A birth injury is any harm done to a newborn during, or shortly after, delivery. This might include a lack of oxygen (birth hypoxia), too much pressure on the infant’s head or body (birth trauma), infection, and other problems. While some birth injuries are mild and have no long-term consequences, others could result in lifelong impairments that damage the child intellectually, psychologically, and physically.
In several situations, physicians may avoid delivery injuries by adhering to standards of care, closely monitoring the mother’s and child’s health, and immediately managing any suspected concerns that may emerge. Medical malpractice occurs when a medical provider fails to accomplish these tasks, and their carelessness leads to birth harm.
If you witness that your child has suffered due to this negligence, you need to get in touch with a birth injury lawyer. You should be aware of the legal help you can get and the best lawyers in the field to contact. This article provides helpful information about birth injuries and explains how a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer can help you get compensation for the injury.
Indications of Birth Injury:
Symptoms of Birth Injury Soon After Birth
Some birth injuries are visible right after delivery. The following are common indications that a birth injury has occurred:
- The baby’s skin is pale or bluish in hue.
- The infant is not breathing properly, has a sluggish heart rate, or has to be resuscitated.
- The infant appears to be slow or lethargic.
- The infant is either rigid or floppy.
- The infant is not interested in feeding, or the baby is having trouble feeding.
- Seizures occur in the infant’s face, arms, or legs, or the newborn prefers one side of the body.
- The baby’s APGAR ratings are low.
- Neonatal reflexes that are abnormal (infant does not respond to loud noises).
- Organ issues.
- Coma or impaired state of consciousness.
Symptoms of Birth Injury in Children During Childhood:
In some situations, the birth damage is not discovered for years until the kid falls behind on important developmental milestones. Parents, teachers, and others who are close to the child might notice concerns such as:
- Disabilities in learning
- Problems with behavior
- Impaired motor function
- Disorders of speech and language
- Disorders of seizure
- Cerebral palsy
- Sensory processing problems
- Impaired vision and hearing
The Most Prevalent Forms of Birth Injuries:
Even though there are many other forms of birth injuries, the following are some of the most frequent birth injuries:
- Brachial plexus palsy:
It is caused by damage to the nerves that govern hands and arms movement. It usually occurs after a vaginal birth with shoulder dystocia. The chance of total recovery is determined by the severity of the delivery in question.
- Caput succedaneum:
It is a smooth muscle swelling in the baby’s scalp. It is more prevalent in infants born through vacuum extraction. Caput succedaneum typically resolves itself without incident.
Cephalohematoma: It is a kind of bleeding that develops beneath a cranial bone. They resolve spontaneously within a few months, but significant cephalohematomas can cause problems such as jaundice and be an indication of more significant birth trauma.
- Collarbone fractures:
These are particularly prevalent in newborns delivered breech or with shoulder dystocia. Healing is typically rapid, although the baby’s mobility may need to be restricted. Facial nerve palsy/ paralysis can occur as a result of transient nerve damage. But, if a nerve tear causes it, surgery may be required to repair it.
- Head damage:
It is bruising from the delivery canal and strong contractions. Vacuum extractors, which are used to aid with birth, can potentially induce brain damage. The degree of seriousness of head trauma might vary significantly.
- Cerebral palsy:
It can be induced by birth problems, including birth injury, hypoxia, birth trauma, and infection.
- Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL):
It is a condition in which the white matter of the brain is damaged.
- Intellectual and developmental impairments (I/DDs):
These conditions frequently coexist with other conditions such as cerebral palsy or epilepsy.
It can be caused by birth traumas such as HIE, birth trauma, or infection.
Factors that Enhance the Likelihood of Birth Damage Include:
- Prolonged delivery:
When medical personnel waits too long to stimulate or deliver a baby, birth damage can occur. Medical personnel should be educated to detect circumstances requiring immediate delivery, such as fetal distress and other maternal emergencies. The lengthier medical personnel allow labor to continue in severe crises, the higher the risk of birth damage.
- Inadequate Anesthesia Administration:
Since many people opt to have an epidural during labor, it is crucial to remember that epidurals can have dangers. If used incorrectly, they can disrupt the second stage of labor and induce low blood pressure in the mother, affecting the blood supply to the baby.
- Pitocin or Cytotec Administration Errors:
Pitocin and Cytotec are commonly used to increase contractions. However, in rare cases, they may cause excessive contractions and decrease blood supply to the fetus.
Treatment for Birth Injury:
Treatment for a birth injury will differ depending on your child’s particular needs. Certain children may require minor care for the rest of their lives, but others may require a larger medical intervention.
Some of the common treatment procedures are mentioned below:
Pain and other problems like edema, spasms, incontinence, and seizures can also be treated with medications.
- Occupational Therapy
Occupational therapy can assist children who have difficulty with daily chores. Speech therapy can help youngsters who are experiencing developmental difficulties in their speech.
- Assistive Technology
If a child has difficulty with physical mobility, assistive aids may be required. Some children need walkers, wheelchairs, or leg braces. Breathing support is an example of adapted devices for more severe forms of disability.
The operation may be necessary in some cases if treatment, medicine, and adapted devices are ineffective. Seizures, blood clots, and brain bleeds may necessitate surgery.
Many birth injuries need specific treatment that may not apply to a wide variety of injuries, For example, light treatment for jaundice and kernicterus
Prevention of Birth Injuries:
- Receiving treatment from a skilled obstetrician can lower the chance of a delivery injury. To avoid problems during birthing, medical experts can check the mother’s and fetus’s wellness all through pregnancy.
- Mothers must have regular prenatal examinations to ensure no problems for either the mother or the baby and treat any underlying health conditions.
- Folic acid supplements can help lower the incidence of neural tube abnormalities in children, resulting in catastrophic birth injuries such as anencephaly.
- Doctors should also warn women about any potential risk factors that might lead to problems for their kids. To guarantee the delivery of a healthy baby, doctors should examine the patient’s genetic history and other medical conditions.
Have you suffered a birth injury due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence? Do you wonder whether you should seek legal help? You can get in touch with a Philadelphia birth injury lawyer for a free consultation and the best legal help.