Pregnancy is a wonderful and exciting time for expecting parents. However, when expecting a child, you might have some nerves, especially if you are about to have your first child. The delivery process can be especially daunting for new mothers and fathers. Of course, most births have no complications at all, giving parents nothing to worry about. However, there are several birth complications that can cause a range of issues for a newborn baby. Some issues will only produce short-term, easily treatable effects, but some issues can have long-term and serious consequences.
On this page, I will discuss a few common birth injuries that your child might experience. Some birth injuries are unavoidable, but others are the result of accidents caused by the doctor or nursing staff. I’ll discuss the differences between unavoidable issues and ones that a doctor might be at-fault for. If a hospital staff member is at-fault for your child’s injury, you can learn about the steps to take here.
Common Birth Injuries
One complication at birth is oxygen deprivation. Oxygen deprivation happens when a child experiences reduced blood flow or no blood flow at all. In some cases, oxygen deprivation is unavoidable. This might be the case if the baby is in a difficult birthing position or if the umbilical cord is wrapped around their neck. However, oxygen deprivation can also occur as a result of medical negligence. A doctor may use improper technique during birthing or cause other issues that result in loss of oxygen for your child.
Another birth issue is erb’s palsy. This is the result of shoulder dystocia. Before I get further into what erb’s palsy is, let’s talk about shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is another birth injury that happens when a baby’s shoulders get stuck in the birth canal. This delay in the birth canal can have several serious effects, such as erb’s palsy. If shoulder dystocia damages your baby’s brachial plexus (the nerves in the body responsible for hand, arm, and shoulder movement), it can result in erb’s palsy. Erb’s palsy occurs when there is damage to the brachial plexus causing paralysis of the arms in your child.
In many situations, erb’s palsy can be avoidable with modern equipment. If potential shoulder dystocia is detected, someone with special training can assist you in the labor process to avoid this issue.
Finally, there is cerebral palsy, which is a medical condition that refers to many different neurological disorders affecting the body’s muscle coordination and movement. The range of disability can be great when talking about cerebral palsy. A mild case of cerebral palsy would present itself with minor speech and movement impediments. In a severe case, the person will be unable to talk, walk, or perform basic tasks such as feeding themselves and writing.
Is Someone At-Fault?
Birth complications are difficult. The medical staff will do everything they can to help you through the labor process, but sometimes issues occur. It is tempting to blame the doctor or the nurse if something goes wrong, but birth injuries are not always the fault of the medical staff. To determine if someone is at-fault for your child’s birth injuries, consider the following:
- Was the best equipment available used to assist with the birth of your child?
- Was the doctor thorough through your pregnancy and when you went into labor?
- Did the doctor act recklessly or with negligence? Did those issues lead to a birth injury?
- Did the doctor break their duty of care?
Considering these questions and more can help determine if the doctor is at-fault. If you are not sure who is to blame for an injury, you should contact an attorney to help you. An attorney can review the situation and help you determine how to proceed.