Birth Injuries and Birth Trauma
Pregnancy and childbirth are two extremely complex medical conditions which require the care of experienced doctors. The reason for this is that there is much that can go wrong during pregnancy and childbirth, leading to birth injuries – some of which can be so severe that they are then classified as birth traumas.
Common birth-related traumas include:
- Caput Succedaneum
This condition is characterized by swelling of the scalp during or shortly after birth. It is usually caused by uterine pressure during delivery. It can also be caused by vacuum extraction devices during a protracted delivery and bruising of the scalp is more likely to happen during a long and difficult labor.
This condition results from an accumulation of blood below the protective membrane that covers an infant’s skull. It presents as soft lumps on the baby’s head several hours after delivery which may grow during the hours after birth. Most cephalohematomas do not require medical attention, however, some may cause jaundice and thus need to be closely monitored.
- Subconjunctival Hemorrhage
This condition results from bleeding that occurs when the small blood vessels in the baby’s eyes break. This may occur in one or both of the baby’s eyes, and present as a bright red band surrounding the iris. It does not cause permanent damage to the eyes but does need to be closely monitored.
- Bell’s Palsy
This condition is caused by the facial nerve being damaged during labor or birth. The damage is caused by pressure on the infant’s face during passage through the birth canal or if a doctor incorrectly uses forceps during delivery. It presents as partial or full paralysis on one side of the face (depending on which facial nerve has been affected), and recovery depends on the severity of the injury to the facial nerve.
- Brachial Plexus Injury
This condition results from injury to the baby’s brachial plexus (the network of nerves that connect the spinal cord to the arms and legs). Also known as brachial palsy, this condition is common in difficult births, especially if the baby’s shoulder gets stuck in the birth canal and the doctor has to tug hard on one arm to extract the shoulder. It presents as a baby being unable to flex or rotate their arm, and the severity and recovery of the condition depend on how badly damaged the nerve is.
- Oxygen Deprivation
This condition is also known as “anoxia” and occurs before or during birth. Several factors may cause oxygen deprivation, and they all result in inadequate oxygen supply to the baby’s brain, which can cause serious health problems. These babies are at a high risk of serious brain damage and other major forms of disability such as cerebral palsy, hearing impairment, blindness, and many other complications.
If your child has experienced any form of birth trauma then you should contact a qualified NYC medical malpractice attorney. According to the state laws of NYC, you need to file your medical malpractice allegation in a timely manner to comply with the statute of limitations. Your medical malpractice lawyer will be able to assist you with this, as they have the necessary skills and knowledge to ensure that the process is conducted correctly.
If you believe that you or your child may have experienced some form of birth injury after reading this document, please contact the medical malpractice lawyers of Rosenburg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff LLP in NYC today and speak to one of our medical malpractice attorneys.
When you are ready to talk, we are ready to listen. Call (800) 660-2264 for a free, confidential consultation.