Law Office of Robert A. Miller
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Oregon Medical Malpractice Law Blog

Birth injury or birth defect: which is which?

As an expectant Oregon mother, you undoubtedly think a lot about your growing baby’s development and health. You look forward to his or her birth as one of the happiest days of your life. Occasionally, however, you may worry that your baby will receive a birth injury or that (s)he might be born with a birth defect.

FindLaw explains that thankfully, a birth injury occurs in only 0.5 percent of U.S. births. In comparison, the 7 percent incidence of birth defects is considerably higher, but still very low. Nevertheless, if your baby suffers either an injury or a defect, its consequences can be catastrophic.

What are the risks of a vacuum extraction?

As an expecting mother in Oregon, it's only natural that you hope for the best when it comes to your child's health through the entire pregnancy and birth. Unfortunately, there are some situations in which a baby cannot be born naturally. In these cases, a vacuum extractor might be used.

Vacuum extraction is a medical term used for the procedure in which a child has a hard or soft cup with a vacuum pump attached to their head during childbirth. Using this tool, doctors can help guide a baby out of the birth canal in time with the mother's pushing.

Agent Orange is linked to multiple types of cancer

If you are a Vietnam War veteran, you may suffer a variety of health issues from Agent Orange exposure. This harmful herbicide is causing many veterans across the country to suffer even decades later. One of the most severe health effects is an increase in cancer risk.

There are links between Agent Orange and many different types of cancer. Here are some kinds of cancer you have the highest risk of getting as a Vietnam veteran.

When a C-section goes wrong

At the Law Office of Robert A. Miller in Oregon, we know how exciting it is to bring a new life into the world. When you must undergo a caesarean section in order to achieve it, however, the risks to both you and your baby increase.

BabyGaga.com reports that approximately 33 percent of expectant U.S. moms deliver their babies via C-section. Some expectant mothers choose this delivery method; others have no choice in the matter if a pregnancy or birthing emergency occurs. Whatever the reason for a C-section, you should not undergo one prior to the 39th week of your pregnancy unless you or your baby is facing a very serious problem.

What are the most common temporary birth injuries?

As an expectant mother in Oregon, your main concerns throughout your pregnancy are your baby’s health, safety and welfare. The last thing you want to think about is the possibility of your baby suffering a birth injury. Sadly, however, these injuries do occur, although many of them are not serious and leave no lasting ill effects.

As the name implies, a birth injury occurs during the birthing process. Stanford Children’s Health explains that the risks of your baby receiving a birth injury increase under the following conditions:

  • Your baby is premature, born before your 37th week of pregnancy.
  • Your baby is in the wrong birthing position, such as in a breech birth where his or her buttocks are lowermost in your birth canal.
  • You labor is difficult and/or prolonged.
  • Your baby is exceedingly large, weighing more than eight pounds, 13 ounces.
  • The size and shape of your pelvis are inadequate to allow your baby to be born vaginally.

How common is cancer misdiagnosis?

Receiving news of cancer is a life-changing event that can cause your world to crumble - just as life-changing is receiving incorrect news, whether it is that you have cancer when you do not (false positive) or that your cancer is in a lower or higher stage than it really is.

Such serious mistakes may seem like a rarity, especially for medical professionals who specialize in diagnosing and treating this disease. However, missed, delayed and wrong diagnoses for cancer are more common than you think.

Birth injuries: recent studies and incidents

There are endless perks to bringing a new life into the world, but many Oregon residents would agree that there are an equal number of stressors. All of the tasks to complete before a baby arrives ideally make the delivery itself a smoother one; however, not all mothers have such fortunate experiences. By learning more about birth injuries and by looking to examples of past incidents, families welcoming a little one into the world can better prepare for a situation involving medical malpractice. 

Just weeks ago, parenting site Romper released an article that highlighted a recent study on one birth injury that could come with delayed side effects. According to the study, babies with brachial plexus birth injury have higher chances of developing psychological issues in their teenage years. These affects from BPBI -- an injury in which the arms and hands suffer from nerve damage -- were higher among teenage girls than boys. However, Romper points out that lower-income families saw higher rates of mental health issues as a result of BPBI than wealthier households. Although most children who experience a BPBI usually fully recover within a few months, some are left with permanent nerve damage.

What is Erb’s palsy?

As an expectant mother in Oregon, you undoubtedly are taking every possible precaution to ensure that when your baby is born, (s)he will be healthy and safe. Unfortunately, however, birth injuries do occur, even in the best hospitals. One of these is Erb’s palsy.

According to the American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine, Erb’s palsy occurs in 0.5 to 2.6 percent of live births. It results from an injury to your baby’s brachial plexus during birth if your baby’s nerve fibers are overly stretched, such as when his or her head delivered but the shoulders are too large to pass easily out of your birth canal.

Does your baby have cerebral palsy?

Having a baby and watching him or her grow is a beautiful thing. But what if something goes wrong? If you notice your child is having problems with development, you may be wondering if he or she has cerebral palsy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in 323 American children has this motor disability.

If you have any concerns regarding the health of your baby, you should talk to your pediatrician. But here are some risk factors and symptoms of cerebral palsy that you should know about. 

What pregnancy risks do older women face?

If you are an “older” woman in Oregon, you face a difficult decision when it comes to getting pregnant. Although 35 definitely is not old by any other standard, it is with regard to pregnancy. There are many reasons why you may have delayed becoming a mother. You wanted to complete your education. You wanted to start a career. Now, however, your biological clock is ticking and you are running out of time to have your first child.

As reported by Medical News Today, data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that in 2016, more women between the ages of 30 and 34 had their first child than women between the ages of 25 and 29. This was the first time in more than 30 years that the birth rate for older women surpassed that of younger ones.

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Law Office of Robert A. Miller
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Eugene, OR 97401

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