Pregnancy is an exciting time for expecting parents. However, nerves are a normal part of this process, especially if you are having your first child. The delivery process can be especially daunting for new parents. Of course, most births have no complications at all, giving expecting mothers and fathers nothing to worry about.
However, not all deliveries go smoothly. There are birth complications that can cause a range of issues for a newborn baby. Some issues will only produce short-term, easily treatable effects. However, some issues can have long-term and serious consequences.
Here, I will discuss a few common birth injuries that your child might experience. Keep in mind that some birth injuries are unavoidable, but others could result from accidents caused by the medical staff. I’ll discuss the differences between unavoidable issues and ones that a doctor might be at-fault for.
Common Birth Injuries
There are a few common birth injuries that might happen during a delivery.
One fairly common birth issue is called erb’s palsy. This happens as a result of shoulder dystocia. Before I talk more about erb’s palsy is, let’s discuss shoulder dystocia. Shoulder dystocia is another birth injury that happens when a baby’s shoulders get caught in the birth canal. This delay in the birth canal can have several serious effects. One of those effects is 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 is avoidable, thanks to modern equipment. If potential shoulder dystocia is detected, a specialist can come in and help with the labor process to avoid this issue.
Another complication at birth is oxygen deprivation. Oxygen deprivation happens when a baby gets reduced blood flow or no blood flow at all. In some cases, oxygen deprivation can’t be avoided. For example, this might be the case if the baby is in a difficult birthing position. Or it might happen if the umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby’s neck.
However, oxygen deprivation can also happen because of medical negligence. If a doctor uses improper technique during birthing, it could result in loss of oxygen. Other avoidable issues could cause oxygen deprivation as well.
Finally, there is cerebral palsy. This is a medical condition that refers to many different neurological disorders affecting the body’s muscle coordination and movement. The extent of the disability can really range with cerebral palsy. For example, a mild case of cerebral palsy would present itself with minor speech and movement impediments. However, 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?
Despite modern medicine, the labor process is still difficult. The medical staff will do everything they can to help you through this process, but sometimes issues arise. It is tempting to blame the medical staff 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 doctor thorough through your pregnancy and when you went into labor?
- Was the best equipment available used to assist with the birth of your child?
- Did the doctor break their duty of care?
- Did the doctor act recklessly or with negligence? Did those issues lead to a birth injury?
Considering these questions can help determine if the doctor is at-fault. If you are still not sure who, if anyone, is to blame for a birth injury, you should contact an attorney. They can review the situation and help you figure out how to proceed.