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15 Things You May Not Know About Birth Injuries

15 Things Parents May Not Know About Their Baby’s Birth Injury

A birth injury is defined as the structural destruction or functional deterioration of an infant’s body due to a traumatic event at birth. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “Some of these injuries are avoidable when appropriate care is available, and others are part of the delivery process that can occur even when clinicians practice extreme caution.”

This is a list of 15 things parents may not know about preventable birth injuries.

  1. Minor injuries to newborns can be very normal during birth and most resolve without treatment.
  2. A baby’s bones can be, but are rarely broken during delivery and may instead be the result of abuse or neglect in a hospital nursery or while the staff is handling a newborn.
  3. During a troublesome delivery, one or both of the baby’s arms can be stretched and injure the nerves of the brachial plexus. The baby can appear weak or experience paralysis in a part or all of their arm and hand.
  4. Using forceps or a vacuum to force a fetus down from high in the birth canal is associated with a high risk of causing birth injury.
  5. Damage of the phrenic nerve may result in a newborn having difficulty breathing.
  6. An abnormal fetal position at birth is facing forward, and include face, brow, breech, and shoulder.
  7. Head molding is not an injury and can be a routine change in the shape of the baby’s head that results from the pressure created during delivery.
  8. A severe infection can cause preventable birth injuries in the fetus, exposure to certain drugs before birth, severe maternal hemorrhage, or an undiagnosed illness.
  9. A cephalhematoma is blood accumulation below where the skeletal muscle attaches to the bone that should disappear on its own. A pediatrician should evaluate if the area becomes red or starts to drain liquid.
  10. Some methods of labor induction, such as rupturing a mother’s membranes, might increase the risk of infection for both mother and baby.
  11. Failure to perform an emergency cesarean section (c-section) can result in a serious birth injury to a newborn, including brain damage and cerebral palsy due to oxygen deprivation.
  12. Bleeding in the brain is much more common among very premature infants.
  13. Newborns with a subdural hemorrhage may develop problems such as seizures.
  14. Forceps used to assist the delivery can cause severe facial nerve injuries and noticeable when the newborn cries, and the face appears lopsided.
  15. Newborns with asphyxia may appear pale and lifeless, but internal injuries to the heart lungs, brain, kidneys, liver, and blood systems may not be immediately recognized.

When medical provider negligence is involved in a childbirth-related injury, it is likely due to a failure to monitor the mother or the fetus and respond to distress or diagnose a potential delivery issue. Families who follow through with a birth injury or hospital negligence lawsuit can feel helpless and scared, especially when trusting the facts and information presented by medical staff who they have developed a relationship throughout pregnancy. But if something happens to a mother or her infant before, during or after the birth process that has caused an injury, legal help may be necessary, especially when facing a lifetime of medical costs and ongoing pain as a result.

A Chicago Birth Injury Attorney Can Help Your Child

The Illinois birth injury attorneys at Levin & Perconti have taken on every role in life and are uniquely positioned to understand parental worries and sensitive needs. We can be relied on to get answers, settle disputes, and earn you compensation for economic losses, physical and emotional damage to your quality of life, and even the lost life of a child. When you are ready, please do not hesitate to call us at 312-332-2872 or toll-free at 877-374-1417.