Having a baby marks a significant change in a couple’s life. Bringing a baby into the world means a new sense of responsibility and duty to care for that child above all else.
What happens if your baby is injured during pregnancy or delivery? Birth injuries may be declining, but there are still circumstances where a child’s health concern at birth is due to a medical professional’s recklessness. Learn about the three most common birth injuries so you know if something is wrong with your baby, and whether negligence is the culprit.
- Bone Fractures
During a baby’s delivery, the body contorts to handle the pressure required to dispel it from the birth canal. However, some babies are larger, or their positioning may make it tougher for a mother to deliver without the help of instruments or a doctor’s hands. Bone fractures — most notably of the clavicle and arms — may result from physical manipulation doctors use to get babies to come out. Too much pressure, pulling, or pushing on the mother’s body may cause bones to fracture. While these are injuries that will heal, they may result in other issues. Nerve damage may occur and result in a frozen shoulder or loss of use of a limb.
- Lack of Oxygen
A baby gets its oxygen through the umbilical cord, and the lungs do not take over until after birth. When labor and delivery are long and difficult, a baby may experience periods of oxygen deprivation. The signs of this are not always visible. Sometimes doctors do not know there has been a disruption until the child grows and misses milestones. When a baby is deprived of oxygen for too long, it may result in permanent brain damage and loss of cognitive function.
- Cerebral Palsy
One resulting condition that occurs when a baby is in distress during labor and delivery is cerebral palsy. If a doctor does not intervene quickly enough when fetal distress is evident, the baby may suffer permanent damage to the nervous system. The signs of cerebral palsy include symptoms such as:
- Muscle spasms
- Muscle weakness
- Slow development of motor skills
Doctors do not know the exact cause of cerebral palsy, whether it is stress on the baby’s body, lack of oxygen to the brain, or the use of instruments to help delivery. However, it is a known birth injury and not caused by any other medical condition.
When a doctor makes a mistake during the labor and delivery of your child, it may have untold consequences. If you find that your child has suffered an injury like this, you may file a personal injury lawsuit. Speak with a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Johnston Martineau, PLLP, today to find out whether or not you might have a case.