Causes of Birth Injury

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Birth injuries can occur due to a wide range of factors associated with pregnancy, labor, or delivery, each potentially impacting the health of the newborn in different ways.

Prolonged Labor

Extended labor, particularly when contractions are intense and frequent, can exhaust the baby and elevate stress levels, potentially leading to brain injuries or other physical harm. This situation might necessitate medical intervention to speed up labor or deliver the baby safely.

Oxygen Deprivation

This serious condition can occur due to various complications such as issues with the placenta (e.g., placental abruption where the placenta detaches from the womb too early) or umbilical cord problems, like a prolapse that occurs when the cord slips through the cervix into the vagina ahead of the baby. Oxygen deprivation can result in significant neurological damage, manifesting in lifelong conditions like cerebral palsy or brain damage.

Instrumental Deliveries

The utilization of medical instruments such as forceps or vacuum extractors during delivery can increase the risk of trauma to the baby. These instruments, while useful in difficult deliveries, can cause physical injuries like facial nerve damage, bruising, or more severe issues such as skull fractures or intracranial hemorrhage.

Premature Birth

Babies born before the 37th week of pregnancy are considered premature and are particularly susceptible to birth injuries. Their bodies and organ systems are less developed, making them more prone to infections, respiratory problems, and brain injuries.

Size and Position of the Baby

Difficulties can also arise from the baby’s size and position during birth. Babies with a higher birth weight (macrosomia) are more likely to experience complications such as shoulder dystocia, which can lead to nerve damage or a fractured clavicle. Additionally, non-optimal birthing positions, such as breech or transverse lies, increase the risk of complications that might necessitate surgical intervention.

Medical Conditions in the Mother

The mother’s health plays a crucial role in the risk of birth injuries. Conditions like diabetes or preeclampsia (high blood pressure during pregnancy) can lead to complications that affect the labor and delivery process, potentially necessitating early or emergency deliveries.

Inadequate Medical Care

Errors or lapses in medical care during childbirth can significantly impact the baby’s health. This can include failure to adequately monitor fetal heart rate, mismanagement of a complicated delivery, or delays in performing necessary cesarean sections. Each of these scenarios can result in preventable injuries to the baby.

Final Thoughts

Understanding these factors helps in planning and managing pregnancies and deliveries to minimize the risk of injury and ensure the health and safety of both the mother and the child. Comprehensive prenatal care, skilled delivery practices, and preparedness for potential complications are essential components in preventing birth injuries.

Get in Touch with Gray and White Today

If you’ve been impacted by any of the typical causes of birth injury or any others as a result of medical negligence, contact us today. Call (502) 210-8942 or fill out our online form to request a free, no-obligation consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.