Birth Injury Causes

What Causes Birth Injuries?

Delayed Birth

One of the leading birth injury causes is delayed birth. The human brain was designed to withstand a certain amount of pressure for a certain amount of time. However, labors that last over 18 hours are considered long, difficult labors, and at 18 hours, the compression on the brain becomes too much to withstand. This is generally when the baby may show signs of fetal distress as the baby’s brain starts reacting in emergency mode, thus elevating the baby’s blood pressure.

Oxygen Deprivation

Whether from external forces (such as a kinked or prolapsed umbilical cord) or from internal forces such as low birth weight or underdeveloped lungs, oxygen deprivation is one of the most common reasons for some of the most severe birth injuries. Almost all brain related birth injuries are related to oxygen deprivation, and these birth injuries can be mild or severe, and the victims of these birth injuries can suffer the consequences for any period from only a few days to possibly their entire lifetime.

Medical Malpractice

Whether from oxygen deprivation, delayed birth, or blunt force trauma, children usually suffer birth injuries because of malpractice, at the hands of medical staff persons that should know better. Doctors, nurses, hospital staff, emergency medical technicians, and midwives are only some of the experienced physicians that are expected to know the complexities of prenatal, intrapartum, and peripartum care, but birth injuries can happen in spite of their knowledge. Birth injuries can happen out of blatant misconduct of professionals, or because of simple –albeit harmful- miscomprehension of what is happening.

For example, midwives may be familiar in traditional skills of midwifery, but they’re not trained to handle emergency situations and will simply call 911 if things get too hard. This might seem like a perfectly natural reaction, however children who experience oxygen deprivation for longer than six minutes are medically brain dead, and sometimes EMTs can’t get to an emergency location for close to twenty minutes. This is only one example of medical staff persons not behaving as you expect them to.

What are Some Examples of Birth Injuries?

Birth injuries come in several different forms and ways. Some birth injuries are obvious and seen immediately, such as bruises, broken bones, injuries due to forceps or vacuum extraction, or lacerations. These are typically seen as mild birth injuries.

More severe birth injuries could be seen immediately or could be discovered over time. The ones that are seen immediately could indicate severe problems immediately, such as children bluish in color, having trouble breathing, soft bulges in the baby’s head, the inability to suck, vomiting, arched back while crying, the inability to cry, spastic motions, or seizures.

It could take a while for parents or staff to recognize pain in one or several limbs, jaundice, soft bulges on the baby’s head, rashes, tenderness, stiff muscles, variation in muscle tone between flabbiness and firmness, problems eating or no eating at all, and high-pitched cries.