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Common Causes of Birth Injuries in America

July 28, 2023Medical Malpractice

While advances in modern medicine have significantly improved the birthing process, birth injuries remain a significant concern in America. Here are their most common causes. 

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Prolonged Labor 

Prolonged labor, medically known as dystocia, can lead to birth injuries for various reasons, such as a large baby relative to the mother’s pelvis, abnormal fetal positioning, or insufficient uterine contractions. In such cases, medical interventions like forceps or vacuum extraction may be necessary. Unfortunately, improper use of these tools or delayed decision-making can lead to injuries such as nerve damage, fractures, or even brain trauma.

Oxygen Deprivation (Hypoxia)

Lack of oxygen during labor and delivery, also known as birth asphyxia or hypoxia, can have severe consequences for the newborn’s brain and other organs. This can occur due to a variety of factors, including umbilical cord problems, placental abruption, or complications with the baby’s airway. Medical professionals must vigilantly monitor the baby’s vital signs during labor to promptly address any signs of distress and prevent irreversible damage.

Medication Errors

Medication errors during pregnancy and childbirth can lead to birth injuries. Incorrect dosages, administration, or interactions between medications can harm the baby and even the mother. For instance, improper use of certain drugs to induce labor can increase the risk of uterine hyperstimulation, potentially leading to oxygen deprivation in the baby.

Cesarean Section Complications

While cesarean sections (C-sections) are often performed to ensure the safety of both the mother and the baby, they are not without risks. In some cases, delays in performing an emergency C-section or improper surgical techniques can result in birth injuries, including lacerations, organ damage, or respiratory issues for the baby.

Premature Birth

Premature birth, which occurs before 37 weeks of gestation, poses significant challenges for a newborn’s health. Premature infants are more susceptible to various complications, including respiratory distress syndrome, intraventricular hemorrhage, and cerebral palsy. Proper antenatal care, early detection of risk factors, and specialized neonatal care can help reduce the impact of prematurity on birth injuries.

Failure to Diagnose or Treat Infections

During pregnancy, certain infections can pose risks to both the mother and the developing baby. Failure to diagnose and treat infections promptly can lead to severe birth injuries, such as hearing loss, vision problems, or neurological damage. Proper prenatal screening and timely medical interventions are crucial to prevent these outcomes.

Victims’ Rights after a Birth Injury

Birth injuries can have far-reaching consequences for both the child and their family. Understanding and asserting victims’ rights afterward is crucial to protect the child’s well-being and secure the necessary support and resources for their future. Families affected by birth injuries caused by medical malpractice have the right to seek legal recourse to obtain compensation for their child’s injuries. Medical malpractice lawsuits can help cover medical expenses, ongoing care, and rehabilitation, lost wages (if applicable), and provide for the child’s future needs. 

If you or your child suffered harm during pregnancy, labor, or delivery, speak to a trusted Houston Medical Malpractice Lawyer in a free consultation today.