The birth of a child should represent one of the most joyous times in a parent’s life. Before their child is born, parents are filled with excitement and anticipation as the day draws near. They are busy picking names and dreaming about their child’s future. Sadly, medical mistakes can bring these plans and dreams to a crashing halt.
There are not many things as devastating as finding out that your baby has suffered a birth injury due to a preventable medical mistake. Unfortunately, mistakes can and do occur during labor and delivery, leaving a newborn baby with lifetime medical and care needs.
In Pennsylvania, close to 150,000 babies are born each year. For virtually all these births, expectant parents rely on medical professionals, such as; Obstetricians, Certified Mid-wife’s, and Obstetrical Nurses to make certain that their baby is delivered safely and without injury.
Types of Birth Injuries
According to the National Healthcare Quality Report, approximately 6-8 out of every 1000 births, result in a birth injury. Based upon these statistics, between 9,000 and 12,000 babies are born every year in Pennsylvania with a birth injury. The most common injuries include:
- Brachial Plexus Palsy (Erb’s Palsy) – This can occur when the obstetrician or Nurse mid-wife uses too much force on the baby’s shoulder as the baby is exiting the birth canal. This injury can cause significant shoulder and arm weakness, and even paralysis.
- Asphyxia –
- Intercranial Hemorrhage –
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
- Cerebral Palsy – This occurs when a baby suffers a lack of oxygen either in utero or during delivery. This type of birth injury can cause seizure, spasticity, vision and hearing difficulties, learning disabilities, and multiple of neurologic issues. Oftentimes, Cerebral Palsy will have a lifelong impact on the injured child and family.
Some birth injuries may be immediately obvious. However, other injuries may not be so obvious and only becomes evident when the baby fails to meet expected developmental milestones, such as the ability to crawl to walk or to talk.
Admittedly, some birth injuries, such as those due to genetic conditions, cannot be prevented. However, many birth injuries are completely preventable through competent medical care.
When a medical mistake is the cause of your baby’s injury, it is important to hold the responsible medical professional accountable for their mistake. This is because many families will face overwhelming lifetime costs to care for a child with a birth injury.
Common Causes of Birth Injuries
There is no question that the birthing process is extremely complicated and many things can go wrong. It is for this reason that meticulous attention to detail is required for the most vulnerable patients. The following is a list of common causes of birth injuries:
- FETAL DISTRESS.
- FETAL MALPOSITION.
- DELAYED CESAREAN SECTION.
- SHOULDER DYSTOCIA.
- PLACENTAL ABRUPTION.
- PLACENTAL PREVIA.
- FORCEPS AND VACUUM EXTRACTION DELIVERIES.
- MATERNAL INFECTION.
- PITOCIN MISUSE.