A new baby is supposed to be a precious milestone in the life of any family. But what happens when a birth goes wrong? Birth injury, also known as birth trauma, can cause lifelong injury and heartbreak. Statistics show that between six and eight babies per thousand born will sustain a birth injury, and some may die of their injuries.
Why does birth injury occur?
Birth injury can occur due to a number of factors. These include traction or compression, or factors that restrict blood or oxygen flow while a child is being born. Some causes of birth injury include prolonged labor, premature births, uncomfortable positioning before birth, a baby who is too large or too small, a small birth canal, and/or the necessity to use forceps or vacuum extraction during birth.
What kinds of birth injuries are there?
There are a number of different birth injuries. Brain injury, including cerebral palsy, can occur when blood or oxygen flow is interrupted during the birthing process. Nerve injury can result from pressure to the nerves, producing syndromes such as brachial palsy (Erb’s palsy) or difficulty breathing. Head injury can result from cephalohematoma, leading to jaundice, and skull bones can fracture during birth. Other bone fractures include potential collarbone fractures, though these birth injuries are usually quick to heal.
Are forceps and vacuum extractions dangerous?
The decision to use forceps and vacuum extractions during labor can be a difficult one and depends on many factors, including the progress of the labor, the health of the mother, the positioning of the baby, and the baby’s immediate medical situation. Unfortunately, forceps delivery can lead to birth injuries such as facial nerve injuries, bleeding in the brain, lacerations and even broken bones. The mother can also be harmed by forceps delivery. Vacuum extraction delivery can have similar effects and can be complicated by user error. Vacuum extraction is generally considered to be more dangerous than forceps or unassisted deliveries.
My baby was injured. What do I do?
If your baby suffered a birth injury, seek out an experienced Maryland birth injury attorney to help you gain compensation for your child’s injuries. Birth injuries cost money to treat and can have lifelong impacts – don’t let fear or inertia prevent you from collecting compensation for these often unnecessary injuries.
Family members must contend with anger, confusion, emotional trauma and their need to know what happened. They must also deal with hospital and insurance personnel pressuring them to make decisions and sign documents that can have long-lasting and negative repercussions. If your family is dealing with the trauma of a birth injury and is unsure about the right steps to take, Steven H. Heisler can help. Contact Steven H. Heisler today for more information on your potential birth injury claim. For other information about who to contact regarding needs for caring for a disabled child, browse our resources for disabled individuals.
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