Common birth Injuries
Birth injuries are sometimes permanent injuries incurred by an infant during the process of birth. These injuries typically occur as the infant passes through the birth canal during delivery. Birth injury may occur due to a variety of factors including labor complications, physician error, and maternal health problems. Some of the most common birth injuries result from:
- Head Trauma
- Nerve Damage
- Spinal Cord Damage
Head trauma is the most frequently occurring birth injury. When the head passes through the birth canal, a tremendous amount of pressure is placed upon the infant’s soft skull. This pressure sometimes results in concussion or internal bruising. Head injuries have lifelong consequences. Infants who incur head injuries during birth can suffer from development disabilities, seizure disorder, or may enter a comatose state shortly after birth.
Another common type of birth injury is nerve damage. Nerve damage also results from pressure placed on the various nerve systems as a child passes through the birth canal. The resulting nerve damage can cause loss of voluntary muscle control. Three of the most common types of nerve damage injuries include:
- Facial Nerve Palsy: This injury affects the nerves of an infant’s face. Children with facial nerve palsy may have partial paralysis affecting one side of the face, a fallen mouth, or an eye that cannot shut.
- Erb’s Palsy: This condition is the result of pressure placed on the brachial plexus, a nerve center located in the shoulder which controls movement in shoulder, arm and hand. Infants with Erb’s palsy will often require multiple surgeries to correct the condition.
- Cerebral Palsy: Cerebral Palsy describes a group of conditions characterized by loss of gross motor control function. Cerebral palsy may not be diagnosed at birth as symptoms do not appear until the child reaches certain developmental milestones, such as walking and talking. Cerebral palsy typically occurs when the infant is deprived of oxygen during the birth process.
Spinal Cord Injuries
While spinal cord injuries are a relatively rare form of birth injury, they may result in very serious consequences. Infants who suffer from spinal cord injuries have shortened life expectancy and may require extensive treatment and nursing care throughout their lives. Complications from spinal cord injuries may include blood clotting disorders like hemophilia.
Birth injuries can result in serious complications. Children who suffer from birth injuries may require significant care, multiple surgeries, or lifelong assistance. When developmental disabilities occur as a result of birth injury, the child’s potential to lead a normal life is significantly reduced. There are several factors which contribute to birth injury. However, many times the injury could have been avoided. Parents of children who suffered birth injuries may wish to consult an injury attorney to learn about options for providing for their child’s needs.