Delivering babies can be a routine procedure for experienced obstetricians, but medical professionals need to remain aware of signs that indicate the potential for a traumatic birth. Adequate monitoring of the process is a critical component in minimizing birth injuries. Approximately six to eight infants of 1,000 live births experience an unavoidable injury, but about half of all birth trauma incidents could have been avoided if risk factors had been more adequately considered.
According to one source, the potential for a safe delivery to progress into a traumatic birth depends on a variety of conditions. Circumstances that warrant careful monitoring from the doctor include the birth of a large baby, the use of assistive medical devices like forceps or a vacuum, positioning of the baby or atypical compression or traction during birth. Injuries can also occur if a newborn requires the medical staff to perform life-saving or resuscitative treatments.
If a traumatic birth occurs, the doctor will need to evaluate the infant’s condition and assess the nature of all the injuries. Many infants that have suffered an injury during delivery have experienced a lack of oxygen in addition to or because of the birth trauma. Thus, it is essential for a physician to offer an accurate diagnosis and begin treatment. Fortunately, most birth trauma incidents tend to have favorable outcomes; than 2 percent of such incidents result in newborn fatalities. A failure to adequately diagnose a birth injury, however, could increase the risk of further compromising the baby’s health.
A family that has experienced a traumatic birth may face many financial challenges, including bills for hospital stays, therapies and other treatments. Hospitalization might also make it difficult for parents to maintain employment during the child’s recovery. A lawyer could review medical records regarding the birth and indicate if the family may be entitled to financial recovery for the damages incurred.