Birth Injuries: Causes, Prevention, and OB History

The birth and delivery of a child is fragile but can be one of the greatest joy’s that life has to offer. Expecting parents take months and sometimes years to prepare for. Every year approximated seven birth related injuries are reported out of every 1,000 births, leaving infants and their families to deal with the consequences of a preventable birth defect. The extent of these injuries can range from fractures to cerebral palsy.

The Most Common Birth Injury Causes

Caput succedaneum, Cephalohematoma, bruising and forcep marks, subconjuctival hemorrhage, facial paralysis, brachial (Erb) palsy, and fractures are some of the results of injury during delivery and birth. Some of these injuries are more serious than others such as brachial (Erb) palsy, which occurs when the shoulders of an infant are too wide to fit through the birth canal. In this case, compressing force is applied to the shoulders of the infant causing nerve damage that results in paralysis, depending upon the extent of the damage paralysis can be permanent or temporary. Another serious consequences of forcep or vacuum delivery usage is cerebral palsy. The effects of this injury impair the brain’s ability to coordinate muscle function ranging from speech to movement. These consequences tend to be life-long and typically require years of expensive therapy and medical treatments.

Facial Paralysis also occurs from nerve damage. If the nerves are bruised in most cases the paralysis will dissipate in 2 weeks to 3 months, however if the nerves are severed, paralysis is permanent requiring surgery.

Prevent Birth Injury

Even the most experienced physicians can cause injury. However, when it comes to the health of your child, knowing your obstetrics (OB) physician’s delivery history is key. Here are some questions to investigate:

·       How many live births has your OB delivered?

·       How many injuries have occurred?

·       If there were deaths at birth why?

Also, make sure that your OB is monitoring your weight gain closely during pregnancy. When you and the baby are gaining too fast and your chances of developing gestational diabetes increases. Rapid weight gain in pregnant mothers is one of the leading causes of brachial palsy. It is okay to strongly advocate for the best care for you and your child. Remember, healthcare is a service, and it behooves the person being served to know what they are getting.

If your healthcare provider failed to provide the best care and caused your child a birth injury contact The Hornbuckle Firm today. We will help you get the justice you deserve.