Infants are at great risk during the actual birthing process. Thankfully, doctors are trained to understand every risk posed to them, and are given proper training to avoid any unnecessary risks. However, even the most caring, considerate doctors can sometimes make a mistake. And in some cases, doctors become negligible in their care.
When this occurs, infants can sustain major injuries – which in turn can lead to massive malpractice lawsuits. Here are just seven of the most common traumatic injuries that infants can sustain during birth that parents should be aware of:
1. Perinatal Hypoxic-Ischemic Encephalopathy:
More commonly known as hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, this condition is caused by acute or subacute brain injuries related to asphyxia. Reduced cerebral blood flow can cause many issues for infants, including paralysis, permanent brain/nerve damage, and more.
Doctors do their best to avoid any conditions that could lead to this severe condition. If your infant is victimized by perinatal hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, you may want to consider seeking the advice of a specialized birth injury lawyer.
2. Cerebral Palsy:
Typically, out of every thousand infants, two to three are born with cerebral palsy. This condition is characterized by a lack of motor skill development, muscle spasms, and weakened muscles. It is not uncommon for this affliction to be associated with injuries that occurred during birth.
Whether it is improper monitoring, aggressive use of birthing tools, or a health condition related to the mother that’s to blame, this can be one of the more tragic birth-related injuries that infants can sustain.
Many different types of fractures can occur during the birthing process. However, collarbone fractures are the most common fracture associated with birth. If caught early on, these fractures can be simple to treat. However, if they are severe enough, the child may need to be immobilized for several months to ensure that they fully heal. In rare cases, these fractures can lead to more serious health complications.
Keeping aware of all the advice medical professionals give you in this situation is of utmost importance. Being prepared for your infant’s birth, both mentally and physically, can help you increase your chances of experiencing a safe delivery.
4. Spinal Cord Injuries:
Spinal cord injuries remain one of the most frightening and dangerous injuries infants can sustain during birth. These injuries can cause severe nerve damage, paralysis, and even death in some cases. Doctors have to be extra careful to ensure the spinal cord is not put under immense pressure during birth to avoid any spinal cord damage. Even minor damage can result in life-long conditions and can take a long time to heal properly.
5. Caput Succedaneum:
When an infant’s scalp, or potions of their scalp, are found to be bruised and discolored, it’s typically found that they have caput succedaneum. This condition is caused by immense pressure being placed on the child’s scalp during the birthing process.
Overly forceful use of forceps, and other birthing instruments, are often to blame for this infliction. However, this is also the least threatening condition on this list, as the injury tends to cure itself on its own over several months.
6. Oxygen Deprivation:
If an infant does not have proper oxygen levels throughout the entire birthing process, several massive health complications can occur. Oxygen deprivation in and of itself can put the infant in extreme danger. Typically, it is one medical professional’s job to closely monitor the child’s oxygen levels throughout the entirety of the birthing process.
When improper attention is paid, or when medical malpractice occurs, it can cause lasting health problems and injuries for the affected infant (and this can lead to life-long complications as well).
When a baby is born with bleeding under their cranial bone, they may be suffering from a condition known as cephalohematoma. This affliction is typically signaled via bumps that appear several hours after the birth is completed.
Improper use of forceps, oxygen deprivation and other birth-related issues can lead to an infant’s developing cephalohematoma. This condition tends to clear up on its own after a few months, but in rare cases, it can lead to conditions such as jaundice, anemia, hypertension, and meningitis.
Here’s to a Safe Birth:
While these seven conditions are frightening to think about, very few infants are affected by them at all. The majority of births go off without a hitch and allow you to enjoy your new life with your infant as soon as the birth is done. For those who find themselves in a tragic situation where their infant is harmed during birth, reaching out to legal counsel is highly recommended.