The miracle of birth is awe-inspiring. That being said, it’s also a delicate, and potentially dangerous process. Doctors are trained to ensure every step of the process goes as smoothly and safely as possible. Unfortunately, negligent behavior still occurs now and then, and causes the parent or infant to suffer serious injuries or ailments. Eight birth injuries are known to commonly lead to medical malpractice claims:
1. Oxygen Deprivation
Oxygen deprivation is incredibly dangerous, both for the parent and the infant being delivered. When they fail to receive enough oxygen, they can suffer major brain injuries, develop cerebral palsy, and even suffer chronic seizures. Intellectual disabilities and physical ailments are often commonly associated with infants not receiving the proper amount of oxygen during the delivery process. Doctors monitor the mother and infant’s oxygen levels throughout the birth to avoid this dangerous scenario.
2. Facial Paralysis
When an infant’s face has too much pressure put on it during the birthing process, it can develop facial paralysis. Improper forceps and vacuum extraction techniques are known to lead to damaged facial nerves. Some of the most common medical malpractice lawsuits involve facial paralysis injuries. If you or a loved one have been affected by medical malpractice, there are legal options available to you.
3. Cerebral Palsy
Did you know that three out of every thousand children are at risk of cerebral palsy when they’re delivered? This disease is characterized by weak muscles, spasms, lack of motor skills, and other nerve-related issues. When a doctor fails to use proper birthing techniques or misuses birthing tools, they can cause major nerve damage that can result in cerebral palsy. In addition to the common symptoms cerebral palsy presents, it can also lead to hearing, vision, speech, and learning problems.
4. Brachial Plexus
Injuries that involve damage to nerves connected to the upper spine, neck, arm, hand, and shoulder are known as brachial plexus. The danger presented by this nerve damage can be either temporary, or it can lead to serious, life-long complications. If a nerve is ruptured and fails to heal correctly, it can cause palsy, paralysis, and other serious issues. Doctors must use caution when using forceps and other delivery tools to ensure the child does not suffer from brachial plexus.
5. Fractured Collarbone
Bone fractures can occur during births when the child is having a difficult time leaving their parent’s birth canal. Improper use of delivery tools can also put pressure on the child, and cause serious fractures. Fractured collar bones are one of the most serious fractures that can occur during delivery. When a child suffers a broken collarbone, they must be immobilized while it heals. Otherwise, the child can be put at serious risk of medical complications from the fracture, including paralysis.
6. Perinatal Asphyxia
If a child does not have sufficient oxygen during a delivery, they can suffer from perinatal asphyxia. The oxygen deficiency occurs in the blood and can cause the child to experience a wide range of medical problems, including seizures, shock, comas, and even death. Due to the seriousness of these potential side effects, doctors monitor the vitals of the child, and parent, to ensure there’s sufficient oxygen flowing to both of them throughout the entire delivery process.
7. Spinal Cord Injuries
Spinal cord injuries are some of the most dangerous childbirth injuries. Because a child’s body is already fragile, its spine is at serious risk of failing to heal if it’s injured. Due to this, doctors must be extra careful to use forceps in a way that doesn’t pose a risk of nerve damage to the spine, or any other part of the baby they’re delivering. Paralysis and neurological problems can result from harsh spinal injuries, after all.
Hemorrhages in a child’s skull can occur in the two innermost layers of their brain covering. When a baby suffers from a subarachnoid hemorrhage or an intracranial hemorrhage, they are put in serious danger. These hemorrhages can cause a baby’s eye vessels to burst and can put pressure on the inside of the skull, which puts them at risk of other serious medical complications. Doctors must use caution when delivering infants to prevent this type of devastating hemorrhaging.
Birth Can Be Dangerous
The birthing process is incredibly fragile. For this reason, doctors must give their utmost effort to ensure it goes smoothly, and that neither the parent nor the infant is harmed. If they fail to do so, they can be sued for medical malpractice, so that the injured party can receive the payout that they deserve.