What Causes Birth Injuries?

Accidents in the delivery room can lead to a lifetime of complications. What happens if a child is injured during birth? In this article, we’ll take a look at how often (and how) birth injuries occur.

How Often Do Birth Injuries Happen?

Birth injuries affect 6-8 of every 1,000 infants born in the United States. And giving birth isn’t just dangerous for the infant: Mom is at risk too. A USA Today investigation found that the US is the “most dangerous place to give birth in the developed world” with more than 50,000 mothers severely injured during or after childbirth each year. Another 700 mothers die from complications related to giving birth.

The investigation also noted that the two leading causes of childbirth deaths and injuries are hemorrhage and severe hypertension. Closer monitoring and more extensive healthcare training for practitioners could reduce the rate of injury by approximately 50%, experts say.

How Do Birth Injuries Happen?

There are several ways birth injuries can occur:

  • Difficult labor (dystocia) can result in injuries to an infant’s clavicle or brachial plexus nerves. This can also cause a pinched umbilical cord, which may cause brain damage.
  • Premature birth.
  • Intrauterine hypoxia (oxygen deprivation in the womb) can lead to a variety of brain injuries, including cerebral palsy.
  • Chromosomal mutations can cause the newborn to be especially susceptible to birth injuries.
  • Undiagnosed maternal conditions, such as gestational diabetes.
  • Pregnancy complications.
  • Medical errors, such as failing to plan for a high-risk delivery or not adequately responding to fetal distress.

Head and brain injuries are the most common birth injuries. These can include skull fractures, bleeding in the brain, and subgaleal hemorrhage. Nerve injuries, broken bones, and perinatal asphyxia are also common birth injuries.

Are Most Birth Injuries Caused by Medical Malpractice?

Some birth injuries are unavoidable, while others occur because of medical mishaps. Not all mistakes are considered medical malpractice, however. Medical malpractice occurs when the healthcare provider deviates from the standard of care in their profession, resulting in injury to the patient. If you are concerned that your infant experienced a birth injury due to medical malpractice, it’s important to contact a personal injury attorney right away to discuss the situation.

If your child has been injured due to a birth injury, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.