There are three major categories of birth injury, which is defined as any damage or harm that a baby suffers during pregnancy, childbirth, or soon after delivery. These include brain injuries or brain damage, nerve injuries, and musculoskeletal or orthopedic injuries. While many birth injuries are minor and don’t create long-term problems or impacts for the baby, the more serious types of birth injuries, including brain damage and brain injuries, can have life-long consequences, including permanent and irreversible injuries.
Factors that Can Result in Birth Injuries
Many different factors can cause birth injuries. Some birth injuries are the direct result of events or complications, including medical negligence, arising during pregnancy, labor or delivery. Other birth injuries, which are known as congenital defects, can be caused by environmental factors such as exposure in the womb to tobacco, alcohol, and pesticides. Genetic factors are also a cause of birth injuries. Congenital defects include such conditions as Downs syndrome, cleft palates, heart defects, and spina bifida.
Brain, Musculoskeletal and Nerve -Related Birth Injuries
Brain Injuries: The most important organ in the human body is the brain. The brain’s electrical impulses control muscle movement, cognition, and many other body functions. However, the brain is extremely vulnerable during childbirth. Birth injuries due to trauma during the childbirth process happen from time to time, and the result is brain damage, sometimes to a devastating degree.
Musculoskeletal or Orthopedic Injuries: During the birth process, babies travel through a narrow birth canal. Sometimes, musculoskeletal or orthopedic injuries result from this process. Various factors can be the cause of these injuries, including the position of the baby at the time of birth, the baby’s birth weight, the use of forceps or a vacuum and the existence of other underlying medical problems of the baby or the mother.
The optimum position for a baby passing through the birth canal is when the baby is head down, facing the mother’s back. This position, known as the occiput anterior position, allows the baby the most flexibility as it passes through the birth canal. If the baby is in another position, it can result in a more difficult birth and a greater risk of injury. Heavier-weight newborns, and those with developmental disorders or an underlying medical condition such as osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease, can also be at greater risk of orthopedic injury during birth.
Nerve Injuries: The brachial plexus is a group of nerves located just underneath the clavicle that branches out to the arm. There is a brachial plexus on both sides of the body, and these nerves can be injured during childbirth (sometimes from the baby getting stuck during delivery as a result of shoulder dystocia) – either as a result of an injury to the clavicle, such as a fracture, or if the brachial plexus gets stretched when the head and arm are pulled in different directions during a stressful delivery. The nerves may heal naturally over time. However, if the nerves are severely damaged or fail to heal successfully, surgery may be recommended or required to repair the nerves.
Seek Legal Guidance from a Skilled Birth Injury Attorney in Fort Lauderdale
If you have concerns about birth injuries your baby experienced, help is available. Contact a Fort Lauderdale birth injury lawyer at Haliczer Pettis & Schwamm, P.A. immediately to discuss your legal rights and options.