5 Common Birth Injuries Caused by Negligence
May 19th, 2021 by Brown Traci
Young mothers are cautioned and advised endlessly on safety measures and preventive care to avoid birth-related injuries. Infants are fragile and vulnerable, and the process of giving birth is increasingly complex and multifaceted.
Did you know that medical negligence is a primary culprit behind birth injuries in the US? The negligence of a doctor or healthcare staff can result in lifelong trauma, physical deformity, and mental challenges for a child. Medical malpractice and negligence are alarmingly prevalent, and many parents fail to understand that their healthcare team is at blame.
It’s essential to spread awareness on the commonly occurring birth injuries caused by medical negligence. This awareness will help millions of parents protect their newborns and ensure safe childbirth practices. Following are some of the most common birth injuries caused due to medical negligence:
One of the most common and complex birth injuries, brachial palsy, occurs entirely due to negligence and medical malpractice. This illness is characterized by damages to the nerves involved in moving the brachial plexus, i.e., the arms and hands. Severe cases can lead to complete paralysis – a lifelong deformity that ruins all chances of living a normal life.
The damages resulting from this injury can prove mild and temporary in some cases and severe in others. Shoulder dystocia is common malpractice that causes this condition. It occurs when the infant’s shoulders are stuck inside the mother’s pelvic bone. If the doctor yanks the shoulder too hard in complicated and lengthy deliveries, the brachial plexus gets damaged.
This condition is a direct result of birth injury malpractice, which refers to the actions of a doctor or healthcare professional. Due to medical malpractice, people who are suffering reserve the right to demand legal compensation against the medical professional. Brachial palsy creates serious and solid grounds for a lawsuit challenging the medical professional and healthcare facility.
Childbirth complications and medical negligence can put the infant at risk for numerous brain-related injuries. Oxygen deprivation during delivery is alarmingly prevalent and a leading cause of brain injuries in newborns. Brain injuries give rise to scores of interlinked complications, particularly mental health disorders.
For instance, newborns with brain injuries are likely to suffer from mental disorders like chronic seizures and cerebral palsy. But how does oxygen deprivation occur, and who is to blame? It can happen when a nurse or doctor neglects accurately monitoring the infant during labor and right after birth. Babies require close inspection and examination to ensure all their vital signs are strong and healthy.
Oxygen deprivation can happen due to various complications involving the umbilical cord. For instance, if the cord is wrapped around an infant’s neck, or the baby was born with a prolapsed cord. Prolonged labor also gives rise to oxygen deprivation as the baby remains trapped inside the birth canal. Other causes include placental disturbance and blockages in the airways.
Even mild cases of oxygen deprivation can be lethal and trigger severe neurological damage. Such children suffer from lifelong physical complications, learning disabilities, and intellectual problems.
Facial Nerve Damages
It’s crucial to examine the tools your doctors are likely to use during labor, especially in cases of complicated deliveries. Damages to the facial nerves can cause facial paralysis, a severe deformity that can disfigure the face.
When the infant’s face is exposed to excessive pressure, it can damage the facial nerve drastically. Such injuries typically happen when medical professionals use vacuums, forceps, and other tools to ease complicated deliveries. The symptoms and consequences of facial paralysis vary, depending on the severity of the pressure and nerve damages.
In some cases, newborns are unable to close their eyes, while in other cases, facial muscles are paralyzed on one side. In severe cases, nerve damage can result in total facial paralysis. However, mild cases tend to normalize with a few weeks of treatments and medications.
The use of damaging tools such as vacuum and forceps is widely criticized for it gives rise to numerous other birth injuries. Cephalohematoma is one of these injuries characterized by bleeding beneath the cranial bones. The injury causes uncontrollable bleeding beneath the skull, and it exhibits itself hours after the baby is born.
It is visible as an elevated bump on top of the infant’s head, causing pain and agony. In some instances, this condition puts the newborn at risk for multiple ailments, such as hypotension, jaundice, and anemia. In certain rare cases, cephalohematoma can put the child at risk for meningitis.
Collar Bone Fractures
Complex deliveries such as C-Sections commonly result in bone fractures, particularly color bone fractures. These fractures happen when the doctor pulls the baby aggressively hard during breech position. Collar bone fractures can also occur when the obstetrician forcefully pulls the shoulder during a lengthy and complicated delivery.
Pulling the baby aggressively and without precautions are examples of medical malpractices that can result in lifelong collar bone damages. Luckily, fractures are fixable with the proper treatment, and the baby can recover from this injury.
Giving birth to new life is a complicated and complex process, and it’s essential to exercise caution and care. Be sure to investigate your obstetrician’s credentials, experience, and reputation before signing up for their services. Prolonged and complex labor cases give rise to multiple complications, and doctors cause irreversible damage using aggressive techniques and tools.