Birth injuries define traumatic events that occur to the baby during the birthing process. While many newborns or their mothers may suffer minor injuries during birth that soon resolve without treatment, there are others that can either linger around for an extended period of time or that can be permanent.
It's most common for birth injuries to occur in instances in a situation where the fetus has grown too large to be able to successfully pass through the mother's birth canal. At the same time, the fetus can be fairly average in size, yet the mother's own birth canal is too small to accommodate it. Other situations that have the potential of resulting in a birth injury include those in which the fetus is abnormally positioned in the womb as labor sets in.
A baby's head is perhaps the body part most likely to be injured during the birthing process. Since the baby's head is the first to move through the birth canal, it also is subjected to more of the impact of the birthing process than any other part of the body.
Suspected cases of bleeding coming from inside the brain are among the more rare and should be immediately addressed. Some symptoms of brain bleeds, or hemorrhages, include poor feeding, lethargy or seizures. Although it's quite possible for babies not to have any symptoms at all.
In situations in which a doctor attempts to deliver a larger sized baby through the mother's birth canal, it's possible for the nerves connecting the baby's head and neck to their arm to become overstretched or even severed. While, in many cases, this type of injury resolves itself by restricting the child's arm movement for a few weeks, in other cases, the baby ultimately has to have surgery to make necessary repairs.
Fortunately, a spinal cord injury that is caused by the tugging or torsion of the baby's body during delivery is very rare. In cases in which it does occur, though, most babies are left permanently paralyzed from below where the bulk of the trauma occurred.
If you or your newborn were injured during the birthing process, you may be entitled to reimbursement of medical expenses as well as compensation for your pain and suffering. In learning more about your case, a Tucson medical malpractice attorney can advise you of any remedies you may be able to pursue.
Source: Merck Manual, "Birth injury," Arthur E. Kopelman, MD, accessed July 14, 2017