Know the Facts About Birth Injuries
Finding out your baby has sustained a birth injury can be shocking news. It can also make you feel helpless when there are so many questions about what the future holds for your baby and the care that he or she may need. When it comes to birth injuries, parents often don’t know where to turn for guidance, especially when the injury could have been prevented. Read on to find the answers to the four most common questions parents ask about birth injuries.
1. What is Considered a Birth Injury?
Also known as birth trauma, a birth injury occurs when there is physical pressure on the baby during the labor and delivery process and typically happens as the baby passes through the birth canal. There are many different reasons why birth injuries occur, such as:
- Failing to identify fetal distress
- Lack of proper monitoring of mother and baby
- Prolonged labor
- Oxygen deprivation during or after birth
- Delayed C-section
- Failure to diagnose preeclampsia
- Medication errors
2. How Do I Know if My Baby Has a Birth Injury?
In some cases, a birth injury may be apparent by their physical appearance, such as abnormal bruising and swelling. In other cases, the symptoms may be delayed and not show up for hours, days, or weeks. Symptoms will vary depending on the type of birth injury your baby has sustained. Here are some warning signs to watch out for:
- Difficulty eating or swallowing
- Arched back when crying
- Excessive drooling
- Muscle stiffness or looseness
- Weak or no apparent reflexes
- Lowered heart rate
- Skull fractures
3. How Common Are Birth Injuries?
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), birth injury rates had declined from 2.6 per 1,000 live births in 2004 to 1.9 per 1,000 live births in 2012. Although new medical technologies and advancements in obstetrical techniques have contributed to this decline, the following risk factors can increase the chance of a birth injury:
- Maternal infections
- Fetal macrosomia (a baby that too large for its gestational age)
- Cephalopelvic disproportion (when the birth canal is too narrow for the baby to pass)
- Untreated maternal infections
- Abnormal position of the baby (breech or the umbilical cord is abnormally positioned)
- Use of forceps or vacuum extraction
4.Can I File a Lawsuit for My Baby’s Birth Injury?
If your baby has sustained a birth injury due to the negligence or lack of standard of care from a medical professional, you have the right to seek compensation for your child’s injuries. Filing a medical malpractice claim can help you recover medical costs, therapies, and future care needs for your child.
Has Your Baby Suffered a Birth Injury? We Can Help.
In many cases, birth injuries are preventable — and when hearing that your baby has been harmed during birth is devastating news. When you are unsure of what to do next, we are here to help you get through this difficult time.
At Bandas Law Firm, P.C., we understand the life-altering burdens that a birth injury can have on parents, and you have the right to seek justice. Let us help you recover compensation to support the medical needs and future care of your child.
Contact us today at (505) 393-6303 to learn how we can assist you.