Image Source: Pexels
Injuries during child birth can have permanent and sometimes fatal consequences for both the baby and the mother. While many doctors try their best to follow medical guidelines and best practices for their patients, there are still thousands of unintentional birth injuries every year. Some incidents of malpractice and unexpected injury have a short-lived impact on the patients, but even small errors can lead to life-changing damage and chronic health issues. The three types of injuries below are just a few of the many types of problems that can occur during labor and birth.
Exposure To Infection
Physicians are expected to give prospective mothers thorough screening for infections prior to giving birth. Bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens currently affecting the mother’s body can be passed on to the infant, or cause physiological issues that complicate the birth. Meningitis and group B strep infections are two of the many infections that can be present without causing noticeable symptoms for the mother. Birth injuries caused by an infection are not always attributed to medical malpractice or negligence, but many of them may be eligible for a legal claim for damages.
Palsy And Brachial Plexus
The limbs of an infant are extremely delicate, which is why doctors have to take great care to handle them properly during labor. Excessive twisting or pinching of the arm can lead to a number of debilitating disorders as the victim ages. Brachial plexus is cause by nerve damage in the upper arm, leading to muscle weakness and chronic, burning pain throughout the limb. Damage in lower parts of the arm can cause Erb’s Palsy or Klumpke’s Palsy, which are associated with paralysis and poor muscle control. Total or partial disability of an arm can create many challenges for victims throughout their entire lives.
Shoulder dystocia is an uncommon injury that can occur during the later stages of labor if the infant’s head and shoulders get stuck behind the mother’s pelvic bone. This event only happens in about 1 in 100 pregnancies, but it can have devastating consequences for parent and child alike. Shoulder dystocia can lead to fractures, broken bones and nerve damage for the affected child. In some cases, the mother is also at risk of uterine rupture and severe internal bleeding. These conditions can incur significant medical expenses and physical disability, which is why patients should strongly consider contacting a licensed birth injury attorney, like Snyder & Wenner, P.C., to discuss their legal options.
There are many ways prospective parents can maximize the chances of having a healthy child, but there’s not much they can do to stop an accident from happening during labor. Doctors aren’t responsible for every aspect of the delivery, but they do have a duty to provide their patients with a level of care that meets reasonable expectations and standards. Unexpected injuries from medical accidents or oversight often warrant a law suit to compensate victims, so don’t hesitate to talk to a lawyer about your rights in a birth injury incident.