The miracle of birth is a wondrous thing. However, the birthing process is froth with many dangers for both mother and child. And even though there are a number of things that can go wrong during delivery, most births happen without incident. The actual labor is probably where most of the physical injuries occur. Some of these injuries may cause long lasting disabilities for the child and major hardships for the family. The following is a list of things that can go horribly wrong during childbirth.
Head injuries due to trauma at birth, although rare, may sometimes happen as a result of negligence on the part of the hospital staff during delivery. Such injuries can result in brain damage or death for the infant, and pain and suffering for the family. A baby suffering from such injuries will most certainly have long lasting effects hindering their ability to grow and develop normally during their lifetime. It will require ongoing and continuous medical care throughout the child’s life.
Some of the types of head trauma caused to newborns during birth are due to brain hypoxia or lack of oxygen to the brain for a period of time during delivery resulting in brain injury, or it could be as a result of ischemia, which is the lack of adequate blood supply to the brain during birth.
These types of brain juries are: (1) caput succedaneum which is a swelling that occurs under the newborn’s scalp during delivery; (2) cephalohematoma, the buildup of blood under the skull of the newborn; (3) abnormal head deformity as a result of some trauma to the baby’s head during the birth process; (4) subgaleal hemorrhage which is a collection of blood beneath the skull; (5) galea aponeurotica; (6) subarachnoid hemorrhage; (7) epidural hematoma also known as epidural hemorrhage. See TraumaticBrainInjury.com
Aside from head trauma, there are several injuries that can happen at birth that may be a result of medical staff negligence, or an unfortunate accident during delivery.
Birth fractures, injuries to the limbs and spinal cord are a common risk. Erb’s Palsy, also known as brachial palsy is one of these. This injury occurs during delivery when the shoulders and upper arms are injured, causing a form of paralysis. The use of instruments such as forceps, etc., during delivery may also lead to birth injuries. The risk of meconium aspiration into the lungs at time of delivery can also result in injury to the newborn, or death. Meconium is the first stool of the newborn.
Cerebral Palsy is a chronic disability affecting the nervous system of newborns. There is no known cause for this illness. However, physicians believe that this illness might be caused by genetics; fetal stroke in the uterus before labor; fetal infections at birth; or a malformation of the brain at conception.
If death or injury occurs to during labor or delivery, and you believe it is due to the negligence of your medical staff, you should consult an attorney as soon as possible.
To consult with an experienced brain injury attorney on this issue, or if you or a loved one is suffering from a brain injury or a brain trauma due to the actions of another, contact Levin & Perconti at (312) 332-2872 for a free consultation.