Nothing is more exciting than the birth of a child. The joy may turn to worry, especially when following a difficult delivery. If something appears wrong with the baby, it may trace back to a medical mistake.
Birth injuries range in severity, but the bottom line is that most are preventable. Discover what constitutes a birth injury and what happens if a newborn suffers one.
What is the difference between birth defects and injuries?
Birth injuries may become confused with defects; however, these two conditions fall into separate categories. A birth defect is an abnormality that occurs while the child is in utero. Medical screenings usually catch these, but not always. A birth injury does not occur until labor and delivery.
What causes a birth injury?
Labor may prove difficult for both mother and child. If things do not progress as they should, intervention may become necessary. In some cases, a doctor may wait too long to act. When this happens, both mother and baby may suffer damage. Delivery may also cause harm to the baby if the doctor does not act as the standard of care dictates.
What are common birth injuries?
Many birth injuries are short-term conditions. Bruising from the instruments used during delivery may appear shortly after on a newborn’s head and upper body. Shoulder dislocations may occur after the doctor physically manipulates the baby through the birth canal. The higher-level injuries are those that are the result of oxygen deprivation. When a baby is without access to oxygen, the brain may suffer damage that is irreversible.
When a baby starts life off with an injury, it may result in long-term medical care. If a parent suspects that a doctor acted negligently during labor and delivery, compensation may alleviate some financial burdens.