Birth injury happens, but it’s not that common. Only 6-8 out of every 1,000 babies in the U.S. get injured at birth. That’s about 0.6 to 0.8 percent of all infants born in the U.S.
But when they occur, birth injuries aren’t to be taken lightly. Actually, it’s devastating when it happens. That’s why every parent should learn about them.
What’s Birth Injury?
Birth injury refers to any physical injury that may happen to an infant before, during, or after birth. In most cases, these injuries occur naturally especially when the child is passing through the birth canal.
Infrequently, though, they may happen because a medical professional did or didn’t do something. For instance, an infant might get harmed as a doctor tries to pull it out using forceps. Doctors used this tool a lot in the recent past, but they don’t use them much these days.
Proving a child got hurt due to someone’s failure to make a decision or take some action is difficult. A highly technical approach is required to show the jury or another party (insurance company?) there was negligence. For that reason, it’s unwise to launch the compensation process without an attorney’s guidance.
Factors That Increase the Possibility of a Birth Injury
Here are a couple factors that make it more likely that an injury will happen:
- The baby is too big.
- The baby showed up too early.
- The shape of the mother’s birth canal or pelvis make normal delivery challenging.
- The mother is obese or overweight.
- During a caesarian delivery.
- Tools such as forceps are used to pull the baby out.
- The mother’s contractions aren’t powerful enough to push the baby through the birth canal. In other words, difficult labor can cause birth injury.
- The baby presents incorrectly, that is, it doesn’t come out head-first.
Brain Damage During Childbirth
Brain damage sometimes happens at childbirth. It may occur before labor starts, during childbirth, or after delivery. Cerebral palsy is one of the most common childbirth-related injuries.
The American Pregnancy Association claims that about 1 in 5 children with cerebral palsy sustained the injury at birth. Evidently, most of these injuries take place before labor and after childbirth.
Birth Injuries Not Always Recognized Immediately
Sometimes, doctors and nurses don’t recognize these injuries when they happen. It’s possible for a child with cerebral palsy to live with the condition for years without anyone recognizing the condition. In such cases, it’d be hard to link the child’s situation to an injury that may have happened at birth. Find the best injury lawyers from here.
Here’s the thing. Certain injuries that happen at birth can be prevented. So, if such accidents happen, it means someone on the medical team might have been negligent.
Injuries at birth aren’t a very common occurrence, but they’re not rare either. That’s why every expectant parent should arm themselves with relevant information about them.
If you believe your baby’s injury resulted directly from a doctor’s or nurse’s negligence, take action. Hire a birth injury lawyer — don’t handle such a technical case alone.