Although no parent likes the think of the possibility of their baby being injured, the unfortunate fact is that birth injuries are still prevalent, affecting a myriad of babies each year. In many of these cases, diligent, proactive, and careful medical treatment could have prevented these injuries.
What is a Birth Injury?
A birth injury is damage inflicted upon an infant during the birthing process. In most cases, birth injuries are unintentional, yet depending upon the severity, a host of medical issues can arise, such as broken bones, lacerations, bruising, and more.
Why Do Babies Suffer Birth Injuries?
Doctors, nurses, and other medical staff are expected to know the complexities of prenatal, intrapartum, and peripartum care, but birth injuries can happen in spite of their knowledge. Sometimes a doctor might order a nurse to carry on with the delivery instead of coming in to deliver the baby himself. Other times a doctor may not identify that a baby is breech or that the baby has the umbilical cord wrapped around their neck
In other instances, a nurse or someone on the hospital staff may administer the wrong medication or the wrong dose of medicine to a baby. Sometimes a baby suffers a birth injury for the simple reason that the staff was tired and not performing their best work. Birth injuries can happen out of blatant misconduct of professionals, or because of simple –albeit harmful- miscomprehension.
Can You Avoid Malpractice by Working With a Midwife?
Sometimes parents want to avoid the mistreatment of a hospital’s staff and elect to have their baby at home. However, having a midwife assist in delivery does not guarantee that the child will not experience a birth injury. In fact, most midwives are not trained medically and if something goes wrong, you are at the mercy of 911 and an ambulance driver. Just as any mother can experience malpractice for her baby, any professional lending delivery services can make the mistakes that qualify as malpractice.
What are Examples of Baby Birth Injuries?
The most common types of birth injuries include:
- Fetal lacerations
- Swelling and bruising
- Caput succadeum
- Perinatal Asphyxia
- Cranial hemorrhaging
- Spinal cord injuries
What Happens After Birth Injuries?
Birth injuries can include both internal and external damage. Some babies have neurological birth injuries and reflect the characteristics and symptoms immediately by the inability to suck, spastic movements, vomiting, or arched back while crying.
In other cases, the effects of a birth injury may not be noticeable until developmental disabilities arise, such as the inability to sit up, and missing developmental growth stages such as crawling, walking, talking, or eating independently.
What happens after birth injuries, however, is entirely dependent on the type of injury sustained and how serious the injury is. For example, one infant may suffer fetal lacerations that are so severe that a major organ is damaged (although this is rare), while another baby may suffer from minor abrasions that heal within a few months.