma and resulting injuries
- ART infertility treatments – children conceived by these treatment methods face a higher risk of birth injuries from multiple births are preterm delivery
Types of birth injuries
Although some birth injuries resolve themselves in just a few weeks after delivery, other birth injuries may require physical therapy, surgery, or other medical treatments. Birth trauma that happens during delivery can result in injuries that cause issues with cognition, movement, and developmental delays.
Common types of birth injuries that occur as a result of the risks mentioned above include:
- Erb’s Palsy (brachial palsy)
- Cerebral Palsy
- Facial Nerve Paralysis
- Caput Succedaneum
- Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy (HIE)
- Intracranial Hemorrhage
- Perinatal Asphyxia
If you are a parent of a child who has sustained a birth injury as a result of the negligence of medical professionals, you may be eligible to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to secure compensation for the medical expenses and other losses involved. Some birth injuries require lifelong care with costs that reach into the millions of dollars.
It is important to determine whether you and your child have a claim to secure compensation for a birth injury he or she has suffered. At Bailey & Greer, PLLC, we can discuss your legal rights and fight on your behalf for all of the damages you allude. We serve all of West Tennessee from offices in Memphis and Jackson. To arrange a free consultation, call us today at 901.475.7434 or use our contact form.