Understanding Birth Injuries

A baby’s brain is a vulnerable organ. Brain damage is a common injury, and hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), or a lack of oxygen to the brain, can often be the cause. However, there are a few other birth injuries that are lesser known. These include umbilical cord complications, trauma from instruments such as forceps and vacuums, failure to perform a cesarean section in time and complications with breathing. Understanding these birth injuries will help you to determine if you have a potential case.

Umbilical Cord Complications

The umbilical cord is the fetus’ source for blood and oxygen. It’s a baby’s life support. Therefore, when the umbilical cord is compressed or the blood flow is interrupted, then this can compromise the blood and oxygen going to the fetus. Medical professionals must properly diagnose, manage and treat all umbilical cord complications.

Forceps

Doctors sometimes use forceps to assist with vaginal delivery. Forceps look like big metal tongs and are used to go inside the mother to retrieve the baby. If the doctor uses too much force or uses forceps improperly, this can cause brain injury, fractures, Bell’s Palsy, seizures or injury to the mother.

Vacuum Extractors

A doctor may choose to use a vacuum extractor instead of forceps for a delivery. These look like a suction cup and can be made out of plastic or metal. Again, just as with forceps, if used incorrectly, injury may occur.

Caesarean Section (C-section)

C-sections are often necessary when fetal distress or other contraindications to vaginal delivery are present. According to a recent study, C-sections can lower the risk of injury to the baby and to the mother.

Respiratory Distress and Resuscitation

When a baby stops breathing, the medical team must move properly resuscitate an infant. Maintaining an infant’s respiration is important to prevent oxygen deprivation, hypoxic ischemic encephalopathy (HIE), cerebral palsy or other birth injuries.

Understanding birth injuries and the causes behind them is the first step in determining whether you might have a potential case. If you believe that your child may have experienced a birth injury, please contact our firm for a free consultation regarding your potential case.

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