WHAT IS A BIRTH INJURY?
Occasionally during childbirth, the baby may suffer a physical injury that is simply the result of being born. That is what is referred to as birth injury or birth trauma.
CAUSES OF A BIRTH INJURY
A birth injury can be due to the baby’s position or the size of the baby during the labor and delivery. Other conditions that can be associated with a difficult birth may include:
- Prolonged labor
- Premature delivery. Babies born before 37 weeks gestational age. Premature babies are more fragile, not fully developed, and are more easily injured
- Large babies, especially if the baby weighs more than 4,500 grams
- Cephalopelvic disproportion, which is the size and shape of the mother’s pelvis not being adequate to have a vaginal birth
- Breech presentation, where the baby is in buttocks first position
- Instrumental delivery, where forceps or a vacuum (for suction) are used to assist in the delivery
A birth injury attorney can help you recover medical and hospital expenses if you have been a victim of negligent medical care.
Significant birth injury in the United States accounts for less than 2% of neonatal deaths and/or stillbirths; it still occurs occasionally and unavoidably with an average injury rate of 6-8/1000 live births each year.
Most birth traumas have a favorable outcome and nearly one half can potentially be avoided by recognizing and anticipating obstetrical risk factors.
Head traumas may occur during delivery and they can lead to various conditions for the infant such as:
- Subgaleal hemorrhage
- Subdural hemorrhage
- Epidural hemorrhage
- Subarachnoid hemorrhage
- Normal head deformity due to birth forces
In addition to the head traumas listed above, there are several other birth injuries that can occur in any hospital environment, such as:
- Cerebral palsy
- Erb’s palsy
- Brachial plexus palsy
- Meconium aspiration syndrome
- Bruising and marks made by the use of forceps
- Caput succedaneum
A birth injury/birth trauma can be a daunting emotional experience for all family members.
If you or someone you know has been the victim of a birth trauma, resulting in birth injury, head injury, or a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, due to medical negligence may be eligible to recover hospital expenses and medical costs to help in covering the costs of care to the child. The first step in recovering any compensation you may be entitled to is to consult an experienced birth injury attorney.